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Heaven is a place on earth called Trader Joe’s. Bored? Hungry? Sad? Just walk the aisles of your local TJ’s and chances are you’ll instantly feel better. There’s just something about those bright aisles and endless slew of new products.
You may already be familiar with goodies like Trader Joe’s Everything But the Bagel Seasoning and Frozen Cauliflower Gnocchi, but these are ten perhaps lesser-known items you should add to your list, along with ideas of how to best enjoy them. Almost all of these items can be easily stored in your pantry, save for a few that are best stored in the freezer or fridge. Happy shopping!
Vinho Verde | $4.49
Depending on where you live, there’s a good chance you can buy alcohol at your local TJ’s. I love this very cheap bottle of Vinho Verde (around $4 depending on where you live!), and think it pairs well with most meals.
Chili Onion Crunch | $3.99
This Chili Onion Crunch is pretty much exactly what it sounds like: chili oil with crunchy onions, meaning a whole lot of flavor and texture packed into a small spoonful. A friend of mine introduced me to it when she added it to some homemade cornbread. I’d recommend tossing it with some fried tofu and throwing it into a bowl!
Fig and Olive Crisps | $3.99
Kunefe | $3.99
If you like cheese and dessert there’s a strong chance you’ll appreciate cheese in your dessert. Trader Joe’s is now selling kunefe (find this product in the freezer aisle!), a Middle Eastern dessert made with phyllo, pistachios, sweet syrup, and cheese. It is gooooood.
Pancake Bread | $3.99
Have your pancake and eat it, too. Pancake Bread makes a great dessert or a great excuse to have dessert for breakfast. Have it alone or with some coffee!
Chile Lime Seasoning | $1.99
I use this seasoning all the time. I add it to fried eggs alongside toast. I sprinkle a tiny bit on top of salads filled with spinach, corn, avocado, and cheese. I’ve also added some on top of butternut squash soup.
Vegetarian Chili | $1.99
The packaging says this is vegetarian, but it’s actually a great vegan dish, too! This is a great meal alone or with some tortilla chips. It’s so easy to prepare (just warm some up in a microwave) and makes a good meal or two.
Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups | $0.99
I’m sure these Dark Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups make a good dessert, but in all honesty, they’re usually my post-grocery haul snack; I eat them in the car during my drive home.
Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate | $2.49
If you like the taste of Starbucks chai, I’d recommend this Spiced Chai Black Tea Concentrate for sure. Add in some oat milk or regular dairy milk for a morning drink or afternoon pick-me-up. The caffeine content is pretty strong though, so be careful with how many cups you finish in a day.
Thai Tea Mini Mochi | $3.49
These babies are tiny but so delicious. I usually eat them fresh out of the freezer, but a friend recently recommended letting them thaw enough for the center to get melty.
Virali Dave is a writer in Los Angeles. Born in Mumbai, she has always considered the west coast to be the best coast. She can be found chronicling encounters with burritos on Instagram @virali and on Twitter @viralidave.