So Trader Joe's is my grocery store of choice (if I can't find everything I need at the Farmer's Market). Right now with raw I'm mostly sticking to raw produce and raw nuts/seeds. Simple, easy to distinguish as raw items. I know Lara bars are also raw (I tried my first one the other day and may or may not become addicted in the near future). I'm looking to expand my raw horizons but it's such a hassle to look carefully in each section and read the labels and whatnot to find raw items (I know they're hiding there somewhere). Are there any other raw foodies out there who shop at Trader Joe's for things other than what I have mentioned?
I LOVE TRADER JOE'S. I do all my shopping there and you can't beat the prices. Aside what you mentioned, I haven't really noticed them marketing raw. Perhaps dried fruit but that's usually the same section as nuts/seeds if not scattered in the store. I have yet to try their medjool dates...they look strange. I love them but TJ's don't look too appealing. Have you tried them?
I love Trader Joe's too! I do most of my shopping at Trader Joe's. Try the Medjool dates, they are delicious. Sometimes you may get a few in the batch that is a little dried out, but for the price you can't beat it. TJ's also has a new bar called PURE, it is raw. The PURE bar comes in a chocolate and a cranberry choice. The organic selection is always as good as the non-organicr, and the price difference between the two is not that great. Normally I'll pay about 20 to 40 cents difference. I find little treats at TJ's like the sprouted beans. They cost about $1.49. Pea shoots are good, and they also carry microgreens. My suggestion is that if your neighborhood TJ's is anything like mine, go early on Saturday morning when they open at 9:00. Sometimes by mid-day the selections get low, but that is because they get produce on a daily basis and they order only what they think they will need.
Yes, the fancy medjools are delicious as long as you get them before expiration! Best ones I've had!
I think just the produce is raw; some of the nuts and seeds are labeled raw (not sure if some are blanched, some aren't), maybe some frozen fruit is raw. I wouldn't look for packaged items so much as for the produce! Yum. I love fresh produce.
a note on the nuts/seeds - Their CA almonds are NOT raw - none are, i believe, I think their Spanish Almonds are? I'm in Central California and have never seen them in my TJs, but have heard of them.
I just sprouted some great sunflower seeds from TJs (my first sprouting experience) so those are definitely raw.
The nuts used in Larabars are not roasted but they are heat treated at some point during the path from tree to your mouth. This heating doesn't fully cook them but it does destroy the enzymes that many raw foodists believe is necessary for something to be considered raw.
Cashews (most commonly used nut in Larabars) are heat treated to remove them from their shells.
Almonds are required by US law to be pasteurized. It is possible that General Mills (the owner of Larabars now) would use non-US sources for their almonds, but I would be willing to bet they don't since it would increase the cost to make the bar significantly.
All that being said...Larabas are still a hell of a lot better for you than a typical energy bar or candy bar. They are great for people who are transitioning, for people who are not super strict on their raw definition, or for people who are in a time crunch and need something "raw-ish" to get them through until their next meal.
Ooooh Gemini, I am SO glad someone else mentioned the PURE bars! I am incredibly hooked on the chocolate brownie ones - definitely the best raw bar I've found. This morning, I chopped one up, stuck it in a bowl, added some "Just Cherries" (freeze-dried sour cherries), added some buckwheaties and topped it all with almond milk.... it was divine. And they're made in MI too. :-) Makes it about as local as you can get - excepting homemade - for us Michiganders.
hey- im not trying to discourage you all who shop at TJ's becasue i know we can all only do the best we can and most of us cant do the raw diet "perfectly" because of expense or lack of availablity of things or lack of information regarding what has really been done to thigns before we buy them, but i just want you to be aware of what you might or might not be getting from there: i
i dont think the nuts in lara bars are actually raw--at least not the almonds...unless someone has contacted lara bars and knows differently? maybe they USED to be, but now with the almond pasteurization, it seems unlikely that lara bars is sourcing truly raw almonds when most of us raw fooders cant even manage to get or afford truly raw ones... i think ive read previous posts saying their cashews arent really raw either--but most cashews arent really raw anyway unless you pay the big bucks for them from sunfood or natural zing or whatever.
the organic medjools from TJs are good, but if you are sensitive to chemicals, avoid their non-organic ones. i got them once and they made my mouth and throat burn...i suspect they had been treated with something :(
also, if you are buying non-organic almonds, besides all (both organic and non-organic) of the US produced ones being pasteurized, i would be careful about HOW they are pasteurized...maybe contact TJs and find out... organic ones can only be pasteurized using heat, and some of the non organic ones are also processed this way, but the non organic ones can also be pasteurized using chemicals...
also, there have been threads on other raw foods sites in the past regarding TJs produce and how some of it is irradiated if it comes from out of state in certain states...so be careful :( the thread is a couple years old, so you might want to check specifically with your local TJ's but this is from that post: (i hope its ok i lifted it from another raw foods site, but i thought the info was important, and it has stuck in my mind ever since i read it...)
