Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Georgetown University’s Newspaper of Record since 1920

The Hoya

Homemade Gourmet: Things To Get From Trader Joe’s


Recently, I have found myself frequently trekking to the Trader Joe’s on Wisconsin Avenue as a brief respite from classes. My mildly concerning addiction to the supermarket chain began last semester when I lived near one of its locations on Capitol Hill. Since then, I’ve never looked back, and I have combed several Trader Joe’s with the hope of finding some truly outstanding yet affordable finds! Below are some of my all-time favorite purchases from Trader Joe’s.


1) Trader Joe’s Sunflower Seed Butter

Since I have a peanut and tree nut allergy, I have sadly never been able to enjoy the luxurious taste of peanut butter without popping a Benadryl or getting stabbed by an EpiPen. Beyond the health risks, I have also struggled to find an adequate and cost-effective peanut butter replacement. A few months ago, I came across a jar of sunflower butter at a Trader Joe’s back home in Massachusetts. This spread is not only delicious, creamy and savory, but it is also affordable at just $4.99 a jar. Although I haven’t tried making a sunflower butter and jelly sandwich yet, I do love to spread it on toast each morning and top it off with fresh banana slices and a drizzle of chocolate syrup.

2) Trader Joe’s Mac and Cheese Bites

These mini mac and cheese bites are a taste of heaven! I cannot rave about them enough. Not only are they the perfect mini snack or appetizer to kick off a meal, but they are also a hit to host with or bring to a party. These bites are baked in golden breadcrumbs, making the outside crisp and crunchy while the inside has gooey, cheesy and velvety bits of macaroni. What’s even more convenient is that each bite fits perfectly in your mouth in a single munch. Next time you have a viewing night for The Bachelor, ditch the cheese and cracker board for these mac and cheese balls instead! This snack will definitely be a staple at all of my gatherings after the COVID-19 pandemic.

3) Organic Midnight Moo

Trader Joe’s Organic Midnight Moo is the chain’s take on chocolate syrup! This stuff is so good and super versatile. The texture of this condiment is unlike any other chocolate syrup in this world; it’s thick and rich with a hint of malted chocolate. The syrup is perfectly mixed with milk or drizzled over a bowl of acai or ice cream. This sauce would also go perfectly with …

4) Hold the Cone Ice Cream

Anyone who knows me knows I love ice cream! I have always seriously struggled with portion control, however, and usually end up eating half the pint without restraint. Healthier alternatives to ice cream have also been futile in my efforts to reduce my ice cream consumption, as their taste just isn’t the same. Luckily, Trader Joe’s sells eight amazing mini ice cream cones in a box. These cones are bite-sized pieces of perfection, and the mini ice cream scoop on top is coated in a layer of rich chocolate. What’s even better is that there are only 86 calories per cone! While I by no means think you have to choose the healthier alternative for ice cream, these cones are perfect for anyone looking to soothe their sweet tooth without getting a stomach ache.

5) Trader Joe’s Hash Browns

These crunchy and decadent potato hash browns are the perfect breakfast or snack! I had these hash browns this morning alongside two slices of toast and later in the afternoon as a snack; they’re good enough to have for multiple meals in one day. The hash browns are properly seasoned, with the ideal ratio of soft potato and crispy potato skin in each bite. Each hash brown is also about the size of a computer mouse, the perfect size! Topping these potatoes with freshly mashed avocados, a fried egg and a sprinkle of Everything but the Bagel Sesame Seasoning also elevates the meal to something more.

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