Tag Archives: Fruit

Why Trader Joe’s is My, and America’s, Happy Place

5 Mar This container of candy from Trader Joe's holds a world of kindness

We all have rotten days. Yesterday was one of mine. Or at least, a day where things didn’t come together well, posed more problems than it solved, and just left me with a sad, crummy feeling.

And I needed to go to Trader Joe’s.

So, I tucked my feelings under my hat and went.

Walking around hunting and gathering for my dinner, I smiled at other shoppers and TJ’s staffers. I was OK. But as I walked to check out, I got sad again. Of course, that’s not too weird – feeling better walking around TJ’s, and getting sad as I’m leaving!

The checker Shaun greeted me with, “How ya doing?!” I said, sluggishly, “OK.” He said, “Just OK?” “Yeah,” I said. We continued chatting a bit. He loaded my bag and put it in the cart.

As we waited for my chipped card to finish processing, Shaun asked, “Do you like chocolate? Do you like dried fruit?” I said yes.

He walked to the product pylon by the check out lane, picked up a container of chocolate-covered dried fruit, put it on top of my bag and said, “I hope you have a good evening!”

I was blown away. And this isn’t the only time I’ve encountered amazingly kind behavior at Trader Joe’s. The store’s feel-good culture is an example for us all in how to care and treat each other. Just a little kindness goes such a long way. Thank you, Shaun! And thank you, Trader Joe’s.

A pot of gold

This container holds a world of kindness

 

If it’s watermelon time, it must be summer

2 Jun

It’s not the heat and it’s not the pool opening. It’s not the strappy dresses and sandals or the birds chirping too early and the fire-pitless porch parties lasting past midnight.

What tells me it’s summertime is the large, cardboard box full of big green orbs that greets me when I enter Trader Joe’s.

I received that happy welcome last weekend. There was even a woman handing out watermelon samples at a makeshift tasting station. She advised that the sweetest watermelons were ones with yellow on them. Taking her word for it, I grabbed (if you can “grab” a bowling ball without finger holes) a fine looking specimen and weighted down my cart immediately.

At the official tasting station, they were sampling Watermelon Cucumber Juice. Good stuff! I’d bought a container the week before, but hadn’t opened it yet. As Persian Cucumbers are one of my shopping-list staples, I looked in my cart and thought, “Cukes, watermelon…why not make my own juice?!”

Hydratedly inspired, I searched for a recipe and found a three-ingredient drink I thought I could master. The third ingredient was lime juice – and I found that it makes ALL the difference!

(Although there are several sites with similar recipes, mine came from AllRecipes.com. Thanks, AllRecipes!)

How To Make Watermelon Cucumber Cooler:

I used:

  • 4 Persian cucumbers
  • 1/2 the fruit from a watermelon
  • 2 limes

Trim the ends off your cukes and cut into bite-sized chunks.

Cut the watermelon into chunks.

Combine the cuke and watermelon chunks and liquify in a blender or food processor.

Stir in the juice from the limes. It’s OK if a little lime fruit drops in, too!

It makes a pitcher-full of juice. Enjoy!

This is what it looked like:

Glass2 ingredients

Notes: The cukes were unpeeled. The watermelon had very few seeds, so I just let the few involved get mixed in the batch.

I had planned to make a fizzy drink by adding carbonated water to half a cup of juice, but I got caught up in the deliciousness, and the batch was finished before I remembered I wanted to do that! Next time.

How to Make a Killer Sangria: A Trader Joe’s Shopper Shares Her Secret

10 Jul

Michelle Walton knows good sangria. She spent $100 mixing a batch from a South American recipe. But with a bottle of Maria Ole Sangria from TJ’s, Michelle now impresses her friends for a fraction of the cost. Take 30 seconds to listen to how she does it. She makes it seem so easy! Thanks for sharing, Michelle!

My own private Guacamole

9 Aug

I love avocados. I love cutting them open and eating them straight from the shell. What a well-designed food – it comes with its own serving bowl!

I’ll get TJ’s mesh bag of avocados and go through them quickly, trying to make them last through the week. The other day, I was ready to dig into my last avocado of the bag when I thought, “I’ve got part of an old onion, some withering grape tomatoes … hmm.” Add a sprinkle of salt, and, voila, a makeshift fiesta for one!

The meeting of healthy foods: avocados, tomatos and onions

The meeting of healthy foods: avocado, tomatoes, onion

If I’d been planning to make guac, I’d have had some cilantro on hand, I might have used more spices and even, (why not?), glance at a recipe. But this was tasty to me!

Then I started thinking, what else can I do with this tasty mixture? My thoughts about optimizing guacamole are in the the next post. : )

Happy Fourth of July!

4 Jul

Wearing a healthy dose of red, white and blue for the occasion. Have a wonderful July 4, wherever you are, whatever your homeland!

Patriotic display of fruit

Red, white and blueberries

Raspberry Tarte: Fresh from the box

18 Jun

Another tasting bar moment.

Raspberry tart from Trader Joe's

Delicious fruity pie

Truth: The tart being sliced into looked just a little tired; not as perky as the picture on the box. I still bit, and took the taste.

The tart might have looked a wee bit weary, but the flavor was alive and kicking! The raspberries tasted fresh and the crust was light and buttery.

The back of the box was nice looking, too:

Serving per container – 4 (you read that right!)

Calories per serving: 290

Fat content per slice: 90

It’s in the running to become my party go-to dessert.

Oh, my darling, Clementine! Trader Joe’s bevy of Cuties

18 Jan

Oranges are oranges are oranges, but Cuties are sweet heaven! It’s Clementine time again in America.

I’ve bought Cuties that were torture to peel with thin skin adhered to the fruit. I’ve eaten near tasteless Clementines and ones that sang loudly, that were so sweet they could be sold in the candy aisle.

Trader Joe’s offers a bag of Cuties that have loose peels and sweet nectar. Maybe some aren’t quite candy-aisle worthy, but the flavor is good and juicy.

Cuties from Trader Joe's

Out of the bag: Tasty Cuties from Trader Joe’s

IMPORTANT NOTE: During this month’s game night with friends (yes, we played Telestrations, again : ), I heard that you should eat fruit on an empty stomach or with other fruit; that eating fruit after other food diminishes the vitamin value. But fruit is such a wonderful end to a meal!

So, I searched for confirmation or debunking and found The Major Rule for Eating Fruit from MindBodyGreen.com. Check it out – it offers confirmation of my friends’ statement with a nice explanation that includes: if fruit is waiting to be digested while food slower to digest is being processed, the fruit “will be held in the stomach too long … and will rot and ferment in the gut.”

The site’s recommendation is to snack with fruit between meals. But read what they say. It’s fascinating and good for you!

Thank you, Trader Joe’s!

And thank you for visiting Things I Love at Trader Joe’s!

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Related links:

About Clementines

Nutrition facts

Eight recipe ideas for Clementines

 

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