When it comes to Trader Joe’s, you don’t need me to tell you how delicious their frozen quiches are for Sunday brunch, or how, on Saturday mornings, the kids will clamor for their sweet Belgian waffles dripping with berry compote. And those chocolate croissants that rise overnight before baking? They were my secret weapon for every sleepover my daughters hosted from 2005 to 2012.
But how about a few TJ foods for your average weekday breakfast? Alex Beggs, who has been on Bon Appetit’s Trader Joe’s beat for years now, agrees with me. So, we joined forces and came up with a list of favorite products…
Brown Sugar Boba Kit. Sure you can find boba tea on practically every city block these days, but why go to all that trouble when you can whip it up in your own kitchen? The Move: “Add a shot of cold espresso to the tea,” suggests Alex, “and let the rest of the day shake out of your fingertips!”
Corn & Wheat Tortillas. They possess the pliability of flour tortillas but the flavor of corn tortillas and happen to be the perfect size for a single egg-and-cheese scramble. The Move: Pour a single whisked egg into a greased nonstick pan over medium-low heat. Let sit until it is mostly set and sprinkle a little sharp cheddar on top. Place tortilla on top of the cheese and cook another minute, until the cheese has melted and stuck to the tortilla. Flip the tortilla, cook another 30 seconds, then serve, folded or sliced with hot sauce.
Everything But the Bagel Seasoning. This Trader Joe’s A-Lister probably needs no introduction, but I’ll just say the sesame-poppy-salt-garlic-onion mix is fairy dust in my house. The Move: Shake it on top of avocado toast, scrambled eggs, savory oats.
Chia Seeds. So well-priced, so packed with fiber and protein, such a good call for an on-the-go breakfast when stirred with whatever milk you’re drinking these days. The Move: Stir a quarter cup into a cup of almond milk and a dash of syrup, and let sit 30 minutes (or overnight) for chia pudding. Top with nuts, fruit, granola in the morning.
Hashbrown Patties. As Alex points out, “Everyone knows the frozen hashbrown patties are a gift bestowed by God herself.” The Move: “In college, I would make breakfast burritos with TJ’s flour tortillas, a hashbrown patty toasted in the toaster oven and cut in half — to fit better when you roll it up — a spoonful of microwaved refried beans, scrambled eggs, and hot sauce,” says Alex. “Still a fantastic way to start the day.”
Candied Pecans. The pecan is already a hall of famer when it comes to nuts in general, but this candied, crispied version? You’ll again never leave TJ’s without them. (The only rival is their sassy cousin, the sweet and spicy pecan, usually sitting right next to the candieds on the shelf.) The Move: Sprinkle on top of yogurt, chia pudding, and oatmeal; or just eat on their own by the handful.
Unexpected Cheddar Cheese Spread. The dip version of Trader’s uber popular aged cheddar is beloved on a cracker or a piece of fruit. But for breakfast? The Move: “I’ve stirred it into scrambled eggs and been very happy,” says Alex.
Gluten Free Norwegian Crispbread. I eat these crispy-salty-seedy numbers all day long (especially with hummus), and I love them the most at breakfast when I’m craving bagel flavors but not the bagel breadiness. The Move: Spread a few with cream cheese and minced red onion.
Instant Unsweetened Oatmeal Packs. I find most flavored oatmeal packs are sweet or get carried away with the spices — but a packet of Trader Joe’s unsweetened instant oatmeal is a blank canvas, and still packed with flax and chia seeds and amaranth. The Move: Make with almond milk, and top with maple syrup and fresh blueberries.
Smoothie Extras. I usually just go with a scoop of almond butter, but Alex had some next-level ideas on the smoothie add-in. The Moves: “Coconut. Cottage cheese. Chai powder. A spoonful of apricot jam. A squeeze of date syrup. A single dark chocolate peanut butter cup.”
Thank you, Alex! What Trader Joe’s products save you at breakfast?