If your love affair with Trader Joe's is falling flat because you believe you've exhausted every grocery item they sell at this point in your adult life, it's time to consider some hacks for changing up your meals. Seasoned TJ's shoppers know that many of the grocery items can be used in combination with other grocery items to create fresh meals that go beyond the obvious intended use. And when it comes to Trader Joe's breakfast items, there are so many ways to spice up your relationship with the store that you thought you knew.
Once you unlock your mind to the possibilities of mixed groceries, your love for the store will be recharged and reinvigorated. Once you realize that you can put cookie butter in your oatmeal, or eggnog in your french toast, you'll never shop the same way again. You're an adult and there are no rules, though you might already know that you can put Everything but the Bagel Sesame spice mix on anything in the world, you maybe didn't know that you can put chocolate nut milk in your coffee or add apple cider to your bread mix, and now you do.
Below, you'll find a list of other TJ groceries that mix well together. Some hacks are inspired by Trader Joe's recipes, and others simply come from my own breakfast arsenal. Enjoy them and let them inspire you to create your own delicious concoctions.
1. Acai Smoothie Bowl
Trader Joe's has their own acai smoothie bowl recipe, but you can improvise with your favorite ingredients. All you need to do is slightly defrost an acai smoothie packet, place the contents in a bowl and decorate with your favorite toppings. Add fresh fruit, dried fruit, granola, seeds, or even cereal to achieve your desired crunch and texture. Or, throw it in the blender it and blitz it until smooth for a drinkable on-the-go option.
2. Chia Pudding
To make chia pudding, all you need is chia seeds and milk, so you can get as creative as you want here. This image features Trader Joe's personal golden coconut milk chia pudding, but you can use regular milk, nut milk, soy milk, rice milk, or even chocolate milk. Then you can add spices and sweeteners to taste like cinnamon, turmeric, honey, vanilla, and more. Combine the contents, pop it in the fridge and allow the chia to absorb the liquid and plump up. When you're ready to eat, you can top it off with fruit, coconut shavings, maple syrup or even cocoa nibs if you're looking for something extra sweet.
3. Cookie Butter Oatmeal
The genius combination of cookie butter and oatmeal is all on Trader Joe, but you can sub the cookie butter for just about any soft spreadable treat you like to spice it up. I like adding nut butters, jams, and other sweet spreads to add some fun flavors to my breakfast oats. You can also add fruits, nuts, and seeds for added texture and nutritional value. If you add the spread while the oats are still quite hot, it mixes well, incorporating the spread into every bite.
4. Egg Salad Toast
Trader Joe's makes a great ready-to-go egg salad, so if you don't have time to make your own hard boiled eggs in the morning, this is a great option. Toast some bread or Trader Joe’s Everything Ciabatta Rolls, add a piece of lettuce or cheese and spread on some of the egg salad for a superfast egg breakfast that doesn't involve any cooking.
5. Bagels & Lox
You don't need to go to an expensive deli to get a New York style bagel sandwich. Add your favorite cream cheese spread to a bagel of your choice and top with TJ's smoked salmon. If you're looking for even bigger flavor, opt for their everything bagel-style lox.
6. Protein Powder Pancakes
Trader Joes has a great blueberry protein powder recipe, but you can mix in whatever protein powder you like to beef up your breakfast. Or, add whatever fruit your want to their basic protein powder pancake recipe to fine tune your pancake experience. To add even more protein, spread nut butter on your pancakes in lieu of maple syrup.
7. Mediterranean Avo Toast
Avocado toast is a classic, but if you're tired of it or looking for ways to add more protein to your breakfast, add a layer of hummus on your toast. The flavor combination is amazing, and if you top it with chopped veggies, a fried egg, or just Everything but the Bagel seasoning, you'll have an restaurant level breakfast for a fraction of the price.
8. Overnight Eggnog Oats
Trader Joe's has a special yogurt overnight oat recipe, but you can add their delicious eggnog to make a festive overnight oat breakfast, or your favorite milk instead. To really dress it up, add some nutmeg, cinnamon, and chia seeds for some extra nutritional value. All you have to do is combine the oats, eggnog, and seasonings before bed and leave it in the fridge until morning.
9. Waffle PB&J
TJ waffles are easy and delicious, but what makes them more delicious and more commuter-friendly is when you cover them in nut butter and jam and turn them into PB&J sandwiches. If you want to go extra sweet, use cookie butter, or if you want a more adult-jam, try their epic fig spread.
10. Egg Tacos
Breakfast tacos are so versatile. In Trader Joe's recipe, they use their soy chorizo, but you can pack it however you like. For a vegetarian option, you can stick to eggs, beans, cheese and veggies, for a meat option you can swap in bacon or ground beef, and for a vegan option you can sub in tofu and add binding potatoes in lieu of cheese.
11. Everything But The Bagel Rice Cakes
Trader Joe's Everything but the Bagel Sesame seasoning is a fan favorite, it gives everything you put it on the flavor of an everything bagel. If you're not in the mood for a full bagel, or you want a gluten-free option, sub in rice cakes for bread and get all the same flavors without the hassle.
12. Festive Cornbread French Toast
Any bread will do when you're making french toast, but if you want to make something seasonally festive, use this cranberry cornbread mix, which is also gluten-free. Dunk each slice in a mixture of egg and milk (try chocolate milk or eggnog if you want it sweeter) and cook on a skillet until lightly browned.
With a little bit of creativity and planning, you can mix and match your groceries to get way more out of them that what's advertised.