My Trader Joe’s summer haul – What’s worth the hype, and what should you skip?
Trader Joe’s just dropped a TON of new summer items. And when this happens, it doesn’t take long for FOMO to set in – If you wait around too long, you might miss some of the hottest seasonal items.
Did I make my family stop at the location in Franklin, TN on our way home from our vacation in Florida? Yes I did. I knew my upcoming week was too busy to trek to my local TJ’s. I also knew they wouldn’t mind because exploring a new TJ’s is like a mini vacay in itself.
Speaking of exciting…
What’s new at Trader Joe’s for summer?
Brand new items, and returning seasonal faves.
UBE IS BACK
The return of ube is one of my favorite signs of summer. I spotted the Tea Cookies (these are meh) and Ube Joe Joe’s (yum) in my store in early May, but I was anxiously awaiting two of my faves:
1. Ube Mochi Waffle/Pancake Mix
I love this mix. I was tempted to fill an entire cart … but I held back at two boxes.
Don’t tell Joe, but I actually found a replacement for this mix during the off-season. It’s this Mochi Pancake recipe that uses the new Blogilates Ube Protein Powder.
But at the end of the day, this mix is absolutely worth buying.
2. Ube Ice Cream
So…about this ice cream. I heard the recipe changed, affecting the flavor in a negative way. I tried it for myself and … it does taste a little different! It’s still okay, and I’ll definitely finish the pint (we don’t waste ube ice cream around here), but I’m wondering what exactly changed… and why?
Brazil Nut lovers rejoice!
Another summer cult fave is back and with more sweet-smelling goodness. Now is the time to stock up on the body butter that some say is a dupe for Sol de Janeiro Brazillian Bum Bum Cream (I say it’s worth buying, but not a perfect dupe).
I also bought the new Brazil Nut Body Wash and Salted Caramel & Pistachio Candle. What excited me the most though…was the hot pink Brazil Nut Insulated Bag. It is CUTE and roomy and only $7.99! A no-brainer.
Patio Potato Chips
Last year, I only grabbed one bag of these because I’m not a huge potato chip girly (I just get burnt out really fast). This year, I grabbed two.
There are actually 4 chip flavors in this bag:
- Sea Salt & Vinegar
- Delicious Dill
- Homestyle Ketchup
- Smokin’ Sweet BBQ
SO MUCH FLAVOR.
*Pro tip – open the bag upside down! The seasoning tends to settle at the bottom of the bag, so opening from the bottom helps shake things up for max flavor.
Chili Onion Crunch Hummus
I’m obsessed with all things Crunchy Chili Onion, so this was an obvious yes. Why hadn’t I thought of putting this in hummus before?!
With that in mind, you could just make this yourself – the product isn’t anything special. But buying it premixed is convenient and definitely makes eating your veggies a lot more exciting.
This one surprised me, but I’m also hearing that reviews have been mixed.
Trader Joe’s jangles are famous for a reason – they know what they’re doing! Maybe it’s the colors or unicorn theme, but I expected the Enchanted Jangle to be an overly sweet miss.
I opened these right in the parking lot of Trader Joe’s, and actually found the flavor to be pretty balanced. The coating on the sweet pieces is actually yogurt, which tones it down a bit. Then you have a little chocolate mixed in, and of course some salt from the pretzels.
Crunchy Jalapeño Lime & Onion
I bought this last year with no clue how to use it. So it sat in my pantry…for months. And then I discovered that I can make guacamole with it. Here’s how easy it is:
- 1 Teeny Tiny avocado
- 2 tbsp (or measure with your heart) Jalapeño Lime & Onion
Mash the avocado, stir in the crunch, and have yourself guacamole for one. Sometimes I sprinkle on some Everything but the Elote seasoning. Sometimes I throw in some chopped tomatoes.
You can also drizzle this on chicken tacos, turkey burgers, and veggies. It’s crunchy, not too spicy, and has a mild lime flavor.
Mediterranean Style Salad Kit
I saw this in the Fearless Flyer and I’m not even sure if it’s new, seasonal, or just new to me? But I have a lot to say about it. Let’s break down my rating:
- Salad style (chopped) = 10/10
- Combination of toppings = 10/10
- Dressing = 10/10
- Portion of toppings = 0/10
According to the label, this bag contains 3 servings of salad. Now, take a look at the crumbled feta, flatbread, and roasted chickpeas. Is it just me, or should there be about 3 times as much to cover 3 servings of salad?
Luckily, I had my own feta so I didn’t have to ration what was in the bag. But I was so disappointed with the number of roasted chickpeas! This is a great add-in for crunch and some protein, so I was hoping for more.
In the future I think I’ll use this kit as inspiration to build my own Mediterranean salad with feta, sundried tomatoes, Biena chickpeas, and a vinaigrette.
Sparkling Watermelon Juice
Watermelon-flavored things are hit or miss, so I was surprised at how much I enjoyed this juice. I guess it’s because it’s REAL watermelon juice, with no artificial sugar or sweeteners.
I also love that it’s sparkling juice – so refreshing! But all I can think about is making a margarita with it. Maybe with a chili-lime rim? I’ll report back on that.
A must-buy every year. Just add a little tequila and you have yourself a spicy marg. Or go the mocktail route and add non-alcoholic tequila (I like Ritual!). You can also drink this straight from the bottle as is.
If you’re obsessed with spicy bevvies like me, go ahead and buy two bottles.
Strawberry & Vanilla Yogurt Pretzels
This was the store sample when we stopped by and let me tell you…they got us. I didn’t plan on buying these because I have a pretty good idea of what yogurt-covered pretzels taste like (always good) and I felt like we were good on the snacky stuff.
I love how these are bite-sized! And the strawberry flavor is perfect.
What didn’t make it into my haul
Sadly, I missed a few new items that I really had my heart set on:
Mini (Almost) Everything Bagel Sandwich Crackers – I am so sad I haven’t found these yet. I looked in two different stores and nothing. Did I miss them? The reviews I’ve seen so far are all over the place. Some say they’re insanely good, and some say they’re not great (and sweet?). If you tried them, leave a comment with your thoughts!
S’mores Clusters – Another one that I didn’t see in either store, but I think it’s safe to say they’re as good as they sound.
Peanut Butter Crispy Rice Bites – These are still pretty new, so maybe I just missed their arrival! 🤞🏼
Did I miss anything?
I’m sure this won’t be my last Trader Joe’s haul anytime soon. If there’s anything I missed, let me know in the comments so I can snag it on my next stop!