The Top 8 IKEA Food Items for Families

published May 27, 2021
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It’s easy to miss the IKEA Marketplace after a long day of labyrinth-navigating and warehouse-picking. The unassuming half-aisles of imported Swedish foods are on the opposite side of the cashier, so by the time you even have a chance to notice it’s there, you’re likely too busy plotting the Tetris packing of your trunk to register its presence. 

But the food section of IKEA is well worth an extra item on your itinerary, or, dare I say — an run of its very own. This store-within-a-store is packed with creative, quality items that give you a chance to shake up your family’s meal routine. And they’re priced much lower than what you’ll shell out for specialty items at the grocery store. As a self-appointed evangelist for the awesome, transformative power of IKEA pantry and freezer staples, here are my top 8 IKEA Marketplace finds that need to go straight into your FRAKTA shopping bag.

A Simple Coffee to Revive Your Best Memories

This strong, smooth, uncomplicated organic roast is the house blend in my kitchen. Unlike the beans costing four or five times as much, PATAR isn’t trying to reinvent your idea of black coffee. It’s an attempt to transport you back to the most pleasurable cup that lives on in your memory (I’m talking about you, French press served with brunch at Laduree in Paris). PATAR is available in a signature or espresso style, and I’m partial to the latter’s kick in the pants.

The Just-Sweet-Enough Cinnamon Roll

Speaking of starting mornings off right, when we’ve got a bag of GIFFLAR cinnamon buns on hand, everyone wins. Unlike your standard sugar bomb cinnamon roll, these miniature buns aren’t smeared with frosting. They’re also made using whole wheat flour, which pairs beautifully with the subtly sweet inner swirl. The result is a breakfast pastry that won’t make you feel as though your teeth are rotting out of your head. I much prefer handing over to my toddler than most other convenience options.

Tart and Versatile Lingonberry Jam

You may know this jam from its cameo role on the famous IKEA meatball plate, served up in the cafeteria. And true, it makes an excellent accompaniment to meatballs, whether you’re making your favorite recipe from scratch or bringing home a bag of frozen (m)eatballs (they offer standard, chicken, plant-based, and vegetable varieties). But Lingonberry jam is remarkably versatile, toeing the line between preserve and cranberry sauce. In fact, you can use it either way — as the star of easy lunchtime peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, or a Thanksgiving-style turkey sandwich (be fancy and whip it up with some cream cheese for a decadent spin).

Crepe-like Frozen Pancakes That Can Go Sweet or Savory

Technically labeled a pancake, these are for all intents and purposes crepes. Outstanding crepes that don’t require batter or that funny little wooden stick. All you need to do is microwave them for 30-40 seconds, then fill with your sweet or savory filling of choice. In a hurry? Roll up with Nutella and run. Have a minute? Add sliced deli ham and Swiss cheese, fold, then gently sauté in a nonstick pan with butter until the cheese is melted and the crepe is reaching your preferred level of golden brown. And as my family discovered this week, when this creation is topped with a dollop of Lingonberry Jam, you have yourself a mock Disneyland Monte Cristo sandwich. We can’t live without this.

The Goes-on-Anything Mustard Dill Sauce

In my house, this is simply “Salmon Sauce.” The dill-studded mustard, with its bite and acidity, is made to balance seafood. For an effort-free dinner, spread a tablespoon onto a salmon fillet with a squeeze of lime, salt, and pepper before oven-roasting. It can also be served as an accompaniment to grilled or pan-fried fish. Although my little one is a salmon devotee, this would work just as well with halibut, or brushed onto grilled shrimp kabobs.

A Warm, Rich Cheese Pie

Is it lunch? A quick snack? Breakfast on the go? There is no need to decide! These tarts are everything! Essentially a savory soufflé in bite-size form, their texture is one that my scrambled egg-adverse daughter happily accepts. I like them for a light and easy dinner served alongside fresh greens and dressing. Not that they need an opening act. They’re just as satisfying when devoured straight off the baking sheet.  

A Layered Apple Dessert for Summer

As I mentioned, my family isn’t too into sweets. When we are craving a dessert, we lean toward fruit-centered options, which tend to have a bit more tartness to counteract the sugar. The KAFFEREP apple cake fits this bill with three delicious layers of sponge, fruit, and streusel topping. It’s like a summer crisp in one satisfying bite, which doubles just as well for breakfast the next morning. This treat is sold frozen and just needs to be thawed and served, making it the low-maintenance treat of my dreams.

An Apple Juice Upgrade (That Also Doubles as an Adult Mixer)

Mix up your kids’ apple juice rut with flavorful, ever-so-slightly-sour organic lingonberry drink. These little boxes are stashable in purses and fridge shelves alike. And I’m not saying that half of our supply gets stashed in the liquor cabinet to shake with vodka for an effortless cocktail, but I am floating it out there as an option.