Talk to almost any food lover, and they’ll say that one of their favorite places to shop for groceries is Trader Joe’s. The employees wear Hawaiian shirts, the samples are always delicious, and the prices are better than reasonable.
While Trader Joe’s offers interesting and unique products year-around, summertime is a particularly special time at this store. Produce is abundant, flavors are at their peak, and the prices...well, they’re still better than reasonable.
Here are some in-season selections you should check out during your next grocery trip:
A fairly new item to the Trader Joe’s summer lineup, this organic tahini is a creamy, seed-centric alternative to peanut butter or almond butter. Because it’s made from sesame seeds, it will still have that rich and nutty flavor that we all know and love in a nut butter. Use it as you would peanut or almond butter - on sandwiches, in desserts, or with fruit -, or mix it up with some lemon juice, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pepper for a quick and easy homemade salad dressing.
Recipes to try: Lightened Up Protein Power Goddess Bowl from Oh She Glows and Dark Chocolate Tahini Brownies from The Healthy Maven
Take a look around the aisles at Trader Joe’s, and you’ll see that they’ve gone a little mango crazy this year: mango ice cream, mango cereal, and even mango popcorn. While those vessels for mango may be fun, they’re not necessarily the healthiest ways to enjoy this orange fruit. Instead, try munching on it either fresh or dried. While fresh mango is a perfect addition to a summer salad, salsa, or dessert, dried mango is a tasty and nutrient-dense snack you can take on-the-go.
Recipes to try: Fresh Mango Salsa from Cookie and Kate and Rainbow Fruit Salad from The Cozy Apron
Cold Brew Coffee
Trader Joe’s Cold Brew Coffee is another newbie on the TJ’s shelves, but it’s one that you should absolutely check out if you’re a coffee lover. Not only does their Cold Brew Coffee have a sweet and luscious taste, but it’s offered in an organic version too! Try it over ice with a splash of almond milk for a plant-based alternative to iced coffee or use it in a summery frozen treat like a vegan and refined sugar-free popsicle.
Recipes to try: Coconut Cold Brew Ice Pops from Trader Joe’s and Cold Brew Caramel Frappuccino from Minimalist Baker
No foodie list is complete without this green fruit! Because avocados are in-season this month, be sure to pick up a few for your next grocery haul. They’re high in fiber and in healthy fats, which will help keep your hunger at bay for longer. The uses of avocado are virtually endless: Insta-worthy avocado toast, guacamole, salads, tacos, ice cream...you name it! Its neutral flavor and high fat content make it a blank canvas upon which you can concoct your perfect avocado treat.
Recipes to try: Avocado, Pistachio, & Matcha Ice Cream from The Healthy Foodie and Caprese Avocado Toast from Two Peas and their Pod
Frozen Fire-Roasted Corn
Get the flavors of the grill in TJ’s freezer section! Fresh corn is plentiful in the fresh produce section, but if you’re at a house or apartment without a grill, it’s tough to get that fire-roasted, caramelized corn flavor indoors. Luckily, Trader Joe’s does the hard work for us so we can have roasted corn any time. It has a sweeter, slightly smoky flavor than regular corn, so there’s nothing better during the summer months.
Recipes to try: Chipotle Sweet Potato Noodle Salad with Roasted Corn from Pinch of Yum and Roasted Corn Caesar Salads with Parmesan Greek Yogurt Caesar Dressing from How Sweet It Is
When the heat is at its peak in the summer, a no-bake, no-cook meal is never a bad thing. Because of their protein and fiber, they regulate blood sugar and add a bit of bulk to any meal. Even better news? Trader Joe’s sells each can for under $1! Add them to tacos, to salads, to stir-fries, and even to healthier brownies. You can even whip up a vegan marshmallow fluff using aquafaba, the water in a can of chickpeas.
Recipes to try: Vegan S’mores from Olives for Dinner and White Bean Caprese Salad from Skinnytaste
Last but certainly not least, salsa! It’s not summer without having Mexican food at least once a week. Salsa can add some spice and flavor while adding very few calories to breakfast (huevos rancheros, salsa on eggs, and breakfast burritos), lunch (tacos salads), or dinner (burrito bowls, tacos, and enchiladas)! Trader Joe’s offers a wide selections of fruit- and vegetable-packed flavors, so try out a few and find out your favorites!
Recipes to try: Easy Burrito Bowls from Damn Delicious and Skilled Baked Huevos Rancheros from Aberdeen’s Kitchen
What are some of your favorite Trader Joe’s buys in the summer?