Normally, Fourth of July is the biggest summer holiday, marked with fireworks, grilling veggie burgers, and drinking White Claws in the sun. (Seriously, does anything smell more like summer than charcoal heating up on the grill?)
This year thanks to COVID-19, get-togethers will most likely just involve the other people you live with. But that absolutely doesn’t mean you still shouldn’t go all-out with your barbecue spread. Have you ever deserved it more than making it through the last four months?
Of course, Trader Joe’s is coming through with some new products that are sure to be the cult favorite finds of summer. The newest healthy Trader Joe’s products are practically begging to be incorporated into a backyard barbecue. Rounded up here are the best ones to buy and try.
Speaking of Trader Joe’s, here’s what a registered dietitian buys when she shops there:
6 of Trader Joe’s best summer products of 2020 (so far, at least):
1. Protein Patties ($4.49 for two)
You can’t have a barbecue without having some protein to grill and TJ’s just came out with their own vegan patties, made primarily with pea protein, which has the same texture and comparable protein as a beef patty. (One of the vegan patties has 18 grams of protein.) Word on the street (okay, Trader Joe’s Facebook groups) say they also just came out with turkeyless turkey burgers, so keep your eye out for those too.
2. Dill Pickle Hummus ($1.99)
Dip is standard backyard barbecue fare, but there’s hummus and then there’s this new dill pickle hummus—what an upgrade! The saltiness from the vinegar and dill will hit the spot in such a major way that it will usurp the craving for potato chips as your burger’s side.
3. Sparkling Organic Yerba Mate Tea ($1.49)
Let’s talk beverages. If you’re looking for a healthy, non-alcoholic thirst quencher, this is a good one to go for. Yerba mate tea is high in antioxidants and is also linked to boosting heart health. This sparkling version is a refreshing way to reap its health benefits and doesn’t contain any added sugar.
4. Watermelon Fruit Spread ($2.69)
Every barbecue needs something sweet. This fruit spread—starring the quintessential fruit of summer—is about to be your new favorite spread. A full 60 percent of it is made straight from organic watermelon puree, while cherry juice adds an unexpected tartiness. If you’re wondering how to incorporate it into your barbecue, keep reading—it pairs perfectly mixed in with the next item on the list.
5. Vanilla Non-Dairy Frozen Dessert ($3.99)
Besides fruit, nothing can really compare to ice-cream for a summer dessert. This one is almond milk-based and uses real ground vanilla beans for flavor. It does contain a fair amount of sugar, which is something to be aware of, but it is ice-cream we’re talking about here. It’s the perfect vegan sweet treat to top off the night.
6. Cauliflower Thins (Price N/A)
A few eager TJ’s bloggers have snapped pictures of the brand’s new Cauliflower Thins—aka gluten-free “bread” made out of cauliflower. Per Eating Well, they’re similar to sandwich thins made by brands like Outer Aisle. So if you’re looking for a low-carb bun for your cookout, this guy’s a pretty safe bet.
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