Oh how I love Trader Joe’s. I stopped by the itty bitty store on Boylston Street yesterday was ecstatic to see that finally canned pumpkin was on shelves for the Fall! To celebrate, I thought I’d share with you a mini haul featuring some of my new favorite products and a couple that I can’t imagine how I got by without them!

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In the winter, I love having  low carb dinner, like turkey meatloaf with asparagus. Then as a dessert, I’ll mix pumpkin puree with almond milk, stevia and slivered almonds or chia seeds. I make a few variations of this pumpkin pudding snack. It makes dessert a healthy addition to your meal instead of empty calories that are only serving to satisfy a craving and not actual hunger most of the time. If you are on the Tone It Up diet plan or other eating clean program, this is a great way to get in a sweet treat without using a cheat meal.

In the summer, I grill a lot. Once Fall hits, I don’t mind using the stove once again in my non-air conditioned apartment. One of my favorite fall go to meals is frozen broccoli with stir fried chicken and red curry sauce. The one I buy is never hot enough so I always add some Sriracha sauce. This one you can buy at Trader Joe’s tastes identical to the cult favorite name brand.

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My other go to topping is Trader Joe’s Balsamic Glaze. I am a sucker for ordering dishes at restaurants that have a balsamic glaze so when I discovered this gem earlier in the year, I was ecstatic. I like to take plain chicken breast, and top with diced tomatoes, wilted spinach and kalamata olives and a drizzle of this on top for a simple, tasty and quick week night meal.

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For the week days when you want to make an effort to bring your lunch to work or school, I discovered this ready to go salad recently and was impressed by it’s taste, size and nutrition facts. It has only 250 calories with the dressing on it! It also has 6g of fat, 4g of fiber, and 13g of protein.  I’m always wanting more from these types of salads but this one was actually satisfying.

Be careful with some of the TJ ready made salads, as the nutrition info sometimes states that 1/2 of the package is a serving.

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Boston is having a love affair with grilled cheese food trucks. I like to make my own healthy versions at home to avoid the unnecessary high calories. Between buttered bread, unmeasured amounts of cheese, crappy bread, it’s impossible to have a reasonable meal at one of these places. Nevertheless, the trucks around town do give me a hankering for one of my favorite childhood sandwiches. Trader Joe’s has The Laughing Cow light wedges like my favorite light cheddar which have only 35 calories per serving. Two wedges between two slices of my favorite Ezekial bread has only 230 calories. Add some turkey bacon or fig jam for extra flavor. Pair it with your favorite low sodium or homemade tomato soup for a weekend lunch this fall without the guilt.

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And I always allow myself one fun item that may not be on my “foods to eat every day” list which yesterday happened to be this new item, Coconut Cashews. Roomie loves coconut and cashews so I knew I had to buy it for him. They are delicious and addicting so be warned but a nice little something to have after a meal as a sweet ending.

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Lastly, in my continued effort to eat less meat, I found that this baked organic tofu is really flavorful for topping salads, having a snack or in a stir fry at night. I am not a big tofu person, but this organic item makes it easy and quick to eat more protein without worrying about GMOs, hormones, the environment or ethical treatment of animals.

I know not all of you have Trader Joe’s near you but if you do, what is your favorite item?

While I purchased all of these products on my own, I am an official 2013 brand ambassador for Bel Brands. All opinions are my own. If you want to win coupons for free Laughing Cow products, join my fall fitness Twitter chat at 1 pm ET on Thursday, October 3rd for ways to feel great this season. Just follow @TheLaughingCow and #FallFitness on Twitter. 

Trader Joe’s Fall Haul including PUMPKIN!

About The Author


  • Sarah McLaughlin

    Of their holiday items the pumpkin butter is delicious!! Love that baked tofu too! It’s one of my vegan staples. I also love their red pepper eqqplant spread! It’s good on sandwhiches or to dip crackers in! My absolute favorite are their roasted coconut chips. I put them on EVERYTHING. Ok not everything but I love them. Also love their plantain chips and lentil curls.

