The cult-favorite grocery store Trader Joe's is basically a foodie treasure chest... but some items are better choices than others. Here are eight super-healthy and delicious must-haves you might be overlooking!
Cruciferous Crunch Collection
3 cups: 35 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat. fat), 25mg sodium, 7g carbs, 3g fiber, 2g sugars, 2g protein -- SmartPoints
We love Trader Joe's assortment of ready-to-cook-or-eat produce. (Seriously. Thanks, TJ's!) And at the top of our list is this great slaw mix. Slivers of Brussels sprouts, chopped kale, shredded cabbage & broccoli... It's basically all the hearty veggies we love in a convenient mix! Stir-fry it up, or eat it as is. HG tip: Let it marinate overnight with your favorite dressing. (TJ's Sesame Soy Ginger Vinaigrette, for example!) FYI: This product is just veggies, thus the SmartPoints
value of 0*. Same goes for the next item on the list...
Organic Riced Cauliflower
3/4 cups: 20 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat. fat), 70mg sodium, 4g carbs, 2g fiber, 2g sugars, 2g protein -- SmartPoints
Unless you're new to HG (in which case, welcome!), you know we're hooked on swapping out grains for rice-sized bits of cauliflower. Well, the folks at TJ's are saving us the effort of breaking out the blender and blitzing up veggie florets with this fantastic freezer-find. Ready-made cauli' rice might be the discovery of the century; use it to make our swaptastic recipes
even easier. Keep a stash in your freezer, and just thaw and pat dry before using! (P.S. Joe and co. also have fresh riced cauliflower in the produce section.)
2 tbsp.: 10 calories, 0g total fat (0g sat. fat), 110mg sodium, 2g carbs, 0g fiber, 2g sugars, 0g protein -- SmartPoints
Let's get something straight: Trader Joe's has a TON of amazing salsas, from the fresh refrigerated kinds to the shelf-stable jars. We love pretty much all of them, but this jarred selection has been a standout for years. The balance of sweet and savory spice is salsa PERFECTION. It's the ideal condiment to zazzle up anything in need of a flavor boost: plain chicken breast, fish filets, salads, and more. (Other salsas that deserve a nod include the jarred Salsa Verde and fresh Black Bean & Roasted Corn Salsa!)
Reduced Guilt Chunky Guacamole
2 tbsp.: 30 calories, 2g total fat (0g sat. fat), 280mg sodium, 2g carbs, 1g fiber, 1g sugars, 1g protein -- SmartPoints
This dip from the Reduced Guilt line takes a page out of the ol' HG playbook: Greek yogurt is utilized to perfection, resulting in 50 percent less fat and 40 percent fewer calories than regular guac! (Avocado is good for you, but no need to overdo it.) This pairs perfectly with some cut veggies (jicama sticks, anyone?), and it's also extra tasty on top of the next item on our list…
Mahi Mahi Burgers
1 patty: 110 calories, 5g total fat (0g sat. fat), 320mg sodium, 1g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 15g protein -- SmartPoints
There are several different fish burgers in the Trader Joe's freezer case, but we're here to tell you that this one is THE BEST. It's juicy and expertly seasoned. A quick cook in the skillet, and these patties are sandwich ready! You might want to chop one up and add it to a veggie bowl (with cauliflower rice!) or green salad. Stock your freezer ASAP.
Reduced Sodium Smoked Salmon Pieces
2 oz.: 100 calories, 5g total fat (1g sat. fat), 200mg sodium, 0g carbs, 0g fiber, 0g sugars, 13g protein -- SmartPoints
Speaking of fish, this slammin' salmon blows our minds. Why? Reduced-sodium lox is pretty rare to come across! Most smoked salmon has at least 500mg sodium, but a serving of this stuff has a mere 200mg. So if you generally avoid lox due to the high sodium content, grab a pack of this, and give these lettuce wraps
a try. (SO GOOD!)
Pizza Veggie Burgers
1 burger: 130 calories, 7g total fat (1g sat. fat), 360mg sodium, 7g carbs, 4g fiber, 2g sugars, 9g protein -- SmartPoints
One of the things we love most about Trader Joe's: the super assortment of better-for-you craving-busters, like these pizza-style burger patties. Keep a box of these meatless burgers in your freezer, and you'll be well equipped to attack your need for pizza without consuming a crazy number of calories. Level up: Top a cooked patty with marinara sauce, and melt a stick of light string cheese on top. Genius!
1 container (salad plus dressing): 200 calories, 9g total fat (3g sat. fat), 560mg sodium, 23g carbs, 5g fiber, 8g sugars, 8g protein -- SmartPoints
Not all the pre-packed salads in that refrigerated case are good choices; some are a little too high in calories for our tastes. But this one is a serious all-star. Those stats above include dressing and cheese. What?! We know! The creamy dressing is like a ranch vinaigrette, made with low-fat yogurt and apple cider vinegar. The salad also features black beans, corn, bell peppers, red onion, cabbage, and our favorite of all lettuces: romaine. Veggie Town, here we come!
There are so many amazing staples at Trader's Joe's. We're nuts about the fat-free plain Greek yogurt, cooked 'n refrigerated Just Chicken, peeled hard-boiled eggs, extra-lean ground beef, and frozen Seafood Blend. What are YOUR favorites at Trader Joe's? Sound off on Facebook
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