Vegan Month of Food: Trader Joe’s

For those of you not familiar with the cult, err, grocery store known as Trader Joe’s, get familiar.

People are crazy dedicated to the original products that Trader Joe’s offers, if you haven’t heard of the infamous Cookie Butter or “Two-Buck Chuck” Charles Shaw Wine by now you may be living under a rock.

I love Trader Joes because they have many quality, organic products for a really low price. They also have a revolutionary freezer section and an awesome dried fruit and nut selection. Although Trader Joe’s is not a health food store by any means (there is plenty of junk food lurking the TJs aisles) they happen to offer a lot of “health foodie” products with new ones hitting the shelves all the time.

Whether you are new to Trader Joe’s or a seasoned veteran, I think you will enjoy my “Trader Joe’s Vegan Health Foodie Favorite’s List.” Without further ago, in no particular order…

1. Steamed Lentils

  • Trader Joes steamed lentils made solely with lentils, salt and natural flavors and are extremely convenient. These delicious lentils are perfect in recipes that call for lentils or add them to a salad to turn it into a meal.

lentils

2. Organic Power Greens

  • You just can’t beat this organic trio of baby kale, chard and spinach. I love this versatile blend as a salad, stirred into soups or sautéed, or even in green smoothies.

power-greens

3. Chia Seeds

  • At $5.99 a bag you can’t find chia seeds at this price at other health food stores. I use them in oatmeal, smoothies, jams, No Meat Athlete’s “Pre-Race Waffles” and as a egg-replacer in baking. Chia seeds are one of my favorite superfoods because they are a great source of vegan protein, healthy fats and fiber, they make you feel fuller for longer, they are great running fuel and I love what they do to the texture of recipes!

94932-chia-seeds

4. Coconut Oil and Spray

  • Another one of those products where you can find at every health food store but you just can’t beat the price at TJs. Plus the matching logo on the jar and the spray bottle is very cute. Coconut oil is another healthy baking essential for me. I love using the spray for grilling, high-heat cooking and making my famous “Quite Reasonable” cookies.

412ynI8wMPL

5. Dark Unsweetened Cherries

Seasonal item so make sure not to miss these! Normally dried fruit has added sugar but these are some of the most soft and sweet dried cherries I’ve ever tasted with absolutely nothing else added! I use them in baking, trail mix and as an oatmeal/cereal topper.

515-ZwHUCsL._SX300_

6. Organic 3-Grain Tempeh

  • I’ve tried other tempeh brands but seriously nothing else compares. I don’t even mind the taste of this one plain/raw. Made with soybeans, barley, millet and brown rice, I like how this isn’t solely soy-based. Great for grilling, stir-frying or crumbled up in tempeh chili, the possibilities are endless.

trader-joes-organic-3-grain-tempeh-1

7. Cowboy Caviar

  • This slightly spicy black bean, corn and red pepper “salsa” is one of those dips that will most likely be eaten straight out of the jar by the spoonful. It is also great on corn chips, raw veggies or literally anything you can get your hands on. Disclaimer: there is no actual caviar in Cowboy Caviar.

cowboy-caviar

8. Frozen Roasted Corn

  • I always keep a bag of this in my freezer, always good to have on hand for soups, salads or Mexican night! Nothing beats the smokey, roasted flavor and the convenience of this product.

img_0545

9. Frozen Organic Brown Rice

  • Another freezer staple, this rice has certainly changed the grain game. Microwave for 3 minutes and you have perfectly cooked rice! This stuff takes away the “rice-cooking” step in recipes and makes for the perfect side dish or grain-bowl base when you are short on time.

Browrice-1

10. 100 Calorie 70% Dark Chocolate Bars

  • The convenient, single serving packet, reasonable ingredient list and high enough cacao content make this chocolate bar my go-to dessert item or sneak-into-the-theater movie snack.

TJ-dark-bar

11. Green Fin Red Table Wine

  • At $3.99 per bottle, you can’t beat the price of Green Fin Red Table Wine. Made with organic grapes and certified vegan (I guess all wines aren’t) you can’t beat the quality either. Don’t let the “table wine” title fool you, this wine could go head-to-head taste-wise with some of the fancier bottles I’ve had. Other red varieties, different whites, and a rosé have all recently been introduced, but my personal favorite is the classic Red Table Wine.

IMG_3248

Advertisements

The Superfoodie Super Product Review: Vigilant Eats’ Organic Superfood Oat-Based Cereal

Welcome to the first official Superfoodie Super Product Review post! Today I will be reviewing Vigilant Eat’s Organic Superfood Oat-Based Cereal. This is a product that I have been wanting to try for a while, but have resisted due to the price, so when I saw it on sale at my local health-food store, from $3.59 to $2.69, I took this as a sign and opportunity that I should grab this product.

photo copy 3

As many of you know, I am an oatmeal fanatic. I am also an on-the-go fanatic. On most mornings, you can find me at a coffee shop with a mini mason jar full of some sort of superfoodie oat concoction. Sometimes its overnight oats, sometimes I add hot water on-the-go, sometimes I bring a little side of almond-butter or a banana, the possibilities are endless.

So naturally, when I see a prepackaged on-the-go oatmeal with SUPERFOOD in big letters on the packaging, I am going to want to try it. The package also says “spoon included,” and as many of you also know I am a sucker for cutsie spoons. This brand, Vigilant Eat’s, was available in four different flavors; Goji Cacao, Coconut Maple Vanilla, Espresso Maca Mulberry, and Maca Double Chocolate.

photo

All of the combinations sounded delicious to me, but I chose the Goji Cacao because it was the lowest in sugar and goji berries and cacao are two of my favorite things.

The package advises you to add cold water. It also says you can alternatively add hot water or milk. I decided to stick with the original and add some cold water once I got to my favorite coffee café. I added cold water a little at a time because I am not a fan of watery oats. I continuously stirred (using the cute mini-spoon included) and waited for it to thicken up a little.

photo copy

Flavor: Overall, I thought it was delicious. It was sweetener than I normally take my oats, thanks to the maple syrup powder but not overly sweet. The goji berries were large and there was a lot of them, which was a pleasant surprise! The flavor also tasted cinnamon-y, this was the last ingredient on the list so it was surprising how powerful this flavor was.

photo copy 2

Nutrition: This package of oats clocked in at 300 calories. I normally try to keep my breakfasts roughly between 300-500 calories. So plus the almond milk cappuccino I had put it in that range. All of the ingredients were real and Superfoodie-approved. This flavor has 6 grams of sugar

photo copy 5 photo copy 6

Overall, I don’t think these oats will be on my regular shopping list due to the cost and added sugar, but I thought they were delicious and make a great treat or a convenient on-the-go breakfast from time to time. I definitely want to try the other flavors!