Trader Joe's is the best friend you never had. They have something for everyone: all kinds of special products for vegetarians, vegans, Sriracha lovers, and dessert fans. And don't even get me started on the roasted plantain chips. (You guys, the roasted plantain chips are so amazing and you can easily finish the whole bag in one sitting.) If you're one of the many people who has cut back on or eliminated gluten, there are 18 gluten-free items to buy at Trader Joe's that you've *got* to try immediately, if not sooner.
Gluten-free became all the rage before we even knew what gluten was. Heck, most of us still don't know what it is. For the record, the Celiac Disease Foundation says, "Gluten is a general name for the proteins found in wheat ... rye, barley and triticale — a cross between wheat and rye." Gluten acts as a glue to help food keep its shape.
While it's primarily people suffering from Celiac disease who can't properly digest gluten, many others have found it doesn't sit well with them regardless. And thus, the gluten-free movement was born. Now, grocery store shelves are lined with all kinds of gluten-less alternative eats.
The same can be said for Trader Joe's. As if they weren't amazing enough already — with their happy faces and Hawaiian shirts — they also accommodate special diets. Next time you stop by, check out these 18 items made specifically for gluten-free folks.
1. Organic Blue Corn Tortilla Chips
I don't mean to brag, but I've been known to demolish a bag of these in a matter of two days. Crispy and salty and crunchy and delicious, these chips are so good, you'll switch to blue corn for good.
2. Unsweetened Almond, Cashew & Macadamia Nut Beverage
3. These Peanuts Go On A Date Bars
Joe's sprinkled some chopped, dry roasted peanuts into date paste, added peanut butter, flaxseed meal, and sea salt, and bam! Your snack time is now on a whole other level. The didn't even need to add any extra sugar — it's already sweet enough as it is.
4. Norwegian Crispbread
Can't you already hear it crunching? Joe's makes this using a combination of sunflower, sesame, and flax seeds, oat flakes, rice bran, potato fiber, salt, and honey. I'm not sure what that spread is on top, but I want that, too.
5. Crunchy Maple Ladders Cereal
We loved cereal as kids, and now we've got a gluten-free version as grown-ups. Sweetened naturally with cane sugar and maple syrup, these cute little ladders are the perfect meal to wake up to each morning.
6. Spicy Cheese Crunchies
I know, I know — how can it be real? These cheese crunchies have a nice, little kick to 'em, and they're so jam-packed with cheese and flavor, your mouth won't know what hit it. If you were guessing it would feel amazing to be elbow deep in the bag while marathon-watching your favorite Netflix series, you would be correct.
7. Oat Cranberry Flaxseed Cookies
It's always a good time for cookies. These totally gluten-free sweets are baked with real butter (*breathing heavily*), molasses, and brown sugar, so they're super gooey, rich, and moist. Yes, I said moist. The flax seeds give a crunchy touch, while the dried crannies offer a little zing. Trust me: these won't last very long in your kitchen.
8. Falafel Mix
Mmm-mmm! I love me some falafel balls. Wrap 'em in a pita pocket and smother it all with hummus, and you've got the perfect lunch/dinner/midnight snack.
9. Almond Beverages
When it comes to milk alternatives, Trader Joe's simply can't be beat. Matcha almond milk? Blueberry lavender? Breakfast just got way more delicious.
10. Cheese Pizza With A Cauliflower Crust
Just because you're gluten-free doesn't mean you have to miss out on the greatest invention known to mankind: pizza. Don't stick your nose up at cauliflower-based breads. They totally get the job done and you might even — gasp! — enjoy it.
11. 3 Seed Beet Crackers
What a magical alternative to gluten-packed crackers! Even if you're not a huge beet fan (but why?), you might still enjoy these cute rounds, mixed with sesame, flax, and chia seeds and flavored with paprika, onion powder, and sea salt.
12. Coconut Sesame Seed Clusters
These coconut clusters are #ToDieFor. They're sweetened with organic coconut sugar and rolled in organic black and white sesame seeds. You can eat them straight from the bag, sprinkle them over your salad, or even use them as an ice cream topping. Brilliant.
13. Cauliflower Pizza Crust
If you're feeling ambitious and really want to roll up your sleeves in the kitchen, you can start from scratch (almost) and make a tasty, gluten-free pizza all on your own.
14. Crispy Crunchy Oatmeal Raisin Cookies
Forget what you know about oatmeal raisin cookies. These gluten-free sweets are in a league of their own. Perfect with afternoon tea or a tall glass of almond milk, you can't go wrong with Joe's cookies.
15. Organic Sprouted Tricolor Quinoa
Quinoa is a nutrition staple if for no other reason than because it's ridiculously versatile. You can even bake with it. Gluten-free foodies, rejoice.
16. Dark Chocolate Orange Sticks
Chocolate is one half of some of the best food combinations in the world, and orange is included. Once you try these dark chocolate sticks filled with orange-flavored jelly, you probably won't go back to any other kind of dark chocolate again.
17. Crunchy Nutty Rice Bites
When you're feeling snacky but don't want something too heavy, these light, crispy bites are the solution. The mix is a combination of brown and white rice, quinoa, dried crannies, almonds, cashews, and pumpkin seeds. Plus, the cane sugar and sea salt make for the ultimate sweet-and-salty flavoring.
18. Unsweetened Sunflower Seed Spread
If you love nut butters but can't eat them, the sunflower seed spread at Trader Joe's is the perfect alternative. Sandwich it in between two slices of gluten-free bread with your favorite jam or jelly, and you've got a winner.