16 Mediterranean Diet Staples to Buy at Trader Joe's

Trader Joe's offers some great grocery picks, whether you're following the Mediterranean diet or just wanting to eat a bit healthier at home.
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People love the Mediterranean diet for plenty of reasons. One that can't be ignored: The food that's encouraged on the diet has potential to turn into absolutely delicious meals.

The Med eating plan focuses on vegetables, fruits, legumes, whole grains, fish and seafood, as well as healthy fats like olive oil, while limiting red meat, added sugars and the so-called "bad" saturated fat.

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Experts generally agree that the Mediterranean provides a healthy eating framework. In fact, U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks it as the "Best Overall Diet." It also has taken their top spots for Best Diet for Healthy Eating, Easiest Diets to Follow, Best Diabetes Diet, Best Heart-Healthy Diet and Best Plant-Based Diet.

Whatever your reason is for following the Med diet, grab these Trader Joe's Mediterranean food staples to add more nutrients and versatility into your meals.

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1. Frozen Artichoke Hearts

TJ's frozen artichoke hearts are great for roasting, pulsing into a dip or adding to pastas and sandwiches.

Per serving: 35 calories, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 20 milligrams sodium, 7 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, <1 gram sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein

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Frozen artichoke hearts have a slight edge over canned for two reasons: You only defrost and use what you need (no more half-used can aging in your refrigerator!) and they also contain much less sodium.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.29

2. Frozen Mushroom Medley

Trader Joe's Frozen Mushroom Medley offers all the benefits of mushrooms without the hassle of cleaning them.

Per serving: 50 calories, 4.5 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 210 milligrams sodium, 3 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein

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Vary up your veggie intake, but skip the prep steps that mushrooms require, like scrubbing off dirt and trimming stems. These mushrooms are seasoned with olive oil, garlic and parsley, and ready to heat and eat. Eat them as is or fold them into an omelet or add them to a piece of your favorite toast.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.79

3. Roasted Cauliflower

Sure you could roast a head of cauliflower on your own, but this frozen pack of Trader Joe's Roasted Cauliflower will come in handy when that's just not in the cards.

Per serving: 60 calories, 4 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 170 milligrams sodium, 5 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 2 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein

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Cauliflower's popularity is still going strong, thanks in part to its low-carb profile. This veggie side is easy and healthy and will help you move in the right direction toward that vegetable-heavy Mediterranean way of eating.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $4.29

4. Eggplant Garlic Spread

You'll want to put TJ's Eggplant Garlic Spread on virtually everything, and the good news is that you can.

Per serving: 30 calories, 2 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 220 milligrams sodium, 4 grams carbohydrates (1 gram fiber, 2 grams sugar, 1 gram added sugar), 0 grams protein

Not only are the ingredients in this spread very Mediterranean (hello, eggplant, garlic and red pepper!), but this eggplant spread with sweet red peppers is also super-versatile. Add it to a sandwich, top crackers with a large dollop or use it as a dip with an array of raw veggies.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $2.69

5. Shakshuka Starter

Trader Joe's Shakshuka Starter lets you bring a fancy brunch out home.

Per serving: 80 calories, 3.5 grams fat (0.5 grams saturated fat), 340 milligrams sodium, 11 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 6 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 2 grams protein

Start your day with at least one serving of veggies with this Shakshuka starter. This freezer find technically serves two and is BYO eggs. Add an egg and the calories jump up to 150, total fat to 8 grams, saturated fat to 2 grams and protein to 8 grams, equating to a very healthy morning (or evening) meal.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $1.99

6. Turkey Burgers

Trader Joe's Turkey Burgers are made with just three ingredients, making them the perfect freezer staple.

Per serving: 180 calories, 10 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 280 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 22 grams protein

Moderate portions of turkey (and other lean proteins) is a key element of the Mediterranean diet. These burgers have just three ingredients — turkey, kosher salt and rosemary extract — so they're whole-food-based and serve as a great founation for your favorite toppers (think: avocado, roasted red pepper or a vinegar-based slaw).

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.29

7. Sockeye Smoked Salmon

Top Trader Joe's Sockeye Smoked Salmon on salads or layer it on a piece of toast.

Per serving: 70 calories, 1.5 grams fat, 670 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 13 grams protein

On the Mediterranean diet, fish and other seafood is considered a weekly staple. These salmon pieces are low-cal, high-protein and make for great toast, salad and bagel toppers. These do contain quite a bit of sodium, so be mindful about your portion sizes and what else you're eating throughout the day.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $8.99

8. Sesame Crusted Hardwood Smoked Ahi Tuna

TJ's Sesame Crusted Hardwood Smoked Ahi Tuna is a protein-packed option that would taste great alongside your favorite veggies.

