Top 10 Expo East Finds (2017)
As I write this, I am currently on the plane heading home after a week in Baltimore for the Natural Products Expo. By the time it's posted, I will be back home and recovering from an awesome weekend. I had an absolute blast, saw so many amazing companies that I already love and even found some new companies and new products to share with you. There is always a lot going on, lots of happy hours, sample after sample after sample and pure (fun) chaos.
What is Expo East?
It's a chance for thousands of people in the natural foods industry to flock together to find new products, see companies they love, do business with sales managers and brokers, and see what's out there. For me, a food allergy friendly blogger, it’s like a "Food Disneyland," where you are able to taste all kinds of foods - most which are debuting at the show - and then I get to share them all with you on my blog! I love finding new food allergy friendly foods!
I am so grateful that I get to spend Expo East with my beautiful and wonderful friend, Christine (LivingCleanWithChristine.com). She is incredibly smart and so knowledgeable about this industry, and I love learning from her, laughing with her and making Expo our traditional girls weekend with her and her daughter!
Christine’s daughter, Lauren is my expo bud. She spends a good amount of time hanging with me and seeing what is new at Expo East. We also celebrated Lauren’s 9th birthday here in Baltimore with a cruise around the harbor and dinner at the Rusty Scupper - just like we did last year! How cute is this side by side of her 8th birthday and 9th birthday!?
The days are long and the sleep is short, mainly because Christine and I are up late organizing all our goodies from the show and laughing until the verge of tears about anything and everything… and sometimes even nothing! True story! We also busted out some hotel room dance parties because why not?
I am so beyond grateful to have been chosen to be a part of the official Expo Influencer team this year! I attended an incredible Influencer Summit on Wednesday (the day before the Expo officially started) and was a part of a group of amazing women called: Healing With Food. I do strongly believe that FOOD should be thy MEDICINE and MEDICINE should be thy FOOD. I think the other gals in my group would agree to that. Here’s a picture of our awesome group:
To be honest, I really could write a Top 15 list for this Expo, as it was pretty hard to narrow it down to 10 finds, but I made my list, and I’m sticking to it! I definitely knew about all of these companies prior to Expo. I already enjoy products from most of these companies and a few of them I had heard of but never tasted their goodies.
I could go on and on about all my finds at the expo, but instead I am going to show you my Top 10 Expo East Finds...
(In no particular order)
1) Hilary’s Millet Medleys
organic, gluten-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, non-GMO, top 8-free
I have loved Hilary’s Eat Well for a few years now. You could say it was love at first bite!
Their entire line is vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, corn-free, egg-free, nut-free, soy-free and non-GMO. My favorite products are their Maple Vegan Sausage, their Thanksgiving stuffing and now their brand new Millet Medley meals!
There are 4 different Millet Medley flavors: Traditional Herb, Savory Mushroom, Fresh Greek and Golden Curry; and while I did enjoy them all, my favorite was definitely the Greek! You can say that this Greek Girl approves of the Fresh Greek Millet Medley, for sure! It’s grain, gluten-free millet, garbanzo beans, rich Kalamata olives, lemon, parsley, mint and other real ingredients.
To be honest, I wasn’t even going to taste the mushroom, but I did taste it and loved it! I don’t like mushrooms at all (unless they are in my coffee), but I actually liked the Savory Mushroom.
Christine and I often found ourself in need of legit food during Expo East, so we would look at each other and agree that Hilary’s was where we needed to be. Thank you Hilary’s team for taking great care of us, as always! You can learn more about Hilary’s new Miller Medleys on their website www.hilaryseatwell.com
2) Kitchfix Grain Free Waffles
paleo, refined sugar-free, non-GMO, grain-free, low-carb
Waffles… one of my favorite breakfasts! I don’t make them often for many reasons: they’re too high in carbs, I don’t want to get the Mickey waffle iron out, lower carb waffles typically have almond flour, etc. Kitchfix has solved all of those problems! Well all but one - they don’t make them in Mickey Mouse shapes!
These are grain-free, low-carb, low-sugar ready-to-go waffles that are also paleo and gluten-free. Have I mentioned that they are also tasty? They come in 3 flavors: Blueberry Vanilla, Lemon Poppyseed and Banana Almond.
You can pop these in the toaster and drizzle with some nut butter, maple syrup, fresh fruit, coconut chips... okay I need to stop because I am making myself way too hungry and now I am craving waffles.
Kitchfix’s grain-free waffles are found in the frozen food aisle in the midwest. To learn more about Kitchfix, visit www.granola.kitchfix.com
3) Wild Friends: Nut Butter Oat Cups
(gluten free, dairy free, cane sugar free, soy free)
Wild Friends Foods already makes a variety of amazing nut butters that aren’t filled with cane sugar or fillers, and I also love their honey sunflower seed butter better than any other sunflower seed butter that I have tasted! I am truly addicted to it.
