Trader Joe’s seems to get all the hype these days, but let’s not forget about its cool (slightly more expensive) older sister: Whole Foods. People love to hate on the grocery store for its pretension and costliness, but it stocks some hidden gems on the shelves if you know where to look. Next time you take a trip to WFM, make sure to toss some of these items in your cart.
1. Soy Nuggets
If you’re heading over to the salad bar, I highly suggest adding some soy nuggets to your container. As someone who has tried multiple meat substitutes, I can attest to the varied success rate amongst the options.
However, these nuggets are amazing — they have a great texture and aren’t too dense or spongy. Whole Foods makes also makes them in a buffalo variety if you’re in the mood for something a little more ~spicy~.
2. Coconut Date Rolls
Stock up on these delicious and natural treats in the bulk section. These are often overlooked in favor of the other endless bins of seeds and fruit, but they’re one of Whole Foods’ best kept secrets. The combination of sugary dates mixed with flakes of crisp coconut makes these mouth-wateringly good.
3. 365 Boxed Mac and Cheese
As a college student, I’ve consumed my fair share of microwaveable mac and cheese. So trust me when I say this is one of the best ones out there. Of course, it’s wonderfully simple to make, but it doesn’t taste like it’s from the box. Thanks to a creamy cheddar sauce, this pasta is a great option for when you need dinner fast but want to put in minimal effort.
4. Jessica’s Granola
I first tried this granola when it was a sample at my local Whole Foods Market and it was basically life-changing. Jessica’s comes in multiple delectable flavors, including Chocolate Chip and Almond Cherry. As a plus, this brand is also non-GMO and safe for those with a gluten intolerance.
5. Brad’s Kale Chips
We’re talking about Whole Foods Market, so, of course, it’s obligatory to mention the best kale chips the grocery store sells: Brad’s. When munching on a box of these, you’ll forget you’re even eating a vegetable. Somehow, the geniuses behind this product make an amazing nacho flavor of kale chips that’s also vegan.
6. Belvoir Farms Elderflower Beverages
This brand is not your average lemonade — the company excels in both the taste and packaging of their products. The lemonade is not overly sweet and has a whimsical floral taste from the elderflower. It also comes in a few varieties, including Elderflower & Rose and an organic variety of the original Elderflower Lemonade.
7. Grind-Your-Own Nut Butter
It might sound crazy, but there truly is a taste difference between jarred nut butter and those that are freshly ground. At Whole Foods, you have the option to make your own nut butter right in the store. Better yet, they go beyond the conventional flavors and have chocolate varieties.
8. Halo Top Ice Cream
This ice cream is INSANE. The entire print is only 240 calories and there are 6 grams of protein per serving. They’re so healthy that one of our Spoon writers ate nothing but Halo Top for five days. They even have fun flavors like Lemon Cake and Mint Chip. But if you really want to indulge and go all out, pick up some wine ice cream.
9. Fig Bars
When you’re searching for something sweet but don’t want to completely obliterate your healthy eating record, pick up some of these bars at Whole Foods. They taste like Fig Newtons but have natural ingredients and come in a bunch of flavors. I recommend the Apple Cinnamon variety — it’s basically apple pie in bar form.
10. So Delicious Cashew Milk Ice Cream
Ben and Jerry’s may have just come out with their own dairy-free ice cream, but So Delicious has been churning out desserts like this one for years now. Their cashew milk ice cream is so good because of its creaminess and variety. The company produces this product in options like Snickerdoodle, Dark Chocolate Truffle and Salted Caramel Cluster.
11. Califia Farms Coffee Beverages
While we’re on the subject of dairy alternatives, Califia Farms makes some of the best almond milk products. They blend their almond milk with cold brew coffee to make concoctions like Salted Caramel and Mocha. And all of the coffee they use is Rain Forest Alliance certified and their almond milk is carrageenan-free.