This is information that someone else posted on another board, so i hope its ok that i cut and pasted what they wrote, but it seems important:
I have known one of the manager's at Trader Joe's for many years. A few weeks ago I noticed that TJ's is still selling "raw almond butter" even though the pasteurization laws have been in effect since September. I had purchased quite a few bottles before September, but was needing more. I took one of the bottles up to this manager and asked if these were "leftovers" from before pasteurization because I did not want to purchase pasteurized "raw almond butter". His answer started a huge conversation about what really goes on behind the scenes, not only with TJ's but many other stores.
He told me that TJ's had been pasteurizing their "raw almond butter" for years! That they had never wanted to take a risk with their customers health so had been pasteurizing long before there was talk of a law.
He also told me that all of the nuts that they sell (raw or otherwise) are all pasteurized and have been for many years. They sell them as raw because they use raw nuts. Anything that is not "roasted" they call raw.
I told him that I had been purchasing the TJ's organic, raw valencia almonds since September because they are imported from Spain. (not cheap at $6.49 for 12 oz.) He told me it did not matter! TJ's pasteurizes all of their nuts.
I was shocked, but what he told me next was truly distubing!
All of the raw produce that they stock, unless it comes from Arizona, which is where I live and shop at TJ's, is irradiated. The raw, organc spinach I purchase by the ton is brought in from Mexico, so it's irradiated?. Yes, he states, it is irradiated.
He next stated that if people really knew what happens to their so called "raw" they would not be able to call themselves raw vegans.
He then pointed out that the only way to know for sure that you are eating raw and organic is to grow it yourself. The U.S. government allows stores to do whatever is necessary to raw produce, nuts, etc. to make the product safe and the stores are still allowed to call it raw.
So, the next time I went to Whole Foods Market I asked the produce guy about irradiation and he claims that WFM does not irradiate any of their produce, BUT all citrus is sprayed with fungacide! So the organic citrus that I have been paying outrageous prices for is sprayed with fungacide. LOVELY!!!"
Just wanted to share that info with you that someone had shared on another board.
just felt compelled to share this.. hopefully things are different at your TJ's....
kaybee, i was purchasing those same valencia almonds, too!! i am so shocked that you know all this stuff. it's nice to get "behind-the-scenes" information on their food. i usually shop at giant eagle and go to whole foods once every 3 months. it's pretty far away from my house (same with trader joe's) so i stock up when i go. it really annoys me that companies label food as raw when indeed it's not. it's total crap. thanks for the heads up.
So far at trader joes the only raw things I have found are the veggies the raw spanish valencia almonds the sunseeds, the dates are steamed thats why some are dry and others are not. The organic frozen fruit is raw and awesomely priced. Some of the nuts are raw but already rancid from not being properly stored so be picky and good idea posting here to find out what has worked for others I know the pistachios are yummy but I am not sure if they are truly raw.
Another great thing about trader joes is they will call headquarters to find out more info on a product if you need them too so you can find out if its truly raw or not.
iluvlife-they state on their website that their bars are not fully raw, I can't remember where else I read it but the following is a direct quote from their site.
Are cashews truly raw?
Heat steaming is often used to extract the cashew nut from the fruit of the tree. It's not known for certain whether or not the nut is actually heated during the process. Regardless, we feel that cashews are loaded with vitamins and minerals and fit into a healthy diet.
Does LÄRABAR use raw cocoa?
LÄRABAR does not use raw cocoa powder at this time. Because of LÄRABAR's unique flavor profile as well as the challenge of finding a quality and consistent supply, we have chosen to use cocoa powder from a roasted cocoa bean. We feel the health benefits, including high antioxidant content, far outweigh the fact that the cocoa has been heated.
oops. sorry you guys--i didnt get that info myself. that was cut and pasted from another board...thats why i put the link there..someone else got that info. sorry if i confused anyone. the experience with the dates was my personal experience though.