We of course had a few Trader Joe’s grocery stores to shop at while living in Chicago. I, however, loathed shopping there. It had nothing to do with the products they sell or the fact that my sister and I both got bit by an angry Schnauzer in the parking garage. No, it had absolutely everything to do with how small the stores were and how popular they were at the same time.
Ya see, I hate having these two feelings: 1. I’m in someone’s way, and 2. You’re in my way. But I love having these two feelings: 1. Oh my god that looks good, and 2. Oh my god that’s so cheap! Thus the love hate relationship with Trader Joe’s was born and ultimately, the hate trumped the love when we lived in Chicago.
But we don’t live in Chicago anymore. And while the Trader Joe’s down here in Indy is still small and cramped, it isn’t anywhere near as full of people. So I get to lolly gag in the aisles browsing at all the affordable goodness Trader Joe’s has to offer. Also, Marlo is hands-down the most popular person in the store when we go. The old ladies and the hippies just totally dig her. And she digs them back. This leads me into my second installment of Mommy and Marlo’s Favorite Things, all of which can be found at Trader Joe’s.
1. Frozen Avocado Halves
What?! No, that can’t be good. They’ll be all brown and gross and, no, nuh-uh. Well, I can’t exactly tell you if they’re as good as, or worse than fresh because I don’t like avocado. What I can tell you is – babies will eat them, and they aren’t all brown. They’ve been perfect for feeding to Marlo. She loves avocado but can only eat half of one on a good day. These have worked out wonderfully. They are a little more expensive than just buying fresh avocados (we’re talking cents, though) but there is much less (half, exactly) waste. If you live alone, or with someone who shares my dislike of avocado, but you want just a few slices on your pork tacos? Try these out. They probably won’t blow your mind, but they sure are convenient.
2. Dark Chocolate Almond Laceys
Now these… these might blow your mind. I remember buying these one day and the check-out girl fawned over how much she loved them, too. And then I said something like “Yeah and they really aren’t that bad for you.” Yeah, maybe compared to a Twinkie. She probably thought I was nuts, either that, or all I ate was Twinkies. I guess my thought behind that statement was that these are pretty pure. There’s mostly just the basic homemade cookies ingredients (butter, sugar, flour, dark chocolate, almonds and the like) and if you just eat one (good luck with that) you aren’t destroying the entire week’s workout, but it will taste like you are.
3. Unsweetened Green Tea with Mint
I never used to be a huge fan of mint. I still can’t stand peppermint flavored candies or gum. Maybe it was the pregnancy, but I have now grown this reserved affection for mint. There’s mint flavored sparkling water at Whole Foods. My whole family thought it tasted like bubbly mouthwash, I thought it tasted refreshing and elegant. I think this tastes refreshing and elegant, too, but not in such a blatant minty way. The mint’s very understated. Like it was brewed with the tea rather than added afterwards (who know what the truth is). Jeff loves it, too, so, it’s not all in my crazy minty head that this tastes fabulous. All while having no sugar added and being good for you in a green tea-that’s-packed-with-antioxidants way.
4. Any TJ’s rBST-free Dairy Products
Now that Marlo is drinking milk (hahahahaha, yeah in my wildest dreams she’s “drinking” milk instead of just trying it, spitting it out then throwing it on the floor) and eating cheese, it’s really important to me that she’s not consuming dairy products from cows that have been treated with hormones. There’s enough hormones in our drinking water, I’d like to keep it out of our milk. When shopping elsewhere, this normally means you have to buy organic. My bank account can’t exactly handle buying organic all the time. But, at Trader Joe’s all (if not, most) of their dairy products, organic and non-organic, are from cow’s that have not been treated with hormones. They make it real easy on me. I just go there, buy my string cheese, milk and yogurt and get on with my life
5. TJ’s Natural Peanut Butter and Pre-sliced Apples
TJ’s makes snacking healthily effortless. A bag of sliced apples? Yes please. And, I’ve never liked natural peanut butters in the past, but my sister turned me on to TJ’s to dip apples in. I still prefer JIF for sandwiches, but this is perfect for coating every appley bite in salty, delicious peanut butter.
Do you have any Trader Joe’s favorites?