11/10/2016 06:00 am ET

7 Brilliant Trader Joe's Finds That Make Healthy Cooking WAY Easier

Because NOBODY's got time to crush garlic.

Trader Joe’s is known for some of the friendliest service and most innovative snacks on the planet. And when these two elements collide, you get a lineup of products that eliminate all the hard parts of cooking ― like peeling, chopping and crushing ― which we tend to avoid because we're either too tired or too confused about how to do it. 

As such, we polled HuffPost editors for their favorite Trader Joe’s products that save time in the kitchen. Whether it’s pre-cut squash that bypasses the peeling process or frozen garlic that requires absolutely no crushing, these foods have got your back so you can get on with your dinner

  • 1 Pre-Cut Butternut Squash
    Butternut squash has a tough, thick skin that makes it&nbsp;<a href="
    Suzy Strutner
    Butternut squash has a tough, thick skin that makes it notoriously hard to peel and chop. Not so with this version, whose perfect cubes come ready for roasting.
  • 2 Dorot Crushed Garlic Cubes
    Not only is this garlic already <a href="">peeled<
    Suzy Strutner
    Not only is this garlic already peeled and crushed, but it's also frozen into single-serving cubes that pop out of the tray right into your stir-fry, chicken or pasta dish. Oh and because it's frozen, it pretty much never goes bad.
  • 3 Riced Cauliflower
    <a href="">Cauliflower rice is having a
    Suzy Strutner
    Cauliflower rice is having a moment, but grating cauliflower by hand will never be cool. Thank heavens TJ's has a pre-made version!
  • 4 Frozen Cooked Brown Rice
    <a href="" target="_blank">Cooking rice</a> takes pre
    Suzy Strutner
    Cooking rice takes precision and time, and cooking brown rice takes even longer. Luckily, TJ's makes already-cooked frozen rice of all sorts, and the single-serving baggies can be popped in the microwave for perfect rice in minutes.
  • 5 Ginger Stir-In Paste
    Cooking with fresh&nbsp;ginger requires&nbsp;<a href="
    Suzy Strutner
    Cooking with fresh ginger requires peeling the root's bumpy skin and then grating the flesh underneath. This paste variety makes it easy to squirt flavor right into your dish, no work required.
  • 6 Mirepoix
    <a href="">Mirepoix</a> is the foundation of most good
    Suzy Strutner
    Mirepoix is the foundation of most good home-cooked meals. The French term refers to a combination of chopped and diced onions, carrots and celery (and Italians refer to it as soffritto). Once sauteed, it can be used as the base for everything from chicken soup to braised short ribs. As you can see, TJ's has done the hardest part for you. 
  • 7 Premium Peeled Garlic
    Again with the garlic hacks! For those of us who&nbsp;prefer to avoid frozen garlic&nbsp;or would rather control the size of
    Suzy Strutner
    Again with the garlic hacks! For those of us who prefer to avoid frozen garlic or would rather control the size of our minced bits, TJ's offers these nice pre-peeled cloves in vacuum-sealed clusters for freshness.


Trader Joe's Items You Really Need To Try