    • Sarah

      I love the roasted coconut chips too! I bought them last week or so and ate them almost immediately just by themselves. So good. I also am a fan of the red pepper eggplant spread but always forget which one I like when I get to the spread area. That one is my favorite for sure! Need to get it next time.

  • Chelsea @BigBiteLittleBudget

    I recently discovered Trader Joe’s and absolutely love it. The closest one is an hour away so when I go, it is a special treat. I absolutely love their coffee and that is where I buy my almond butter. I love your pumpkin pudding idea! I love pumpkin puree and buy it to add to my oatmeal in the morning. It tastes like a delicious warm pumpkin pie!!

  • Anna

    I love Trader Joe’s so much! I don’t think I could pick one favorite, but I like to get their organic apples and kale (chopped and washed. Love it), ACV, organic red quinoa (it’s really affordable, a little over $3 for the bag), almond flour, their sprouted multi-grain bread (I freeze it and pop it in the toaster/foreman if I’m craving bread/a sandwich), their organic Ruby Red Rooibos Chai, brown rice pasta or their quinoa/brown rice pasta when I crave carbs/pasta and their Low Sodium Organic Veggie Stock are all excellent. Not so healthy, but I also like their green tea mints and for something really indulgent -- their caramel (salted, I think) peanut butter dark chocolate truffles (I get these around Christmas and give some to friends. 🙂

    Your picks look delicious, also! I might need to try some of those coconut cashews. And they had a lot of pumpkin products last time I was there, but I must have missed (or maybe they didn’t have it in yet) the organic canned pumpkin. On the shopping list now. Thanks!

    • Sarah

      I used to LOVE the organic peanut butter but haven’t seen it in a while 🙁 I don’t like almond butter really but if it’s a new recipe, maybe I’ll try it 🙂

    • Lisa

      They have a new almond butter? I haven’t seen any almond butter at my TJ (in NorCal) lately, maybe that’s the reason why and they just haven’t introduced it in my city yet.

  • Beth

    I don’t have a Trader Joe’s near me, so when I’m near one, I always stock up on quinoa. I also love their brownie oat bars. They taste like a real brownie, but are low fat and full of fiber. I also love their dark chocolate bars; their dark chocolate coconut caramel is my favorite!

  • Renee

    I love everything about Trader Joe’s!!! My boyfriend and I love to buy their pre-cooked grilled chicken breast slices to have on hand & throw into salads/wraps and sandwiches. Also- the spicy black bean dip is to DIE for. Seriously could live off of that stuff.

  • Lisa

    I can’t remember the name of the TJ’s prepared salad I love, but it contains chickpeas with minced red pepper and cucumber and cracked wheat on a bed of shredded cabbage, seasoned with a not-too-garlicky lemony dressing. It also has grape tomatoes. It is SO good and crunchy! I tried recreating it once at home and I was close, but my dressing was not as flavorful. I love a cranberry spread they used to have, but I was disappointed not to see it the last time I was there. I also like their greek yogurt, almond flour and ( don’t laugh) prunes. The prunes aren’t “slimey” like some other name brands. I have also purchased the frozen prepared steel cut oatmeal, and have recreated it at home, freezing oatmeal in muffin cups. For a not-so-healthy treat, that’s still not THAT bad, I love their Iced Tea w/Lemon Fast Flavor Sticks. Only 4 carbs per half-packet (which is plenty flavor enough for me), these are great to mix with iced water for traveling or camping.

  • Lisa

    I love Trader Joe’s, but I was so bummed out to see that they added sugar in every seasonal pumpkin item -- except the pumpkin puree and pumpkin spice coffee (which I have yet to try out). Anyways, my TJ staples are organic kale, organic baby spinach, European whole grain bread (I’m pretty sure only European expats buy this), brown rice tortillas and unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

  • Rachel

    I’ll have to try out all of those. I love their brand of fruit bars, organic peanut butter, Dark Chocolate-Covered Pomegranate Seeds, and speculoos cookie butter (best thing ever. Seriously.). I also love anything that they let you sample haha

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