I am happy to report that I survived my first Gluten-free and Allergen-free Expo, and got home from Chicago safely and without incident. Woo-hoo!
Survived is a rather appropriate word, as the Expo was packed. If anyone has any doubt that there are many people starving (almost literally) for gluten-free and allergen-free food solutions, all they need to do is spent a few minutes elbowing their way to the samples the vendors were giving out, and discussing ingredients with the exhibitors.
I managed to bring home quite a stash of goodies. This is just a sample, as I sent off a box to my son at college (just the samples that were allergen-free for him), and – of course – I ate as I went.
I found many foods I liked, some that were good and others that were great. Following are a few of my favorites (in random categories to suit me):
Best for kids: Qwackers gluten-free crackers. These DO contain milk, but are free of the other top allergens plus corn. Perfect for little hands.
Best for quick meals: I tried a sample of Kettle Cuisine’s gluten free soup, and it was spectacular. Amongst all of the carbs, it was great to find something that could be a meal. There are ten flavors; many are free of the top eight allergens, some contain milk.
Most excited to try for dinner: I can’t wait to get my hands on Namaste Foods pasta. Who knew they made pasta?
Most excited to try baking with (and my pick of the show): Earth Balance coconut spread is – wow!! On a tiny piece of gluten-free bread this spread tasted fab-u-lous! It’s a blend of coconut oil and palm oil, and I can’t wait to try baking with this it!
Most interesting concept: Pamela’s Products handed out packets of chocolate brownie mix to make in a cup, in the microwave. All you need to add is oil and water. The mix is free of the top eight allergens, but does contain a “processed on equipment” warning for nuts, soy, and milk. This is just such a cool idea – think dorm room, mid-afternoon office snack, traveling. I love this idea! (An apology to my son who is probably wondering why I didn’t send this to him, but I just had to try it myself.)
Not new but never tried: I’ve been wanting to get my hands on Attune Foods dark chocolate probiotic bars for some time, but haven’t been able to find them locally. I now have a sample that I am excited to try.
Patrick's pick from campus: Sunbutter's on-the-go single serving packets. He said, "Whoever came up with these is a freakin' genius," and he was raving about how you could put them in a lunch box with an apple.
We had both already tried Enjoy Life's Plentils (chips made from lentils), and still think they rock!
Which products will you try?
Be sure to check back on Monday when I review a product I sampled at the Nourished Food Blogger Conference.