A few years ago, Trader Joe’s turned cauliflower into anything and everything you could possibly imagine: cauliflower rice, cauliflower mash, cauliflower gnocchi, cauliflower pancakes. If cauliflower could be inserted into a product, Trader Joe’s would do it. We were all eating cauliflower and only cauliflower and it eventually got a little old.
Fast forward to 2023; Trader Joe’s is now in its hearts of palm era. What are hearts of palm, you might ask? Lucky for you, we wrote a whole article about it! TLDR: It’s the inner core of a palm tree that has been cut into cylinders or rings and canned or jarred in water or brine.
If you walk into a TJ’s today, you will see the cauliflower-ification of this unique and tangy vegetable. Right now, they’re stocking their shelves with three different hearts of palm products. Here’s what we think you should do with them before Trader Joe’s leaves hearts of palm in the dust and moves on to their next vegetable muse.
- Canned Hearts of Palm
Canned is the most common way you’ll find hearts of palm in any store in America. At Trader Joe’s, you can find canned hearts of palm in the aisle with the beans and olives. It’s a great snack to munch on or a wonderful ingredient for tons of dishes. Vegan ceviche is a quick, easy, simple preparation that absolutely rules. This vegan lobster roll looks awesome. Sauteed with garlic? Yes, please! Be warned, though. Influencers on TikTok are trying to convince you that hearts of palm is a good snack because it “tastes like a cheese stick.” It, in fact, does not. It looks a little like a cheese stick, but it has neither the taste nor texture of cheese. This narrative is unhinged and I beg you not to believe it.
- Riced Hearts of Palm
To be clear: This is not rice. Do not replace rice with riced hearts of palm. It does not taste the same, nor does it have the same texture or nutritional value. Use riced hearts of palm because you like hearts of palm. On the internet, you’ll find recipes for low-carb fried rice made with this. That does not make sense to me. Instead, pair this citrusy riced vegetable with shrimp scampi! Pour buttery, garlicky, lemony shrimp over riced hearts of palm for a deliciously fresh dinner.
- Hearts of Palm Pasta
This hearts of palm product makes the least sense to me. The texture is so different from pasta. In my opinion, don’t think of this as pasta. Think of it as hearts of palm shreds or strands. Throw them into caesar salad with tons of crunchy romaine and croutons. You could also use it in place of imitation crab meat to make a vegan version of the viral sushi bake. Sure, you could also make a pasta primavera with these, but I think you should get creative!