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 plugs for 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.
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!
- 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!
- 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.
- Udi’s bread, buns and bagels
- PLEASE NOTE: I do not buy the brown rice tortillas at Trader Joe’s. See Gluten Free Watchdog reports for why.
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!)
- Brown Rice Fusili
- Brown Rice Penne
- Brown Rice Spaghetti
- Corn Penne
- Corn Spaghetti
- 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.
Dried Fruits and Nuts
- Raw Sunflower Seeds
- Raw Pepitas/Pumpkin Seeds
- Pine Nuts (amazing price!)
- Raw Almonds
- Raw Cashews
- Raw Walnuts
- 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)
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…