Surviving Lactose Intolerance: Trader Joe’s Edition

As a (self-proclaimed) lactose intolerant, I tended to treat my body's disdain for dairy quite nonchalantly. Time after time I stared down that bowl of ice cream, or the greasy cheeseburger, and just accepted the fact that it would destroy my stomach in the hours to come. But alas, as I got older and my body's disagreements with dairy increased, I was forced to confront the unfortunate truth that I would have to eliminate dairy from my diet. Initially, grocery shopping was a pain. I found myself reaching for the things that I could no longer buy, and I never saw any good alternatives. But finally, when I moved into an apartment just mere steps from Trader Joe’s, I found my safe haven. The more I frequented it, the more non-dairy alternatives I found, and oh have I gone through quite a bit of them. Most I was really glad to find, and some not so much. Here are some of my all-star selections of dairy-free must-tries at the wonderful Trader Joe’s.

1. Creamy Almond Cultured Yogurt Alternative

I cannot emphasize enough how much I love this yogurt. Not only does it taste the same as normal yogurt, but it’s absolutely delicious too. My only complaint is that I wish they sold it in bigger portions. A definite 10/10.

2. Soy Cheese 

After going dairy-free, I knew in my heart that I would miss cheese the most. I didn’t have much hope for finding a good alternative for cheese, especially after trying the cashew cheese alternative that Trader Joe’s offers that, for lack of better words, I hated. But that’s when I found soy cheese and fell in love. Trader Joe’s sells soy cheese in both sliced and shredded forms, and they complement just about anything.

3. Soy Creamy Vanilla Ice Cream 

If I had to describe this ice cream, I think I would have to use the words heaven in a carton. Normally I don’t like soy, but I was pleasantly surprised when I tried this ice cream. It is definitely a slightly different taste than the typical ice cream but in the best way possible.

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4. Matcha Almond Beverage 

Although quite straightforward, the matcha almond beverage is the perfect drink to buy if you’re lazy like me and don’t want to make it yourself. The almond milk is a delightful complement to the already popular matcha drink, and it is perfect for absolutely any occasion.

5. Almond EggNog

I love anything and everything Christmas and was so excited to see this on the Trader Joe’s shelves. The almond nog is the perfect drink for the holidays and is even better warmed up.

6. Vanilla Almond Spiced Chai Protein Shake 

As a college student, I am in a constant state of doing things, which often results in the unhealthy habit of me eating the easiest thing I can find. Protein shakes have helped me quite a bit in a time crunch, but the vanilla almond spiced chai protein shake is definitely one step above. Not only is it dairy-free, but it’s premade, and not to mention delicious. Although, I would definitely tread with caution, as the spiced chai can be a lot to handle. And side note, I would avoid the Banana and Almond butter protein shake at all costs. Stick with the vanilla for sure.

7. Cocoa Peppermint Almond Creamer

Like many students, I drink too much coffee. So, when the holiday season began and I found this creamer, I was enamored. It’s almost like your own at-home peppermint mocha and tastes good both cold and hot.

Shallow Focus Photography of Cafe Late Photo by Kevin Menajang from Pexels