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17 things to stock up on at Trader Joe’s the next time you’re in the U.S.

Trader Joe's

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Canada is known for lots of great food items: like maple syrup, poutine, ketchup chips and tourtière. Unfortunately, what Canada doesn’t have is a chain of Trader Joe’s to head out to anytime we feel like a quick meal or a signature snack.

That’s why it’s imperative to take advantage of the grocery store chain’s awesome line of food products whenever we happen to be visiting the other side of the border. Whether we’re indulging in these items while we’re visiting or bringing them back to enjoy in our own homes, these are just some of the items we plan on stockpiling the next time we’re south of the border.

1. Cookie Butter

Spreadable cookies? Um, yes please. These guys take actual Belgian cookies, crush them up and mix them with vegetable oil for a smooth, peanut buttery consistency that has just the right combo of gingerbread and caramel. It’s great on pretzels, pancakes, waffles and other cookies, but to be honest, we’ve also eaten it right off the spoon.

Trader Joe’s

2. Green Dragon Hot Sauce

We love Sriracha and would never give it up, but sometimes we just want a different hot sauce flavour. That’s where the Green Dragon Hot Sauce comes in handy. Jalapenos and tomatillos combine with cilantro and garlic for a bit of a bolder and hotter sauce that’s awesome for Tex-Mex nights and nachos alike.

Trader Joe’s

3. Mini Cinnamon Sugar Churros

Fresh churros are so hard to come by, but these little packets of heaven are the perfect alternative. You heat up the actual churros and then you roll them in the cinnamon sugar, which means you can get just the perfect amount of warm cinnamon flavour on each and every bite. Heaven.

4. Smoked Olive Oil

True, there are a zillion types of olive oil out there. But this one has an inherent smoky flavour that elevates our dishes to that next level. It’s perfection drizzled on roasted veggies or fresh salad, but we also love when it accompanies fresh baguette.

The Spoils of Travelling. Always looking for something new. #traderjoes #smokedoliveoil #didntspillinmycase #cheflife

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5. Blueberry Vanilla Chevre

We love flavoured goat cheese (who doesn’t?), but sometimes you just want to up your traditional cranberry-cinnamon blend. This mixture of sweet blueberries and rich vanilla is positively decadent, making it the automatic star of your next cheese plate. IF you’re willing to share, that is.

6. Milk Chocolate Covered Potato Chips

It sounds weird at first, but one bite of these sweet-but-savoury chips and you’ll be hooked. The crispy chip is salty and buttery, while the milk chocolate just melts in your mouth. Your snack break will never be the same after these, we swear.

Love salty and sweet, can’t wait to try these. #milkchocolatepotatochips

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7. Goddess Dressing

Something this addictive cannot be good for you. Yet somehow it is. The vegan sauce (which is great on salads, meat, roasted veggies and more) is made up of chives and parsley, gets its creaminess from the added tahini and has a great zing on your tongue thanks to the citrusy flavour. Who said goddess dressing had to be green anyhow?

Trader Joe’s

8. Shrimp Toasts

These are exactly what they sound like – morsels of toast topped with minced shrimp and spices that combine to be the best toasted triangles across the border. They’re super easy to make (just toss them in the oven) and they come out perfect nearly every time. Our only complaint? There should be more in the box.

Childhood favorite. #shrimptoast #crispy #shrimp @traderjoesfood

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9. Thai Lime & Chili Cashews

Have you ever opened a bag of snacks and before you knew it, the entire thing was gone? Yeah that happens to us every single time we crack open a bag of these things. The tangy lime and spicy chili flavours combine for an out-of-this-world flavour that’s absolutely nuts. (Pun intended.)

Trader Joe’s

10. Chocolate Almond Butter Tarte

What’s better than a butter tart? One smothered in chocolate and almonds, of course. A crisp, buttery crust holds all of the chocolaty and nutty goodness in one gorgeous-looking pie shape that will make everyone decide to indulge in a little dessert. Or if you’re like us, maybe you’ll just have dessert for dinner.

TAG A CHOCOLATE LOVING FRIEND!! From the website also: Trader Joe’s Chocolate Almond Butter Tarte was initially conceived as a Chocolate and Salted Caramel Tarte. On second thought, we decided this new dessert needed a different, more decadent twist. That twist is almond butter. We replaced what would’ve been the caramel layer with a creamy, smooth spread made from almonds. In fact, our French supplier bought some of our Almond Butter in order to formulate their own that matched it in taste and texture. On top of that nut butter foundation, we layered rich, sweet, chocolate ganache. These layers are cradled in a butter crust, which—in another twist—has cocoa added to it. The result is a crisp, buttery crust with plenty of cocoa flavor. The Tarte is finished with an artful sprinkling on top of dark chocolate curls and roasted almond sticks. This ready-made dessert only requires you defrost it—one hour at room temperature, or three hours in the refrigerator. Serve it by itself, or topped with your favorite cream (ice or whipped) to complement the Chocolate-Almond Butter intensity. It serves four people as a full dessert. For a larger group, you might cut the Tarte into bite-sized squares for a sweet treat served alongside hot coffee or tea. Trader Joe’s 11.28-ounce Chocolate Almond Butter Tarte is available in our freezers everyday for $5.99.

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11. Just Beets

We love beets, especially beet chips since they’ve got that sweet-but-salty thing going for them. But making them can be so darned time-consuming. That’s why we love Just Beets – the chips are the perfect size and thickness so that it feels like you’re actually eating a healthier version of a chip, plus they hold tons and tons of dip.

Rad pic of Just Beets by @justkeeptraining. Ingredients: just beets.

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12. Oven-Baked Cheese Bites

Cheese? Check. Crispy cracker consistency? Check. Addictive as heck? Check, check, check. We’ve had tons of cheese crackers in our time, but none of them compare to the awesome cheesy flavour found in this addictive bag. Use them to dip or have them on their own; either way, the bag will be gone before you know it.

13. Golden Spiced Milk Chocolate Bar

This isn’t just milk chocolate, this is golden milk chocolate. It’s got just the right combination of mouth-watering spices and coconut to make us feel like we’re having a tropical treat, but it’s also slightly healthy thanks to the quinoa, which subs in for rice crisps. We’d have one a day if we could.

Trader Joe’s

14. Mandarin Orange Chicken

We know, this stuff isn’t exactly the easiest to bring back across the border, but we had to include it. First of all, it’s super easy to make – all you need to do is pop it in the oven. But more importantly, it’s that perfect mix of crispy breaded chicken and fruity sauce that makes us crave Chinese food. Except this is way better than delivery, hands down.

Trader Joe’s

15. Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups

If you have a peanut butter cup addiction like we do, you’re going to want to stockpile these. The rich, dark chocolate exterior envelopes roasted peanut butter to create the perfect flavour combination. These aren’t just delicious, they’re good for you too since they’re made from all-natural ingredients.

16. Triple Ginger Snaps

There are cookies, and then there are these perfectly crafted ginger snaps that are the stuff milk and cookie dreams are made of. We devour them on their own, or use them for a creative dessert topping. Either way, we’re always super disappointed when we get to the bottom of the box.

17. Everything But the Bagel Sesame Seasoning Blend

This stuff is so good you’re going to want multiple jars. And this special blend has black and white sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sea salt, garlic and onion. So basically, it’s all the good stuff you’d expect to find in an everything bagel, minus the actual bagel (get the name now?). We put it on everything, from avocados and eggs to stir-fry and creamy soups… we’re pretty much obsessed.

17 things to stock up on at Trader Joes the next time you’re in the U.S.

Trader Joe’s

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