5 go-to items from Trader Joe’s

photo of a Trader Joe's
Anthony Angel Pérez/Staff

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As one of the closest grocery stores to UC Berkeley, Trader Joe’s on University Avenue is my main source of food. It has everything from fresh ingredients for full meals to packaged snacks and drinks. Here are five staple items from Trader Joe’s that I always stock up on. Check them out on your next grocery run!

Ancient grains and nuts granola

Trader Joe’s has various granola options available, but I especially love this one because you can eat it in various ways — with milk as cereal, on yogurt and as a raw snack. The chunks of various grains are full of texture and have a nutty flavor with a hint of coconut. For a quick breakfast, I combine them with Trader Joe’s organic plain yogurt, blueberries (both frozen and fresh blueberries are great options) and roasted nuts with a drizzle of honey on top. For nondairy options, eating it with almond or soy milk also results in a filling breakfast or snack.

Riced cauliflower

I usually make rice without a rice cooker by microwaving frozen rice. Trader Joe’s has many options available, and while I usually get its frozen brown rice, I also make sure to get riced cauliflower. For a more balanced meal than just a bowl of rice, I fill up half my bowl with riced cauliflower and the rest with brown rice. I like to top my rice with seasoned chicken and baby spring mix along with a splatter of soy sauce and sesame oil for a simple lunch bowl.

Orange chicken

This microwavable frozen orange chicken tastes almost as good as Panda Express, if not better when cooked in the oven. Since the chicken is fully cooked, you can simply heat it up and drizzle the included sauce on top. I like to side mine with frozen broccoli and Brussel sprouts for a quick, full meal. If you’re in a rush, you can literally throw the chicken, sauce and frozen vegetables in a bowl and microwave them all together.

Cocoa baton wafer cookies

You need to try these perfectly textured treats: crunchy wafer on the outside, rich creamy chocolate on the inside. I tried Trader Joe’s medium roast 100% Arabica ground coffee, and it pairs perfectly with these wafer cookies for a morning treat or an afternoon snack. You know what they say, some may never purchase these, but no one will buy them only once. They are that good.

Mango mini mochi

These bite-sized mini mochi balls are perfect for a quick, light snack when you’re feeling something cold and sweet. Trader Joe’s currently sells mini mochi in two flavors, mango and Thai tea. More flavors such as matcha and strawberry are available in bigger-sized mochi. As the chewy mochi seals off the ice cream in smaller portions, having just one or two allows you to enjoy ice cream without feeling guilty.

Try these items on your next run to Trader Joe’s — I promise you won’t regret your purchases.

Contact Eunkyo Jo at [email protected].