Per serving: 70 calories, 1 gram fat (0 grams saturated fat), 600 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 13 grams protein

This is another low-cal, high-protein, easy-to-keep-on-hand fish option. Fold this seasoned and smoked tuna into a sandwich or top a salad with it.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $5.99

9. Citterio Salami Sticks

When you're craving something salty, these Citterio Salami Sticks will get the job done.

Per serving: 140 calories, 10 grams fat (3.5 grams saturated fat), 650 milligrams sodium, 1 gram carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 9 grams protein

Think of these meat sticks as a bougie version of what you'd grab at a gas station — higher quality, tastier but still meant to be eaten only occasionally. Fortunately, they keep for a long while in the fridge and are a satisfying, savory snack that's low in carbs and delivers a decent dose of protein.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $1.79

10. Frozen Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa

Convenience can be king, so when your hours are filled but you want to eat healthily, TJ's Frozen Fully Cooked Organic Quinoa can serve you well.

Per serving: 140 calories, 2 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 10 milligrams sodium, 24 grams carbohydrates (3 grams fiber, 1 gram sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 5 grams protein

Take this whole grain from your freezer to your plate in mere minutes — that's much quicker than pantry to plate. Quinoa is a perfect protein that also happens to be a great source of fiber, so you'll feel full and energized up until your next meal.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.99

11. 10-Minute Farro

Trader Joe's 10-Minute Farro offers another clever way to get good-for-you grains, fast.

Per serving: 170 calories, 1 gram fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams sodium, 34 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 5 grams protein

You'll want to add this nutty whole grain to your meal rotation because it's been pre-cooked, allowing it to come together in half the time of the conventional farro in your pantry. Pair it with the cauliflower (above), edamame (below) and your favorite dressing and you have yourself a satisfying vegetarian meal.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $1.79

12. Steamed Lentils

Trader Joe's Steamed Lentils go with just about anything: salads, protein bowls or even breakfast.

Per serving: 120 calories, 0.5 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 230 milligrams sodium, 21 grams carbohydrates (6 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 10 grams protein

Legumes, the family to which lentils belong, are one of those Mediterranean diet foods that can serve as a base to most meals. These pre-steamed lentils serve as a (plant-based) protein source on their own, but also make a nice bed when served under another go-to protein, like fish, eggs or poultry.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.29

13. Edamame With Sea Salt

Enjoy Trader Joe's Edamame With Sea Salt on their own for an energizing snack, or pair with greens or stir-fries.

Per serving: 100 calories, 3 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 160 milligrams sodium, 10 grams carbohydrates (6 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 9 grams protein

Just a quick, simple steam will get these protein pods ready in a jiff. Edamame is delicious on its own as a side dish, but also makes a great addition to leafy green or bean salads — and adds a healthy amount of fiber and protein.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $2.99

14. Organic Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil Spray

We'll bet that Trader Joe's Organic Extra Virgin Spanish Olive Oil Spray becomes your new go-to.

Per serving: 0 calories, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams sodium, 0 grams carbohydrates (0 grams fiber, 0 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 0 grams protein

Olive oil is a main focus of the Mediterranean diet and this spray is an easy way to get heart-healthy fats while keeping your calories in check when you need some grease for non-stick cooking. Think beyond just coating your pans and spray your veggies before you roast them or lightly coat whole-grain rolls or bread before toasting.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $3.99

15. Sun-Dried Apricots Trio Pack

These snackable Sun-Dried Apricots will keep you full and satisfy any cravings for sweets.

Per serving: 130 calories, 0 grams fat (0 grams saturated fat), 0 milligrams sodium, 32 grams carbohydrates (4 grams fiber, 15 grams sugar, 0 grams added sugar), 1 gram protein

Brimming with fiber and portioned into the perfect snack size, these tender apricots are worth keeping in your pantry, your purse and even your glove compartment for an easy, portable snack.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $1.49

16. Gone Bananas! Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices

When your post-dinner brain can't stop thinking sweets, consider TJ's Gone Bananas! Dark Chocolate Covered Banana Slices as the perfect silencer.

Per serving: 100 calories, 3.5 grams fat (2.5 grams saturated fat), 20 milligrams sodium, 16 grams carbohydrates (2 grams fiber, 12 grams sugar, 6 grams added sugar), <1 gram protein

This fruit-forward frozen treat is exactly as its name implies: The ingredient list is bananas, dark chocolate and coconut oil. That's it. Even better: You'll satisfy your sweet tooth and also sneak in some fruit. Don't love bananas? The same product comes in a strawberry version too.

Buy it:​ Trader Joe’s stores; ​Price:​ $1.99

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