Picking my favorite new foods at Expo West was so much fun! There were literally hundreds of exhibitors giving away samples of their foods at this show. So it was no easy task to pick my favorites. It helped that I narrowed the field by only sampling vegan foods and selecting items that had what I considered the “cleanest” ingredients. Since Peter and I follow a high raw, vegan diet I only wanted to try foods that would add to our healthy lifestyle and food choices, not subtract from it. (The items I picked below aren’t raw, but they have excellent ingredients and are made by companies with high levels of integrity.)
The Natural Products Expo 2016 in Anaheim, California had over 77,000 attendees and over 3,000 exhibitors. Getting around the convention center to see as many products as possible was a little challenging and wearing comfortable shoes every day was a must! Thankfully I worked up quite an appetite with all that walking and networking. And there were so many wonderful foods to choose from. I have to admit that the show is so big that I probably missed some booths, but of the samples I tried, these are the foods that stood out most in my mind.
Hemp Seed Burgers – I like making my own vegan burgers. I have a cooked recipe that uses chick peas, quinoa and other wholesome ingredients. I also have a raw recipe that you can see HERE. But sometimes you just want to grab a quick burger without taking time to make it from scratch. That’s where GOODSEED burgers come in. They are soy free, gluten free, vegan, non-gmo with organic ingredients. They have four flavors and each one is amazing. Plus, every burger has hemp seeds in them, and I adore hemp seeds. These aren’t available everywhere yet, but ask your local grocer to start carrying GOODSEED burgers. Here’s the link to see if they are already available in your area. I think these burgers are amazing and I bet you will, too!
Follow Your Heart Vegan Eggs – I didn’t actually get to the Follow Your Heart booth at the show, but my friends Craig and Katje did and raved about the vegan eggs. So, once I got home I went to Thrive Market and ordered a box. The vegan eggs come in a package that looks like a small cardboard egg crate which is kinda cute. And, I whipped up a batch of vegan eggs for myself and fell in love. (One tip, if you make these, definitely follow the instructions and use ice cold water to mix with the powder. It makes a huge difference.) Now, every few weeks I can have a vegan, plant-based egg for breakfast and its super yum – without the cholesterol or factory farming. If you can’t find these in your local store, definitely get them at Thrive Market . Their prices are lower than most stores and they ship super quick. Here’s the link for Follow Your Heart.
Gluten-Free Pastas – There were so many choices of delicious gluten-free pastas this year. And, not only were they gluten-free, but many were made from beans which has the added benefit of being much higher in protein than conventional pasta. Several companies gave me boxes of their products to try at home. It was hard to pick my favorite. I wanted a pasta that had a pleasant taste and a texture as close to regular pasta as possible. After trying them all I decided that Modern Table Lentil Elbows were by far my favorite. The texture and taste were spot on. I served it with a hearty, homemade vegan tomato veggie sauce and it held up perfectly. My second favorite was Banza Pasta made from chickpeas. Try either one of these for a new twist on gluten-free, high-protein pasta. Big thumbs up!
Vegan Cheese – WOW! Miyoko’s Kitchen won an award at the Expo, that’s how amazing they are. I stopped by the booth several times to make sure I’d sampled all their products. (I had to work my way through a crowd for these.) If you didn’t know this was vegan cheese you’d probably think you were eating the real thing. It melts like real cheese! Plus their butter could fool even the most discriminating palate. Look for Miyoko’s Kitchen at your local grocer. And if they don’t carry this product, ask if they can order it for you.
Thrive Market – Technically Thrive Market is not a food. However, I met a few people at the Expo who work for this online grocery store and they mentioned that I should check it out. Once I got home I put my researching cap on, looked over the site and placed my first order. Not only are the prices excellent at Thrive Market, but they have a philanthropic business model that I think will change the way other companies do business. Check out Thrive Market HERE and see what you think.
There are so many more products that really impressed me at the Expo, but I’ll leave you with these for now. I hope you enjoy them as much as I did. I’m already looking forward to next year’s event so I can try even more new and delicious vegan goodies.
p.s. You may have noticed that I haven’t written a newsletter in a few months. But, did you know that I’ve been guest blogging at Soul Flower since May? I love Soul Flower’s clothing and eagerly accepted the opportunity when they invited me to blog for them. If you like their clothing as much as I do, here is a link to buy some organic, fair-trade clothing.