I Shopped Here: Trader Joe’s

I occasionally share “I Ate Here” posts of restaurants where I have dined.  By request, I am adding more to this series, as well as “I Shopped Here” and “I Drank here” posts to help y’all have an even more fabulous time living a healthy, gluten-free life!

When I am teaching cooking classes, my students often say, “Trader Joe’s should sponsor you!” in response to my frequent mentions of their products.  I do buy quite a few items from Trader Joe’s and was a customer before there were stores in Kansas City.  I would pack an extra suitcase if I was traveling to a city with Trader Joe’s and on a few occasions, made trips to St. Louis to re-stock the pantry. Once I even saw Elvis shopping at Trader Joe’s in Las Vegas.

trader joes vegas

Folks who haven’t shopped at Trader Joe’s ask me why, what’s the big deal?  For me, the big deal is primarily cost.  I can buy dried fruit and nuts for a fraction of the price at the supermarket.  Organic produce is often priced similarly to conventional produce elsewhere. Ingredients are a big deal to me, I never have to worry about artificial colors or HFCS in products at Trader Joe’s.

There are a fair number of gluten-free products in the store and many products are labeled g+, which means no gluten ingredients used.  As with any store, please read the labels carefully!  Although many of these products do not contain gluten ingredients, they are manufactured in a shared facility that does use wheat.  You know your body well, buy only those products you feel safe consuming.

Below is a list of the products I most frequently buy at Trader Joe’s.  I’ve created the list aisle-by-aisle to help you easily locate the items.  If you have a healthy, gluten-free product you buy at Trader Joe’s that isn’t on the list, please leave a comment below.  Let’s help each other shop!

One quick tip before I dive into the list:  Take your own shopping bags to Trader Joe’s.  I’m not suggesting this just because it’s environmentally friendly.  Trader Joe’s has a gift certificate drawing for customers with reusable bags.  Bring your own bags and get an entry into the drawing to win a store gift card.  I like that incentive!   (These are my favorite shopping bags.  And these are the reusable produce bags I use.)

carrots dates trader joes

Produce

  • Organic Romaine Hearts
  • Organic Carrots
  • Butternut Squash, cut into cubes
  • Organic Blueberries
  • Medjool Dates (almost hidden on the top shelf, half the price of most stores!)
  • Super Firm Organic Tofu
  • Organic Fruit is often very affordable, take a look to see what looks good!

 

injohnnaskitchen tjs frozen pizza

Frozen Foods

  • Organic Brown Rice Packets (I can cook rice quickly, but sometimes don’t plan well. Lifesaver for me!)
  • Gluten-Free Pizza (read my review here)
  • Gluten-Free Toaster Waffles (I don’t eat these often, but they are the best I have tried.  And only $2!)
  • Organic Frozen Veggies, offerings vary.  In the Winter, I buy frozen Brussels sprouts here.

Bread Area

  • Udi’s bread, buns and bagels
  • Corn Tortillas

 

canned goods trader joes

Canned Foods Aisles

  • Organic Diced Tomatoes
  • Organic Crushed Tomatoes
  • Organic Diced Fire Roasted Tomatoes with Chiles
  • Organic Black Beans
  • Organic Tomato Paste
  • Crushed Garlic in a jar (works great in a pinch if out of fresh garlic!)
  • Roasted Red Peppers in a jar
  • Pickle Relish (no HFCS!)
  • Organic Marinara Sauce (only a few cents more than conventional, great price!)
  • Pizza Sauce in a jar
  • Pink Himalayan Sea Salt in a grinder
  • Cold Pressed Olive Oil
  • Coconut Oil (To me, the Trader Joe’s brand has a distinct coconut flavor.  If you don’t like coconut, buy a different brand.)
  • Balsamic Vinegar
  • Organic Coffee, many varieties!
  • Raw Almond Butter
  • Vegetable Broth in a box (regular and low-sodium varieties available)
  • Applesauce Cups, unsweetened (each cup is 1/2 cup, which is great when a recipe calls for a small quantity.)
  • Organic Pumpkin Puree (seasonal, stock up when you spot it!)

 

pasta trader joes

Pasta

  • Brown Rice Fusili
  • Brown Rice Penne
  • Brown Rice Spaghetti
  • Corn Penne
  • Corn Spaghetti

 

trader joes oats

Pantry Staples

  • Gluten-Free Oats
  • Almond Milk (Almond Breeze, same as supermarket, just a great price!)
  • Chia Seeds (little purple bag, around $5)
  • Raw Agave Nectar (I only recommend buying raw agave)
  • Coarse Almond Meal (I don’t recommend this for fine crumb baking, like cakes, but this is wonderful for a rustic pizza crust.)
  • Maple Syrup, Grade A and B are priced similarly and there is a Vermont-only bottle available.

 

fruit and nuts

Dried Fruits and Nuts

  • Raw Sunflower Seeds
  • Raw Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds
  • Pine Nuts (amazing price!)
  • Raw Almonds
  • Raw Cashews
  • Raw Walnuts
  • Macadamias
  • Just Mango  (dried, unsweetened mango slices)
  • Nothing But Banana (I call this Flat Banana, dried banana leather)
  • Dried Cherries, unsweetened (two varieties, Montmorency and Dark Sweet)
  • Dried Peaches, unsweetened
  • Dried Apple Rings, unsweetened
  • Dried Apricots, (two varieties, standard and Turkish)
  • Raisin medley (three pretty colors of plump raisins)
  • Dried Baby Pineapple, unsweetened
  • Sundried Tomatoes, NOT in oil, in a baggie (these are sometimes with dried fruit, sometimes with canned tomatoes)

Sweet Treats and Cookies

I wrote an additional post all about the gluten-free cookie options at Trader Joe’sClick here to read it.  There are many options, my favorite being the Gluten-Free JoeJoe’s, an oreo-like cookie.

 

Trader Joe’s has a No Gluten Ingredients Used list on their website.  My list is not intended to provide a comprehensive list of all gluten-free products in the store, just the ones I use most.  I hope this is a good resource for those of you cooking the recipes I share here on my blog and also those who attend my classes.  When I first made dietary modifications, knowing where to get the goods was really helpful to me and I hope this helps you! Shop on, happy eaters…

 

Comments

  1. says

    Such a great post, Johnna! I love these types of posts. I’m sure many will find them helpful. I’m not sure we’ll ever get a Trader Joe’s, but if we do or I get to visit one elsewhere, I’ll refer to your list. :-) Oh, and I love the Elvis photo! I think the title should be, “I (and Elvis) Shopped Here: Trader Joes.” ;-)

    Shirley

  2. Andre says

    Excellent post and list! I’m about a month in to learning of my gluten sensitivity and cutting it out of my diet. I was just looking for the black beans, but found the mother load here, thank you so much!

  3. Eric says

    Be very careful with Trader Joe’s gluten free products. If you read the fine prints, many of Trader Joe’s gluten free products are manufactured on equipment that also processes wheat. I am allergic to gluten and I finally stop buying Trader Joes’s gluten free products.

    • says

      Thanks for your comment, Eric! I’ve mentioned that in this post, as there is definitely a difference in “no gluten ingredients” and “gluten-free.” I am also very sensitive to gluten with a severe reaction and haven’t had any issues with the items I buy at Trader Joe’s but think it is important for folks like you to share your experiences, too. :)

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