TIME Diet/Nutrition

What to Buy at Trader Joe’s, According to Food Experts

Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is made popular with its selection of gourmet, vegetarian and organic food options, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015.
Melissa Renwick—Toronto Star/Getty Images Grocery chain, Trader Joe's, is made popular with its selection of gourmet, vegetarian and organic food options, in Buffalo, NY. JULY 10, 2015.

From sauerkraut to trail mix

“Healthy food is so expensive!” I often hear this complaint from people when I tell them what I do for a living. And it’s true; organic produce, pastured eggs, high-end cooking oils—all of these things can really add up. But you don’t have to take out a second mortgage to eat well. There are healthy deals to be had. As I’ve written before, I rely on my local Trader Joe’s for amazing prices on my favorite good-for-you staples. Read on for a few of the Trader Joe’s products I shopped for this week, as well as top TJ’s picks from other food experts.

Pre-riced cauliflower

($2.49 for 16 oz.)

“You already know cauliflower rice is super-trendy, and for good reason: It’s loaded with fiber, potassium, and vitamins C, K, and B6—all for around 25 calories per cup, compared to more than 200 for a cup of brown rice. Now, it’s even easier to enjoy it. I recommend using it to make a healthier rice pudding!”

—Beth Lipton

Trader Joe’s Red Pepper Spread with Eggplant & Garlic

($2 for 12 oz.)

“It’s super versatile; I spread it on crackers, use it as a dip, or mix it into a stir-fry. I also love adding it to leftovers to give them a new flavor profile.”

—Wendy Bazilian, DrPH, author of Eat Clean, Stay Lean

Trader Joe’s Raw Sauerkraut with Persian Cucumbers

($3.99 for 14 oz.)

“If you’ve had sticker shock buying sauerkraut in the refrigerated section of your supermarket, good news: TJ’s has containers for just $3.99. In my local health-food store, I’ve seen smaller jars that cost nearly three times as much.”

—Beth Lipton

Trader Joe’s Go Raw Trek Mix

($6 for 16 oz.)

“This trail mix contains no added oils or salt. I like to portion it into single-serve bags and keep one in my purse for a quick snack that’s filled with protein and fiber.”

—Erika Horowitz, RDN, a dietitian in New York City

Trader Joe’s 10 Minute Barley

($1.79 for 8.8 oz.)

“This one gets points for price and convenience. Barley is a whole grain, loaded with fiber, protein, and tons of minerals. You might pay less for barley in a bulk bin, but you’d have to fully cook it, which can take 40 minutes or longer. Here you get pre-cooked barley, so it’s ready in 10 minutes, but still super-cheap. And Trader Joe’s sells 10 Minute Farro, too!”

—Beth Lipton

Trader Joe’s Gone Bananas

($2 for 8 oz.)

“Chocolate-covered frozen banana bites are great when you’re craving a sweet but low-calorie snack.”

—Leah Cohen, chef and owner of Pig & Khao in New York City

Trader Joe’s Just Almond Meal

($14.99 for 1 lb.)

“Whether you’re avoiding grains and using it for baked goods, or adding it to up the protein, you already know how pricey almond meal can be. Except at Trader Joe’s, where a pound is only $6.99. What’s that? You only use blanched almond flour (lighter and more delicate because the skins have been removed)? No problem; TJ’s has it for $7.99 a pound. My local supermarket sells another brand for—wait for it—$14.99 for that same pound.”

—Beth Lipton

Trader Joe’s Fig Butter

($2 for 11 oz.)

“I like to spread it on a grilled sandwich with fresh mozzarella, arugula, prosciutto, and balsamic dressing. Delicious!”

—Molly Martin, culinary director at Salt & Vine in Nashville

Trader Joe’s Pomegranate Seeds

($3.99 for 5.3 oz.)

“I buy the prepped pomegranate seeds from Trader Joe’s. While they’re more expensive than a whole pomegranate, the time commitment (and stain potential) often deters me from peeling the fruit myself. A handful of these little seeds adds sweet, tart flavor to Greek yogurt, salads, or a veggie stir-fry. And they’re so nutritious!”

—Wendy Bazilian

This article originally appeared on Health.com

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