Tasty and waist-friendly treats from Trader Joes

I was in Trader Joes on Friday and asked one of the employees about a Spinach and Kale dip made with Greek yogurt that I loved and could no longer find. The shopper next to me said, “Ooohh, what was it called?” And so we chatted and she said, “Trader Joes has so many new products; the best way to find out what to try is to listen to what people ask for while in the store.” Yes, eavesdropping is always a useful tool, I thought, and it gave me an idea. Here are a few of the low cal treats I’m loving so you can give them a try next time you’re in your local store (without having to overhear an inquiring customer). I’ve also included “in what section the item can be found” because having to navigate through TJs isn’t always easy (why are the rice cakes located above the frozen Indian entrees)?

The Trader Joes in Charlotte, NC

The Trader Joes in Charlotte, NC

Flowers are a must at Trader Joes

Flowers are a must at Trader Joes

My Current Healthy Faves:

Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale dip made with Greek Yogurt. Found Near: The hummus, guac, and other dips

I can’t say enough good things about this. Hands down my number one and I’ll make a trip just for this.  It is half the calories and fat of regular dip and it tastes SINFUL. I put it on everything. Yes, I admit I would rather use this than salad dressing when having my greens. Sometimes I heat a vegetable medley for dinner and use this as a dip. It’s packed with kale, spinach, water chestnuts, red peppers, carrots, green onions, garlic and other seasonings.

Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip

Reduced Guilt Spinach and Kale Dip

Guacamole and Greek Yogurt. Found Near: The hummus, guac and other dips

It doesn’t sound like a compatible combination but it is! You have the same creaminess of traditional guacamole and the yogurt is not at all overpowering. The also have the perfect amount of cilantro and spices to give it a kick. Sometimes I mix with my morning eggs or spread on a whole wheat wrap.

Reduced Guilt Guacamole is really good

Reduced Guilt Guacamole is really good

Ready to eat Grilled Chicken Strips or Wild Alaskan Salmon. Found Near: The pizza dough, ravioli, and ready made salads

This summer, when we tailgated or spent a day by the pool, I usually served these as a low calorie, tasty app that everyone loved. The chicken is usually very lean and they offer plain as well as marinaded options (balsamic and  teriyaki). I was impressed with the salmon as well. I don’t know why, but I crave salmon often and I’m not big on canned. This works in a pinch.

Now…on to the sweet stuff

Mini Mint Chocolate Chip Mouthfuls. Found Near: The icecream and other frozen treats

Now, I would run to the freezer and get the nutritional information off the side of the box, but alas, they were gone within three days of getting them home! Well, if you are craving something sweet without doing severe sugar damage I recommend these. Two have 120 calories and under 9 grams of sugar. So, if you are trying to tide yourself over and just go for one, we are looking at 60 calories and 4.5 grams of sugar. This will work with just about any healthy eating plan (I hate the word diet).

12 Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls

12 Mini Mint Ice Cream Mouthfuls

100 Calorie Chocolate Bars (in both Milk and 80% Dark chocolate). Found Near: Either above the frozen Italian cuisine or at the shelving near the checkout (for your impulse buying pleasure)!

What makes these special. Well, they are high-quality chocolate, only 100 calories and because they are long and thin, it seems like you are having a true, decadent dessert. I keep them in my handbag and I also like to portion out the dark chocolate to have with my morning coffee.

100 Calorie Trader Joes Chocolate Bars

100 Calorie Trader Joes Chocolate Bars

I could list more items, but let’s start with these.  I’ll continue to do some “research” and keep you posted on new tasty items to try. Also, I’d love to hear your suggestions. Their offerings change often and I’d love to give your suggestions a try before they disappear.  – CC

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