At Expo East, they launched a brand new oat cup line! It features rolled oats, chia and flax seed meal with a single-serving nut butter packet. There are two flavors (for now) which include two already popular nut butters from their line: Almond Cashew Super Butter and Peanut Cashew Super Butter.
There are about 13-14g of protein per oatmeal cup and only 4g of sugar. I tasted them both and, goodness, they are a hit! I am so thankful to find an oatmeal that doesn't have cane sugar! I have loved Wild Friends nut butters for some time now, and this launch is just too exciting! The new oat cup line will be available in Sprouts Farmers Market this October. You can learn more about their new Nut Butter Oat Cups and Wild Friends amazing nut butters on their website www.WildFriendsFoods.com
4) Nu Naturals Pumpkin Spice Syrup
Plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, nut free, soy free, dairy free, non-GMO
This is a new company to me. I had heard about Nu Naturals in passing on social media and was officially introduced to them at Expo East. I learned that they had just announced a brand new Pumpkin Spice Syrup (as well as a Chai Spice Syrup) that had only a handful or ingredients and which wasn’t filled with crazy amounts of sugar, chemicals or food coloring. I was definitely intrigued! And, if you watch my Instagram stories, you know that I actually don’t even like pumpkin spice!
This Pumpkin Spice Syrup is made with clean ingredients like different spice extracts, and sweetened with stevia. It has 0 sugars, 0 calories, 0 carbs and 0 everything. It’s a plant-based syrup that is also non-GMO and vegan. It’s a wonderful way to amp the flavor of your coffee or any recipe without adding all the sugar!
Once again, I am not a big fan of pumpkin spice, but this was really good and the second I tasted it I couldn't wait for my hubby to try it! The first thing I made when we got home was a Pumpkin Spice Latte using some Mushroom Coffee and homemade cashew milk - so easy to make! Hubby LOVED it! I will post a recipe soon. If you love pumpkin spiced lattes or pumpkin spice in general, but you don’t want all the calories, carbs, sugar or chemicals, then you have to check this out! It's available to order! To learn more, visit www.NuNaturals.com
5) NuttZo Paleo Power Fuel
Organic, paleo, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, no added sugar, peanut-free
I finally was able to try these NuttZo Paleo nut butters and, man alive, they are filled with so much flavor. There are two 3 different Paleo nut butters from NuttZo - The Organic NuttZo Power Fuel in Crunchy and Smooth, as well as the The Organic NuttZo Power Chocolate Power Fuel.
They offer 5-6g of protein and are filled with all different kinds of nuts and seeds - cashews, almonds, Brazil nuts, flax seeds, chia seeds, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds and sea salt. I normally am not into crunchy nut butters but, goodness, the crunchy Power Fuel is spot on! The creamy Power Fuel is also 100% spot on, and I really loved them both so much!
You could drizzle this on any smoothie, eat it with apples, make cookies with it, put it on toast or crackers or let's be honest... a spoon. It is incredible. Don't forget to lick the jar!
I enjoyed meeting the team at NuttZo at Expo East, and to learn more about their Paleo Power Fuels, visit www.NuttZo.com
6) Enjoy Life Foods Grain & Seed Bars
Top 8-Free, gluten-free, vegan, non-GMO, palm oil-free, wheat-free, peanut-free, tree nut-free, dairy-free, casein-free, soy-free, egg-free, sesame-free, sulfite-free, lupin-free, mustard-free, fish-free, shellfish-free, and crustacean-free and made with plant-based protein
Enjoy Life has done it again! Their new grain and seed bars have raised the… bar! See what I did there?
They come in four flavors: Chocolate Marshmallow, Maple Sweet Potato, Banana Caramel, and Cranberry Orange. I tasted all four… you know for research purposes and, goodness gracious, they are divine! They are filling, made with clean ingredients and have plant-based protein.
Their new bars are made with popped sorghum and gluten-free rolled oats. They are free of 14 top allergens and are made in a dedicated nut-free and gluten-free facility.
They also rebranded and went with teal, which I super love! The teal is so perfect for a top 8-free company, and I am pumped about it. Job well done, Enjoy Life Foods!
My favorite was probably the Chocolate Marshmallow or Maple Sweet Potato, though they were all very tasty! You can learn more about their new bars at www.enjoylifefoods.com. They will be available soon!
7) Mikey's Tortillas
Gluten-free, paleo, non-GMO, grain-free, soy-free, dairy-free, vegan
Mikey’s has a grain-free, paleo line of muffins, pizza crust, English muffins, sliced bread and now tortillas. I was fortunate enough to get to sit at Mikey’s booth, eat one of Mikey’s new tortilla while talking to THE Mikey of Mikey’s! Can you say, winning? I know right?!
