Eight Healthy Food Substitutes to Try from Trader Joe's

Let’s be real- trying to eat healthy in college is a never-ending battle. Cooking healthy meals can be very time consuming and expensive. So how can we win? Cutting out or reducing small things in your diet actually does more than you think. I came up with Trader Joe's items I’ve recently tried that are perfect substitutes for everyday foods!


1. Trader Joe’s Quinoa and Brown Rice Fusilli Pasta

As a pasta addict, I was very skeptical about this one. I was prepared for it to taste heavily like brown rice instead of traditional pasta, but I was pleasantly surprised. I tried a piece while it was cooking and while it did taste different from regular pasta, I was glad that the brown rice taste wasn’t overpowering. With creamy marinara on top, I could barely tell the difference. Quinoa is super healthy and protein-rich, so if you’re trying to find carb substitutes, this is a perfect alternative. Plus it’s gluten free!

2. Veggie Chips

For those of you who love snacking on chips, these are the perfect substitute for regular potato chips. With very low saturated fat and veggie infusions, you can eat plenty and not feel bloated from sodium! These are great for taking to work or school and they also come in a veggie straw version as well. 

3. Oatmeal

I don’t typically eat breakfast in the morning because of time-related reasons, so I was super excited when I first got this oatmeal. First off, it comes in a small cup that only requires the addition of hot water or milk, which is fast and convenient for on-the-go meals. The oatmeal isn’t sugary, which I like, but sometimes I add a tiny bit of honey if I’m feeling some sweetness. It comes in two delicious flavors: strawberry and tart cherry with pumpkin seeds. 

4. Cauliflower Crust Pizza

Cauliflower carb substitutes have been extremely successful, and for good reason! Cauliflower mimics carbs perfectly, especially in pizza crusts.  While it may not be fluffy like bread, it tastes just like a thin pizza crust. 14/10 would recommend this one! Trader Joe’s also sells plain cauliflower and broccoli crusts if you want to add your own sauce and toppings to make a unique, healthy pizza. 

5. Green Goddess Dressing

A lot of dressings are high in sodium and add empty calories, which is why this veggie-based dressing is much healthier. Unlike other dressings, this one is made from blended veggies (like avocado and cilantro), combined with other natural flavors (such as lime juice). I love putting this dressing not only on salads, but on grilled/oven roasted veggies as well!

6. Super Burrito

I spend most of my day on campus, so I am constantly looking for healthy things to take to school. This superfood burrito is filled with quinoa, kale, roasted sweet potato, and chili lime sauce all in a wheat tortilla. It’s super easy to take with you while getting a good serving of protein and greens. 

7. Snickerdoodle Cookies

Because who doesn’t crave sweets occasionally? I’m a sucker for sweets and am obsessed with these cookies. They are super soft and doughy in addition to being gluten free, dairy free, nut free, and vegan!

8. Coconut Aminos Sauce

I absolutely love sushi, dumplings, and gyoza with soy sauce and wasabi. When one of my friends introduced me to this healthier soy sauce alternative, I knew I had to get it. Made with coconut sap and containing 13 amino acids, this sauce is a big win. Traditional soy sauce has a whopping 900mg of sodium per tablespoon, but this sauce only has 300mg, helping you reduce your sodium intake. As an added bonus, it’s gluten free!


Substitute these foods into your diet and you’ll realize that healthy has never tasted so good! Eat your way into a healthier fall!

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