Rice milk, sprouted adzuki beans, agave nectar, medjool dates, Rudi's gluten-free multigrain bread...I must've been shopping at a health food store, right? Nope. Just good-old-fashioned Costco.
When I asked my mom to make a trip to Costco, to check out all of the superstore's vegan options, she happily obliged.
"Oh, sure," she said, "that can't take long at all."
Imagine her surprise when it took more than two hours. From juicers to sprouted beans, tofu and organic produce, the stock-your-kitchen warehouse offers more than I ever expected. If you're throwing a Labor Day weekend BBQ, you can almost fully stock up without spending a fortune.
On a more regular basis, you can almost completely build the base of a balanced vegan diet in this store, but will still need to shop elsewhere to round it out.
As you go through, make sure to double-check the labels. There were several items I started to jot down, only to realize they are not vegan. The most surprising were the Morningstar Chipotle Black Bean Burgers, Sam Choy's Yakisoba, Naked Juices Probotic and Messetta Napa Valley Bistro Homemade Style Marinara.
Here's a breakdown of my favorite finds—these are the healthier vegan options. The list follows the order of the store and does not list all of the possible seasonings and produce. Please note: There are also plenty of vegan junk food items that I don't list here. If there were more than a few preservatives or mystery ingredients, the items didn't make the cut.
- KitchenAid 5.5-quart stanx mixer, $269.99
- Jack LeLanne Ultimate Juice Extractor, $89.99
- CuisinArt SmartPower Blender/Elite Food Processor, $149.99
- Elite MiniChopper, $29.89
- Sever-quart Crockpot, $39.99
- Aroma 10-cup Rice Cooker, $29.99
- KitchenAid Salad Spinner, $18.99
- Eli's Health Loaf Hearth Baked, $4.49 (this has honey)
- Eli's Raisin Nut Loaf, $5.79
- Organic Tortilla Chips, $4.79 (40oz)
- Angies Artisan Treat Pure + Natural Kettle Korn, $4.99 (18oz)
- Bare Fruit Organic Apple Chips, $5.99 (14oz)—gluten free
- Snack Factory Pretzel Crisps Original, $5.89 (26oz)
- Don Lee Farms Veggie Patties, $11.69 (14)
- Meninno Brothers Cowboy Caviar Bean Dip, $5.99 (32oz)
- House Foods Firm Tofu, $3.79 (3 pack)
- Fujisan Organic Edamame, $4.99 (24oz)
- Summer Fresh Tuscan Bean Salad, $7.79 (32oz)
- Christopher Ranch Peeled Garlic, $4.99 (48oz)
- Hannah Organic Hummus, 99 cents (32oz)
- Wholly Guacamole, $9.99 (32oz)
- Santa Barbara Garden Style Salsa, $4.99 (32oz)
- Hannah Authentic Taboule, $4.99 (21oz)
- Hannah Gluten Free Bruschetta, $6.99 (39oz)
- Meal Mart Glatt Kosher Falafel Balls, $7.99 (32oz)
Produce (highlighting the organic offerings)
- Avocados, $7.99 (5)
- Earthbound Farm Organic Carrots, $6.99 (10lbs)
- Earthbound Farm Organic Peeled Baby Carrots, $5.99 (5lbs)
- Shanghai Mue Baby BokChoy, $5.99 (21lbs)
- Organic Spring Mix, $4.99 (1lb)
- Fresh 'N Natural Baby Spinach Organic, $4.29 (1lb)
- Medjool Dates Large, $8.49 (21lbs)
- Boca Original Vegan Meatless Burgers, $9.99 (16)
- Kirkland Signature Stir Fry Vegetables, $7.29 (5lbs)
- Watts Brothers Farms Organic Mixed Vegetables, $5.99 (5lbs)
- Rader's Farms Nature's Three Berries, $10.99 (4lbs)
- Rudi's Bread—gluten free multigrain, $6.99 (2 18oz loaves)
- Sambazon Organic Acai Juice, $9.99 (4qts)
- Naked Blue Machine and Mighty Mango, $6.99 (2qts)
- Bolthouse Farms Carrot Juice, $7.29 (3qts)
- Silk Almond Milk, $7.89 (6qts)
- Silk Organic Vanilla Soy Milk, $7.29 (6qts)
Dry Food/Baking Aisles
- MaraNatha All Natural Roasted Almond Butter, $5.89 (26oz)
- Kirkland Organic Strawberry Spread, $6.89 (42oz)
- Nature's Path Organic Pumpkin Flax Granola, $7.39 (35.3oz)
- Nature's Patch Organic Ancient Grains, 69 cents (34oz)
- Quaker Oats Old Fashioned Oats, $6.89 (10lbs)
- Kirkland Pure Vanilla, $6.75 (16oz)
- Wholesome Sweeteners Organic Blue Agave Nectar, $7.75 (47oz)
- Pecans, $14.99 (2lbs)
- Almonds, $9.89 (3lbs)
- Pine Nuts, $22.69 (1.5lbs)
- Walnuts, $13.99 (3lbs)
- Filippo Berio Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil, $9.99 (1ltr)
- Pineapple Coconut Mango Tequila Sauce, $7.65 (40oz)
- Culinary Treasures Lemon Ginger Dressing, $5.59 (32oz)
- Fresh Gourmet Organic Croutons, $6.35 (2lbs)
- Materne GoGo Squeez Apple Sauce, $5.95 (12)
- Paisley Farms Four-Bean Salad, $5.99 (2qts)
- Rice Dream Organic Rice Milk, $17.59 (12 quarts)
- Kirkland Signature Organic Soy Milk Vanilla, $12.95 (12qts)
- Vita Coco Coconut Water, $14.99 (12)
- Minsley Cooked Brown Rice Organic, $6.99 (6 bowls)
- Classico Pasta Sauce, $6.95 (3 32oz. jars)
- Nature's Earthly Choice Black Rice, $7.49 (3lbs)
- Organic Quinoa, $9.39 (4lbs)
The most exciting find of the day: TruRoots Organic Sprouted Bean Trio, a three-pound blend of lentils, adzuki and mung beans. I've been adding it to soups, salads and basic meals all week.
In the winter months, look for Amy's Organic soups in black bean and lentil. I've contacted the store to ask why I couldn't find them, and was told they are a seasonal item.
What are your favorite vegan finds at Costco?