These brand new tortillas are gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, paleo, kosher and non-GMO. They are made with only a handful of ingredients, all of which are clean and have an awesome texture. They are made of cassava and coconut flour. While they are corn free, they do contain xantham gum.
You can roll these tortillas, use them for quesadillas, tacos or to smother with guacamole just as I did at Mikey’s booth at Expo East.
I tasted their Double Chocolate Chip Muffin Tops and their Lemon Blueberry Muffin Tops along with their tortillas, and all of it was tasty with great texture and flavor. I am pumped about the new tortillas launching and looking forward to enjoying them smothered with guacamole!
You can lean more about Mikey’s and their new tortillas on their website www.MikeysMuffins.com
8) 4th and Heart Chocti Chocolate Ghee Spread
Dairy-free, lactose-free, FODMAP, nut-free
My mind was blown as I visited the 4th and Heart booth at Expo East. Their brand new Chocti Chocolate Ghee Spreads are outrageously chocolatey, made with simple clean ingredients and will literally blow your mind!
Made with cacao, dates, and vanilla bean, it’s delicious and a nutritious way to satisfy a sweet craving or upgrade anything you are eating.
This new line of Chocti spreads come in 3 flavors, Original Chocti, Coffee Guarana Chocti and Passionfruit Chocti. I would say that my favorites are a toss-up between the Original and Coffee Guarana for sure. They were all yummy, but those two I enjoyed the most! You could use this as a light frosting, on toast, to dip berries, eat on a cracker or on a spoon to be honest.
I am so excited about this launch! You can learn more about their new Chocti line at www.FourthandHeart.com
9) Miyoko's Vegan Cream Cheese Spreads & Pub Cheeses
vegan, gluten free, dairy free, egg free, nonGMO
I love Miyoko’s vegan cheeses and especially their butter. We use their butter exclusively in our house and often buy their mozzarella to use for tacos or even pizza. We love all of their cheeses and now they have something new to fall in love with.
A few weeks ago, I saw an announcement on Twitter (which is why you should follow your fav companies on Twitter) that they had a new vegan cream cheese and that it was only available online. I immediately ordered 2 because I really had missed eating cream cheese and, while there is another cream cheese on the market that is vegan and made of almonds, this one is made of cashews which means my husband can eat it! To be honest, Miyoko’s vegan cream cheese tastes WAY BETTER than the somewhat popular almond version that is on the market.
What I didn’t know about their new cream cheese is that they also have a few new flavored cream cheeses. My favorite is definitely the Sensational Scallion, which is so tasty. They also have a "lox" flavor as well. It’s great for bagels, crackers or for dipping. You can use their plain cream cheese for frosting, cream cheese or even cheesecake.
They also launched their new line of pub cheeses. We have ordered their pub cheese online and devoured them. They now will offer them in more flavors: Cheers to Chedda, Beer Garden Garlic and Chive, and Spicy Revolution. Of course you know that my favorite is the garlic.
You won't start to see these in stores until 2018, but check their website because you may start to see them available soon.
Their products are free of cholesterol, lactose, egg, gluten and soy. It’s also vegan and non-GMO.
You can order online at www.MiyokosKitchen.com
10) Farmhouse Culture Gut Punch
Organic, non-GMO, plant-based, vegan, gluten-free, refined sugar-free
Farmhouse Culture is new to me and, at the same time, not new to me. I have seen it in stores and all over Instagram, but I have never tried anything of theirs until Expo East.
On Friday, our New Hope Influencer group met early for a special tour of the Expo floor, and we got to meet with three amazing companies that gave us a special presentation of their company, had samples for us to try all their goods, and I am so grateful that on that tour we were taken to Farmhouse Culture.
To be honest, I wasn’t sure what I would think before tasting the new Gut Punch. I tasted all 5 flavors: Cherry Cacao, Cola, Ginger Lemon, Mango Guava and Strawberry Hibiscus. While I did love them all, Cola was my favorite for sure!
This ins’t your typical cola, it’s an organic, good-for-you, good-for-your-gut drink that is a sparkling probiotics beverage. It’s organic, non-GMO, plant-based, vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free.
Gut health is so important. Probiotics improve digestion, strengthen the immune system, promote healthy skin, lower blood pressure, lower cholesterol and more. You can learn more about gut health on Farmhouse Culture’s website, here.
To learn more about their Gut Punch, visit www.FarmhouseCulture.com
Thank you to The Maple Guild for keeping us hydrated with your amazing maple waters. Lauren and I loved the Strawberry but thought they were all delicious.
Thank you to Hilary’s for giving us full-size samples of your amazing vegan maple sausages when we wanted some hot/real food.
And, thank you to Zevia for all the amazing healthy energy drinks that kept us going and going and going. Even saved one for my early ride to the airport. We love you!
Also - yes that is Minnie and Mickey luggage. I am a Disney addict and kiddo at heart.