Summer snacking‘s at its peak when you’re eating outside, especially when you scored a deal on the food at the budget-conscious haven that is Trader Joe’s. The key to alfresco munching is to find foods that are simultaneously indulgent and refreshing, like ice cream bars that are heavy on chocolate but conveniently cool in temperature. Luckily, TJ’s has no shortage of such snacks for the warmer months. And since they do have modest prices, you basically have to try all the products below. Without a doubt. Don’t be shy.
1.Chèvre With Honey ($3): This smooth goat cheese is a longtime TJ’s classic, but its packaging just got a new look. Do your due diligence and give it a whirl, preferably with the store’s fig and olive crackers.
2.100% Mango Juice ($3): Juice may not be a solid food, but it can add freshness to your snack arsenal. Blend this convenient can with fruit for a summery smoothie or with yogurt for a light, lassi-inspired beverage. If you don’t see the juice on the shelves just yet, don’t despair! The new product has experienced some production delay, but it should be available really soon.
3.Mango Joe-Joe’s ($3): Drumroll please; the mango flavor of the coveted Joe-Joe’s comes out in just a few weeks. A tropical fruity filling is sandwiched between buttery cookies. Pair it with some ice cream if you know what’s good for you.
4. Mango & Sticky Rice Spring Rolls ($3): If any dessert encompasses summer, it’s Thai mango and sticky rice, which is sweet but not overly so and takes advantage of one of the season’s most delicious fruits. Trader Joe’s, of course, kicks it up a notch by tucking it into fried spring-roll wrappers, ideal for poolside eating.
5. White Truffle Potato Chips ($3): When your parents come to town, throw these sophisticated chips into a bowl to show them that you’ve made it in life. Or snack on them poolside to feel like you’re truly #winning.
6. Key Lime Tea Cookies ($4): If you don’t have time to whip up a key lime pie, these light yet buttery cookies are an obvious next step. Eat them in the shade, and you’ll feel like you’re reclining somewhere in the Florida Keys. Get ’em quick; they’re only available May through August.
7.Sweet Plantain Chips ($2): These guilt-free chips beg to be scooped up with salsa, guac, or even refried beans.
8. Brownie Crisp Coffee Ice Cream Sandwiches ($4): That’s a lot of good words right there. Let’s pick them apart. Brownie crisp: Crunches like a cracker but tastes like oven-fresh fudge-y goodness. Coffee: The answer to everything. Ice cream sandwiches: The quintessential nostalgic dessert.
9.Chile Lime Seasoning ($2): Sprinkle this over fresh fruit for a juicy, spicy snack. The hot-and-cold trick also works splendidly with fruity popsicles, sorbet, and cocktails.
10. Cornbread Crisps ($3): If summer has an official carbohydrate, it’s sweet and savory cornbread. These impressive chips are made out of real cornbread, which is flattened, baked until crispy, and sprinkled with sea salt (meaning you won’t be able to keep your mitts out of the bag).
11. Mango Mini Mochi ($4): Creamy, dairy-free sorbet mochi is basically a medical cure for heat exhaustion. These bites’ miniature size makes them ideal for passing around the hot tub.
12.Campfire S’mores Bar ($3): If you lack the will to coax a campfire, fear not. This shareable chocolate bar has generous chunks of all the necessary s’mores fixings, from crispy graham cracker bits to puffy, fluffy marshmallows. FYI, if you see these on the shelves, stock up! Even though it’s not even officially summer, once they’re gone, you’ll have to wait until next year to get a taste.
13. Mini Hold the Cone! Ice Cream Cones ($3): These mini cones mean you don’t have to aggressively hail an ice cream truck for a cold treat. TJ’s cones stay impressively crisp, while the inside is creamy and never icy.
14.White Cheddar Corn Puffs ($2): We’ll leave you with our one true addiction in life — these white cheddar corn puffs. They’re slightly crispy on the outside, pillowy on the inside, and bursting with the glorious and unparalleled flavor of powdered cheese. Grab a bag for late-night television bingeing, and you will regret nothing.
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(Additional reporting by Aubrey Rojas)