If you’re like most of us here at HUM HQ, you’re a loyal Trader Joe’s shopper. And nothing excites you more than the Trader Joe’s fall offerings. Really, how can you not get overjoyed by things like pumpkin butter, pumpkin bagels and pumpkin spice coffee, among other things?! We won’t lie, it’s easy to find yourself with a cart full of sweet treats and savory-faves that you just can’t stop eating, but we’re here to help with that.
In this article we bring you the healthiest fall themed food options from Trader Joe’s. Plus, we share a few delicious dietitian-approved recipes to help you make the most of your trip and treat your tastebuds. Read on to get your pumpkin spice fix!
The Art of Smart Shopping
While it’s easy to get swept up in the excitement of pumpkin-spiced everything and cozy autumn flavors, the importance of mindful shopping cannot be overstated.
In fact, mindful shopping is the cornerstone of a healthy and balanced diet. It’s especially crucial when faced with the cornucopia of tempting fall offerings. To make the most of your Trader Joe’s visit, start by reading labels diligently. Look for products with simple, recognizable ingredients, and avoid items with excessive artificial additives, preservatives, or high levels of added sugars.
When navigating the fall aisles, always remember to prioritize nutritional value. Opt for whole, unprocessed foods whenever possible. Fresh produce like apples, squash, and kale are fall superstars packed with vitamins and fiber. Consider choosing whole-grain options for bread and pasta, and lean toward lean proteins like turkey or tofu for hearty fall recipes.
You know it, but we’ll still say it, balance is key! While it’s okay to indulge in seasonal treats occasionally, make sure your cart is primarily filled with nutritious choices.
Fall Favorites at Trader Joe’s
Here’s the thing about Trader Joe’s, the place never disappoints when it comes to seasonal must-haves, and their fall-themed products are no exception. Surely you’re asking what are the healthiest fall-inspired items available at Trader Joe’s? We’ve got answers that include both fresh and prepackaged options, along with their nutritional benefits and versatility in creating wholesome meals. See for yourself:
- Pumpkin Puree: Trader Joe’s offers canned pumpkin puree that’s not only convenient, but also packed with vitamins and fiber. It’s an ideal and versatile ingredient for making soups, smoothies and baked goods.
- Butternut Squash: Fresh butternut squash is a fall favorite, and Trader Joe’s has pre-cut options that save you time in the kitchen. This option is rich in vitamins A and C and can be roasted, steamed, or used in soups and salads.
- Seasonal Fruits: Trader Joe’s doesn’t hold back when it comes to their wide variety of seasonal fruits like apples, pears, and cranberries. These fruits are high in antioxidants, fiber, and essential nutrients, which makes them perfect for snacking or adding to oatmeal and yogurt.
- Whole Grain Options: Look for whole-grain products like whole wheat bread, whole grain pasta, and brown rice at Trader Joe’s. These options provide more fiber and nutrients than their refined counterparts. Whole-grain options are fantastic when it comes to helping you maintain steady energy levels.
- Prepackaged Soups: Trader Joe’s offers a range of hearty, low-sodium soups, including their popular Butternut Squash Soup. These soups are convenient for quick and nutritious meals. And dare we say it, wildly delicious.
- Harvest Grains Blend: This mix of Israeli couscous, red quinoa, and baby garbanzo beans is a great source of protein and fiber. Use it as a side dish or base for a hearty salad.
- Pumpkin Spice Yogurt: Finally, the magic word: pumpkin. For a delightful treat, try Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Spice Greek Yogurt. It’s a protein-packed option with the comforting flavors of fall.
These fall favorites at Trader Joe’s not only capture the essence of the season but really deliver on the health benefits. It’s easy to incorporate these picks into your meals so you get to enjoy the flavors of autumn without sacrificing your wellness goals.
Delicious Trader Joe’s Fall Recipes
Those recipes we promised? Here they are. Detailed and easy to follow for a hearty fall-inspired weeknight meal.
Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup
Warm, comforting, and loaded with essential fall flavors, this Pumpkin and Butternut Squash Soup is not only a treat for your taste buds but also a nutritional powerhouse. How so? It’s packed with high fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants, this soup is a perfect addition to your autumn menu. Plus, it’s easily customizable to suit various dietary preferences, making it a versatile option for everyone at the table.
- 2 cups of butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 cup of canned pumpkin puree
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 4 cups low-sodium vegetable broth
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Optional toppings: toasted pumpkin seeds, a dollop of Greek yogurt, or a drizzle of maple syrup for added sweetness
1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped onion and garlic, sauté until softened and fragrant, about 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the cubed butternut squash, canned pumpkin puree, ground cinnamon, ground nutmeg, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir to combine the ingredients and let them cook for another 3-4 minutes, allowing the spices to bloom.
3. Pour in the vegetable broth and bring the mixture to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer, cover the pot, and let it cook for about 20-25 minutes, or until the squash is tender.
4. Remove the pot from heat and allow the soup to cool slightly. Then, use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Alternatively, transfer the mixture to a blender in batches and blend until creamy.
5. Return the pureed soup to the pot and reheat over low heat. Adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper if needed.
6. Serve hot, garnished with your choice of optional toppings.
- For a creamier texture, add a splash of coconut milk or cream.
- Adjust the spices to your liking, adding more cinnamon or nutmeg for a bolder flavor.
- To make it vegan, use vegetable broth and skip the optional yogurt topping.
