Healthy Snack Ideas

7 Smoothie Ingredients You Should Be Buying at Trader Joe’s

Photo: Stocksy/Alexander Grabchilev
Grocery stores seem to have reached a new level of fandom in recent years, but none have star power quite like Trader Joe’s. Whether you go for the affordable prices, stellar nut butter selection, skin care products, or friendly, Hawaiian shirt-clad crew members, TJ’s is always buzzing with customers and exciting new products.

While some of our all-time favorite items to shop at Trader Joe’s are their seasonal options (Gluten-Free Pumpkin Coffee Cake, anyone?), nothing quite beats the simple, nourishing staples that we can't go a week without buying.

Speaking of which, know that Trader Joe’s is an especially great destination for those who enjoy daily or at least regular smoothies. While we’ve all seen plenty of $20 celebrity smoothie recipes on social media, shopping at Trader Joe’s helps us save money on our smoothie habit instead of hemorrhaging it. Read on to discover the top Trader Joe's smoothie ingredients that will help ensure that your morning or post-workout smoothie is as delicious, nutrient-rich, and affordable as possible.

1. Organic Seeds

Enhancing your smoothie with seeds such as chia, flax, and hemp is a great way to up the omega-3, protein, fiber, vitamin, and mineral content, plus it also brings some more longevity-boosting antioxidants to your blender. Trader Joe’s is a top place to stock up on these often pricey products as you’ll likely be able to find organic versions for cheaper than the conventional stuff at your local health food store. Pro tip: Make sure to add more liquid if you’re trying them out in your go-to recipe to keep it from getting overly thick.

2. Wild Blueberries

Berries have long been heralded for their antioxidant and fiber content, but wild blueberries seem to take top prize for helping us stave off inflammation. They offer 33 percent more anthocyanin, the powerful antioxidant responsible for giving berries their vibrant colors, than traditional blueberries and have a punchier, tangier taste to boot. Trader Joe’s sells them in the frozen section for an impressive $3.49 per 12-ounce bag for boosting the flavor, texture, and nutrient density of your morning smoothie.

3. Frozen Acai Packets

We love an acai bowl as much as the next person, but not all the added sugar that goes into the base at some of the local juice spots. (Some acai outposts actually use “sorbet” or sugar-laden powders instead of the pure frozen fruit.) Thankfully, TJ’s has us covered with packets of organic, unsweetened acai puree in the freezer aisle. A 14-ounce bag of four acai puree pouches will set you back just $4.49. Simply blend two packets with a banana, milk of choice and any favorite powders and you have a cost-effective, nutritious base for creating a colorful bowl of goodness.

4. Yogurt

Whether you prefer a fat-free Greek, a full-fat European style, or a non-dairy yogurt, Trader Joe’s has plenty of options for every smoothie lover. Prices start at just 99 cents for five-ounce containers of yogurt and there are plenty of affordable organic options as well. Using yogurt—particularly Greek and Skyr—will up the protein content and creaminess of your morning smoothies without having to rely on expensive powders that often come with strange aftertastes. Plus, yogurt offers a host of health benefits, including boosting your gut, heart, and bone health.

5. Nut Butters

If you've ever been burned by a $15 price tag when buying a jar of almond butter, you know all too well that this stuff can get pricey—but not when you buy it at Trader Joe's. From classic crunchy peanut butter to creamy cashew, TJ's has a pretty impressive range of nut butter options for whatever you’re craving. We especially love the brand’s creamy raw almond butter which sets you back less than $6.50 per jar, and you can find the regular stuff for $4.49—less than half of what most other generic store brands offer. Adding a big spoonful of your go-to nut butter will not only add creaminess and delicious flavor, but you’ll enjoy a boost of healthy fat, protein, fiber, plus an array of vitamins and minerals depending on which nut you choose.

6. Organic Spices

Adding spices like cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger to morning smoothies is a great way to sneak in some longevity-boosting goodness without having to have a roster of expensive functional foods and powders. Spices are one of the most polyphenol-rich foods in the world, helping to fight free radicals, stave off inflammation, and even protect the health of our brains. You can shop organic versions at Trader Joe’s for around $2 per jar.

7. Bananas

Bananas offer an electrolyte boost from potassium and magnesium, plus they're a good source of vitamin B6, and they feature prebiotic fiber to support a healthy gut. Plus, the magnesium and tryptophan content can help support restorative sleep patterns. Trader Joe’s is famous for offering incredible deals on the fruit, often selling them for as little as 19 cents per pound, so stock up on your next trip, and slice up several for the freezer to ensure extra-creamy smoothies and that no banana goes unused before it turns black.

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