By Bridget Mulcahy
These days, grocery shopping at Trader Joe’s is more like a sporting event than anything else. Long lines, crowds, and if you get there too late you miss all the good stuff. That’s why it’s important to have a solid list (lineup) prepared before you head out.
I personally curated this Trader Joe’s shopping “lineup” that’s fit for the Majors. I also included some substitutions, just in case you decide to make some late-inning switches.
Top of the order
Coffee/Cold Brew — Just like the leadoff hitter at the top of a lineup, the day should start with something that will give you all the energy you need. Trader Joe’s coffees and cold brews come in variety of flavors and strengths for whatever the day has in store. My personal pick are the single to-go packets. You can make them hot or iced, and they already come with sugar and creamer so you’re set to take off on the basepaths like Rickey Henderson.
Cereal/Oatmeal — This breakfast staple has long been synonymous with baseball. In 1934, Lou Gherig became the first athlete to appear on a box of Wheaties. Here are my picks:
- Joe’s O’s – Dare I say these are better than the original? Low in sugar, high in flavor and packed with essential vitamins and minerals. For the Cinnamon Toast Crunch lovers out there —there’s a TJ version if you can find it.
- Quick-Cook Steel Cut Oats – These oats are a breakfast-time powerhouse. At $2.69 for a 25 oz. canister, that is good value. Billy Beane would be proud.
Waffle Warrior — Fluffy, light and flavorful, these MVP-candidate Belgian waffles are the Christian Yelich of the table. Top with fresh berries, powdered sugar and maple syrup and you’ll feel like they were served to you at a fancy cafe.
(Substitute): Unsweetened Acai Packets — The Dodgers front office love Max Muncy and would love these super-utility acai packets that are extremely versatile for a morning smoothie or bowl. Unlike many others, they come unsweetened and aren’t loaded with sugar. Top with Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter Granola.
Middle of the order
Peanut Butter Power — Smooth as a Barry Bonds swing, Major League Baseball could keep the peanut butter industry in business all on its own. The possibilities are endless, whether it’s a classic PB&J or adding peanut butter to scrambled eggs, yogurt, pancakes, oatmeal and even rice.
Seasonal Produce — Chipper Jones was a middle-of-the-order threat and perhaps the best switch hitter of his generation. You need balance on both sides of the plate – your dinner plate, that is. Browse their great selection of bananas, apples, grapes, and bags of baby spinach and kale. Perfect for a protein shake or smoothie!
Trader Joe’s Center Cut Bacon or Dry Rubbed Sliced Bacon — You might hear the term on a baseball field, but nobody knows meat better than Ron Swanson. This Trader Joe’s wins a Gold Glove for their advertisement with a nod to the Parks & Recreation character. Soon, you too will be saying, “Give me all the bacon and eggs you have.”
“Cowboy Caviar” Salsa — Paging, Chris Paddack. This “Cowboy Caviar” salsa has all the best flavors in its arsenal — corn, black beans, jalapenos, and chipotle peppers. It’s rugged yet fancy, and makes the perfect dip. Pick up a bag of Trader Joe’s pita chips or another favorite and get snackin’.
(Substitute) Everything But The Bagel Seasoning — This TJ favorite is clutch, like a Nolan Arenado at-bat. Enjoy it with fresh avocado on a slice of Trader Joe’s Sprouted Wheat Sourdough, made fresh in the Bay Area. It’s your own Bay Bridge series.
Bottom of the order
Dunkers Cookies — They are the Clayton Kershaw “face of the franchise” for Trader Joe’s. Enjoy a few with Trader Joe’s dairy milk or Oat Milk beverage, just like the dairy-free Dodgers would.
“Hold the Cone” Mini Ice Cream Cones — Like any good double play highlight from the Cubs infield, you’ll want more than one.
Sublime Ice Cream Sandwiches — I had to include these because they remind me of when I was young, and are a summer tradition just like America’s pastime. The Mickey Mantle of treats: classic in every way.
Now, to bring in the closer……
Dark and Milk Chocolate Peanut Butter Cups (+ brownies) — Do you like warm, melt-in-your-mouth brownies? Do you like peanut butter cups? If you answered “yes” to one or both of those questions, this is for you.
Their peanut butter cups are the closer of this shopping list, because they will save any day and secure that “W” like Sean Doolittle.
This super easy recipe using just these and their brownie truffle mix is the stuff champions are made of.