Even if you can’t stand the crowded aisles, insane parking lot and general feeling of chaos every time you walk into a Trader Joe’s, chances are you inevitably find yourself back there time and time again. (And so does everybody else, hence the crowded aisles and endless bumper car — and bumper cart — situation.)
That’s because Trader Joe’s always has something good going on and the prices are right. And now that fall is in full swing, it’s definitely harvest time. Of course, there’s plenty of pumpkin spice to go around, but this list focuses on unexpected vegan-friendly finds that will have you falling in love all autumn long.
1. Trader Joe’s Glimmering Pumpkin Sugar Cookies
Fall just got a whole lot sweeter thanks to these sprinkle-covered sugar cookies. Trader Joe’s Glimmering Pumpkins are so good and they’ll take your cookie-dunking game to a whole new level. Although they’re pumpkin-shaped, the pumpkin-ness stops there. There is no pumpkin spice flavor, just a buttery sugar cookie taste. They aren’t too sweet and they go perfectly dipped in a cup of hot tea. Even better, they’re vegan-friendly. The only downside: You won’t be able to eat just one. (Unless you’re talking about one box. That you can do.)
2. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Pumpkin Soy Candle
Fall is the time for cozy sweaters, warm blankets and a soothing cup of hot tea (with TJ’s sugar cookies, naturally). For an equally delicious but calorie-free experience, treat yourself to this luscious Vanilla Pumpkin scented candle. Made with a natural soy wax blend and lead-free cotton wick, this candle will give your place the softest fragrance of pumpkin mingled with a touch of vanilla. It’s sweet and subtle and smells just the way you want autumn to smell. FYI: If you want a much stronger scent, try the Honeycrisp Apple — it literally smells like you have a bunch of cut-up apples swirling around your house.
3. Trader Joe’s Birthday Cake Popcorn
Did someone say birthday cake popcorn? How could you resist?! These colorful kernels are a party in the palm of your hand and in your mouth. Open the bag and let the sweet smell of vanilla cake instantly transport you to your childhood birthday parties. Like a kid, you’ll want to dig right in and gobble up these popped pieces of sprinkled goodness. Trader Joe’s Birthday Cake Popcorn has the texture of caramel corn but tastes more like vanilla cake. Better still, it’s vegan-friendly and the sprinkles are naturally colored. It’s a genius invention and we hope this one is here to stay year round.
4. Trader Joe’s Vanilla Maple Syrup
Long before pumpkin spice stole the spotlight, maple syrup was always the autumnal flavor favorite. (Check out this list of yummy eats that proves maple is having a moment.) And now with Trader Joe’s Vanilla Bean Infused Vermont Maple Syrup, you can take your #fallvibes to the next level. Just open the bottle and you’ll be greeted with the irresistible smell of vanilla. As for the taste, expect heavy vanilla flavor with the texture of maple syrup. This stuff will taste just as good drizzled on squash, pancakes, your next cup of tea or fall-time cocktail. Cheers!
5. Delicata Squash
Oh, delicata squash. How did we survive so long without ever knowing your wonderfully subtle sweetness, delightful texture and supreme culinary versatility? As its name suggests, delicata squash offers a delicate flavor that is sweeter than acorn squash and a size that is waaaaay easier to cut than butternut squash and spaghetti squash. While you can find delicata squash at many markets in the fall, Trader Joe’s is the place to get ’em because they’re only 99 cents each! Also, if you’re short on time, TJ’s now has organic roasted delicata squash in the freezer section, so you can just heat and serve. (Although the fresh version tastes much better.)
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Cut the delicata squash in half long ways. Now you have two pieces.
Scoop out the seeds from each side.
Slice each side into smaller pieces in the thickness you prefer. They’ll look like small “C” shapes.
Toss in a bowl with olive oil, salt and pepper.
Place squash pieces on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes.
The squash should be browned and you should be able to easily peel off the skin with a fork (although you can keep the skin on if you want).
Serve with tahini, yogurt or as is. Enjoy!
What are YOUR favorite Trader Joe’s finds? Add your own story with our easy submission form!