Foods I discovered while Fearlessly Flying at Trader Joe’s

Alisa Fleming ~ The winter “Fearless Flyer” finally arrived last week at my local Trader Joe’s.  After enjoying their product anecdotes, I used the new little shopping checklist within the flyer (nice marketing tactic) to ensure I didn’t miss anything.  Today I managed to shake the husband for some relaxing aisle cruising.  It is always such madness at Trader Joe’s on the weekend that shopping with anyone else can be a nightmare.  Solo, I was able to linger, check out products, and read ingredient labels to my heart’s content!  As luck would have it, I did find a few new gems…

What I bought:

Creamy Vegetable Medley Bisque (aseptic package) – $2.49 – Dairy-free, gluten-free, soy-free, and vegan (okay, it does contain a touch of honey) this blend of interesting ingredients was too intriguing for me to pass up.  It is made with sweet potato, parsnips, onions, plantains, carrots, coconut cream (but it is very low in fat), and other natural ingredients.  The only reason I debated it was that the sugars and sodium are a touch high, but hey, you can’t have it all.  I will put up a review in product reviews as soon as I give this one a try.  Next on the list are the Carrot Ginger and Sweet Potato Creamy Soups.

Brown Rice Tortillas – $1.99 – There may be others, but this is the first gluten-free tortilla I have ever seen.  They are made basically with brown rice and tapioca.  We will give them the burrito test this week, and I shall report back.

Dark Chocolate Mint Creams – $2.99 – We have already busted into these, and I can’t keep my husband out of them.  Upscale relatives to York Peppermint Patties, with more of a creamy, gooey filling.  We will repurchase!  They are made on shared equipment with milk, wheat, etc., but in terms of ingredients, they are dairy and gluten-free, but do contain egg and soy lecithin.

Wild Smoked Salmon – $7.99 – I think they have had this one for a while, but it was a recent discovery of ours.  At this price for 8oz it is a steal, and we both find the quality to be quite good.  Excellent on bread or bagels (wheat-free for me) topped with either some tofutti or avocado (my husband’s favorite) and if you are feeling adventurous, some capers and red onions.

What I wish I could have bought:

Vegetable Masala Burger – This new veggie burger sounds awesome, potatoes, carrots, green beans, plus other vegetables and Indian spices.  I love the ones that aren’t simulated meat, and this one seems to fit the bill.  But alas, it did have some wheat in it.  Following doctor’s orders I am sticking to my wheat-free ventures.

Chicken Sausage Raviolis – These weren’t in the Fearless Flyer, but I decided to do some ingredient checking on the raviolis.  They are made without dairy and I believe soy (don’t quote me on that), but do contain egg, meat, and wheat.  I held off on them due to the wheat thing, but may purchase for my husband next trip.  They looked to have a generous filling.

Hazelnut & Fig Cookie Thins – Intriguing and dairy-free, but I held off as they have wheat, and the package seemed a bit small for $2.79.  They may be worth a trial with tea though.

Figments – I was really hoping these would chocolate covered-fig like treats would be dairy-free, but no go.

Peanut Butter Granola Bars – I held out, though my husband would have loved these new sugary granola bars.  They look great for kids.  I didn’t check for other ingredients, but they are dairy-free and possibly vegan.

Trader Joe’s style Emergen-C – The girl at the checkout informed me that their new “generic” is actually better than Emergen-C.  Some type of energy booster added, I am guessing ginko something or other.  It is a bit cheaper per package, so we will be giving this a try when we run out.

Mochi – They advertised real mochi in their last fearless flyer, but alas, it has not appeared on my store’s shelf!  Does anyone know its whereabouts?

Veggie & Flaxseed Tortilla Chips – These sound great, but weren’t in our store as of yet.  Each chip has a different flavor and they are spiked with the little omega-3 seeds.

Blueberry Crumpets – I forgot to look for these, so I can’t verify the ingredients, but I will on the next trip!  My Canadian husband of very English decent loves all things that go with tea.

Trader Ming’s Noodle Boxes – These look like a good quick dinner helper for $1.99 a box.  Available in Kung Pao, Pad Thai, and possibly another flavor, they are free of dairy ingredients.  I think there was fish sauce though.  I will have to wait for future wheat “rotations” to trial, but others may enjoy.

Of course, I also picked up some of the usual suspects, quinoa, fresh basil, arugala, and baby carrots.  But these don’t seem to invoke the same excitement as Dark Chocolate Mint Creams Laughing

Check back, I will add product reviews once we give some of these foods a whirl.  Always an adventure at Trader Joe’s!

About Author

Alisa is the founder of, Food Editor for Allergic Living magazine, and author of the best-selling dairy-free book, Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living, and the new cookbook, Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets. Alisa is also a professional recipe creator and product ambassador for the natural food industry.

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