Is Trader Joe’s Healthy? 9 Foods To Try – Health.com

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Healthy food from Trader Joe’s ranges from almond butter and tofu to organic popcorn and green goddess dressing. Trader Joe’s is known for affordable prices, a friendly staff, and a great selection of must-have staples, seasonal favorites, and exciting new products, including lots of healthy fare.

Here are nine healthy items from Trader Joe’s to try and enjoy. Each is a member of the store’s private label collection, which makes up a majority of its stock.

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Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

You’ll find these pre-steamed lentils alongside pre-cut vegetables in the refrigerated produce section. A half-cup serving packs 10 grams (g) of protein and over 20% of the daily value (DV) for fiber.

Lentils are also rich in antioxidants called polyphenols. Polyphenols are known to reduce inflammation and protect against chronic diseases, including obesity, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

To enjoy steamed lentils:

  • Serve them in place of ground meat in tacos, stuffed peppers, chili, and more.
  • Stash them in the fridge and add a scoop to salads for a protein and fiber boost.
  • Toss them with vegan pesto and chopped veggies like bell pepper, cucumber, and onion for a quick meal.

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

Trader Joe’s single-ingredient almond butter provides plant protein (7 g per two tablespoons), fiber, and healthy fat, along with potassium, iron, and calcium.  Research has shown that nuts and nut butter boost fullness, increase calorie burning, and reduce the risk of inflammatory diseases like type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.

Blend almond butter into smoothies or spread it on whole-grain toast. Scoop it up with cut vegetables or sliced fruit, or drizzle it over hot oatmeal or overnight oats. You can also transform almond butter into a savory sauce for vegetables, tofu, and noodles. Thin it with vegetable broth and season with fresh ginger, garlic, coconut aminos, and crushed red pepper.

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

Oat milk is a plant-based option for people with nut allergies or sensitivities. The beverage is also an ideal pre-workout fueling option since it’s lower in fat and higher in carbohydrates than nut milk.

A one-cup serving also provides 11% of the DV for fiber. A special type of fiber in oats called beta-glucan has been shown to act as an antioxidant and support immune function.

Add oat milk to coffee, tea, or smoothies. You can also use it instead of dairy milk in cereal, mashed potatoes, creamy sauces, and puddings.

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

This Trader Joe’s tofu is a quick, easy, and versatile protein option. A 3-ounce (oz) serving packs 14 g of protein and 15% of the DV for iron with just 3 g of total carbohydrates.

Tofu has other benefits as a plant protein. A study published in 2021, including data from over 100,000 postmenopausal women, found that replacing animal protein with plant protein lowered the risk of all causes of death, including heart disease and dementia.  

Use crumbled tofu in place of eggs in a breakfast scramble, blend it into smoothies, or bake or grill it in place of meat or cube. You can also add tofu to garden salads, stir-fries, soups, curries, and tacos. Tofu also works well in sweet treats, like plant-based cheesecake. 

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

You can eat whole teeny tiny avocados in one meal because of their size. Avocados are high in fat but support healthy weight management. The fruit has also been shown to help reduce the risk of heart disease, improve cognitive function, and support gut health.

There are many ways to eat avocado, including:

  • Add to breakfast scrambles, salads, chili, hummus, or tacos.
  • Blend one into a smoothie.
  • Mash for toast.
  • Puree as the base of a creamy sauce.
  • Simply enjoy one scooped straight out of the shell.

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

You can use this flavorful mix of kale, olive oil, and cashew butter as a dip, dressing, or spread. A generous quarter cup portion provides mostly good fat with a few grams of protein and 5 g of carbs. 

Use this vegan pesto as a dip for raw vegetables, as a salad dressing, as a mayo alternative, or to flavor anything from cooked veggies to tofu, lentils, pasta, and more. It’s a simple way to make many other healthy foods much more satisfying.   

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

Trader Joe’s offers pasta made with whole grains, including red lentils. One and a half cups of this pasta cooked packs 15 g of protein and 21% of the DV of fiber, along with 20% of the DV of iron.

Cook and enjoy hot or chilled, tossed with a generous portion of leafy greens and other vegetables like cremini mushrooms, yellow onion, and cherry tomatoes. You can also dress the pasta with vegan pesto or extra virgin olive oil (EVOO), garlic, and herbs.        

Photo Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

This raw, fermented mixture of cabbage and Persian cucumbers is low in calories but rich in healthy probiotic bacteria. Fermented foods positively impact gut health and may help improve symptoms of depression and anxiety.

Enjoy kraut by itself, or add it to breakfast scrambles, salads, sandwiches, wraps, tacos, baked potatoes, hummus, soups, stir-fries, and more. 

Courtesy of Trader Joe’s 2023

This pre-made dressing, found in the refrigerated produce section, is made primarily from a blend of avocado, apple cider vinegar, and herbs. Green goddess dressing is also low in fat and calories, with about 1 g of fat and 10 calories per tablespoon.

You can use this dressing for flavor and add other good fats to your dish, like nuts, seeds, or olives. Green goddess dressing works in slaw, as a dip for raw vegetables, drizzled over cooked vegetables, or to enhance hummus, tofu, beans, and more. 

Trader Joe’s does not exclusively sell healthy foods, but you still have a variety of healthy food options to choose from. You have plant-based protein foods like almond butter and tofu and plant-based dressings or pesto. Other options include avocados, lentils, lentil pasta, and more. 

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