Autumn Harvest Salad
Go on, let yourself embrace the bountiful flavors of fall with this vibrant and nutrient-packed Autumn Harvest Salad. Featuring seasonal produce from Trader Joe’s, a medley of nuts, and a homemade vinaigrette, this salad is a delightful fusion of textures and flavors that’s both satisfying and healthy.
- For the Salad:
- 4 cups mixed greens or baby spinach
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash (Trader Joe’s pre-cut for convenience)
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s Honeycrisp apple slices
- 1/2 cup pomegranate seeds
- 1/4 cup toasted pecans or walnuts
- 1/4 cup crumbled feta cheese (optional for added creaminess)
- 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion
For the Vinaigrette:
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey or maple syrup
- 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Salt and pepper to taste
1. Start by roasting the butternut squash. Toss the squash cubes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for 20-25 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized. Let it cool.
2. In a large salad bowl, assemble the mixed greens, roasted butternut squash, apple slices, pomegranate seeds, toasted nuts, feta cheese (if desired), and sliced red onion.
3. In a separate small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey or maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper until well combined.
4. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad just before serving. Toss gently to coat all the ingredients evenly.
5. Serve immediately as a colorful and nutrient-packed side dish or add grilled chicken or tofu for a complete meal.
Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal
Start your crisp fall mornings on a cozy note with this heartwarming and nutritious Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal. Made with seasonal apples and Trader Joe’s rolled oats, this recipe not only celebrates the flavors of autumn but also offers a wholesome and satisfying breakfast without added sugars.
- 1 cup Trader Joe’s Rolled Oats
- 2 cups water
- 2 apples, peeled, cored, and chopped (choose a variety like Honeycrisp for natural sweetness)
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- A pinch of salt
- Chopped nuts (walnuts or almonds) for garnish (optional)
- Greek yogurt or almond milk for serving (optional)
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 cups of water to a boil.
2. Stir in the rolled oats and reduce the heat to a simmer. Cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the oats begin to thicken.
3. Add the chopped apples, ground cinnamon, and a pinch of salt to the oats. Continue to simmer, stirring occasionally, until the apples are tender and the oatmeal reaches your desired consistency, about 5-7 minutes.
4. Remove from heat and let it rest for a minute to allow the flavors to meld.
5. Serve your warm and comforting apple cinnamon oatmeal in bowls. Top with chopped nuts for added texture and a dollop of Greek yogurt or a splash of almond milk for extra creaminess, if desired.
**Heart-Healthy and Naturally Sweet:**
This Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal is not only the perfect way to savor the season’s apples but also a heart-healthy breakfast option. Rolled oats are rich in soluble fiber, which helps lower cholesterol levels and promote heart health. Plus, the natural sweetness of apples and the warmth of cinnamon mean you can enjoy a delicious breakfast without the need for added sugars. Fantastic, in our opinion.
Is It Dietitian-Approved?
At HUM you know we always defer to our RDs when we want to the real deal on what’s healthy, what’s not, what’s going to contribute to us reaching our wellness goals and what just might set us back. So we asked Gaby Vaca-Flores for some insight on the best picks when it comes to Trader Joe’s fall offerings. Here’s what she had to share with us:
- “My top pick from Trader Joe’s is the pumpkin overnight oats. Not only do they taste great, but they’re also packed with dietary fiber. I’m also enjoying the Honey Crisp Apple Cinnamon Greek Yogurt because it adds protein and a festive twist to my morning breakfast.”
And because we know there are some concerns that often arise when it comes to fall-themed eating, we asked her about the most efficient way to mitigate some of those concerns.
- “Eating enough protein early in the day can help you curb cravings and resist the temptation to overindulge later on, making it an especially helpful tip when you’re attending gatherings with seasonal treats.”
Sustainability and Ethical Choices
Trader Joe’s isn’t just about great food; it’s also committed to sustainability and ethical sourcing–something we really value here at HUM. Similar to us, they prioritize eco-conscious practices, support Fair Trade and responsible fishing, and work to reduce the use of plastic packaging. As consumers, it’s crucial to consider the environmental impact of our food choices. Wouldn’t you agree? That’s why we think it’s important to opt for products that align with sustainable and ethical values, not only the health benefits. It’s about protecting the planet too. Trader Joe’s is always a go-to because it’s a grocer that allows us to make delicious and responsible choices, ensuring that the joy of food doesn’t come at the cost of our environment. And we love that for you–and us!
That’s a Pumpkin-Flavored Wrap
In the colorful aisles of Trader Joe’s fall offerings, we often discover a world of delightful flavors waiting to be explored. From all of the mouth-watering pumpkin-spiced treats to vibrant produce, there’s something for everyone to savor. By choosing healthy options like Trader Joe’s fresh fruits, whole grains, and nutrient-rich ingredients, indulging in the pleasures of the season is more of a stress-free experience. We can still nourish our bodies and we;re not forced to sacrifice yummy flavors at the cost of derailing our wellness routines.
And keep in mind as you load up your cart during your next visit, Trader Joe’s fall products aren’t just ingredients; they’re creative possibilities for crafting nutritious meals. Don’t ignore the recipes we shared. You’ll be delighted by the tastes of a hearty soup, a vibrant salad, or a comforting oatmeal bowl–all made at home! To us, these are seasonal treasures.
Let go and embrace all the wonder that the fall season brings. That’s certainly our plan. Remember to take on the challenge and approach your Trader Joe’s shopping trip with mindfulness and a focus on health. Here’s to a delicious fall season that’s overflowing with health and goodness!
What are you grabbing on your next TJ’s trip?