Top 10 Expo West Finds (2017)
Expo West is officially over and, goodness, it was all kinds of fun! It was chaotic, but I had a great time. There are just so many booths and it’s impossible to see everything you want to see. With over 3000 exhibiting companies (booths) and over 80,000 attendees this year, it’s amazing! It was crazy, but I pretty much made it to (almost all) of the booths on my list. I bookmarked a little over 100 booths and still managed to make it to that list as well as booths that I came across along the way.
My girlfriend Christine (LivingCleanWithChristine.com) and her daughter Lauren came out for expo, and we had to make a pit stop at Disneyland the day before the show. It was Lauren’s first time, and my hubby and I had a blast showing her around, taking them on all the rides, and meeting characters throughout the park. Special thanks to Stan for a hanging with us and teaching me, a Disney addict/annual passholder, some trivia! We had fun day at the parks! More Disney photos at the end of this post.
I also made some delicious vegan, gluten-free rice krispee treats in the shape of Mickey Mouse for our day at Disney. They were a hit! (recipe here)
It’s also amazing that I was able to do that with a bum knee. On the first day of Expo West, I inured my knee and had to limp the rest of the 4 days. So that part was extra fun. Somehow, I made it all around the show floors to the booths on my list (only missing 3-5 booths) and carried all kinds of goodies home!
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 West Finds (in no particular order).
1. Malk Organics
organic, vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, no carrageenan
Malk’s nut milks were at the top of my list to try at Expo West. I had seen it on social media before and even had some people tweeting me that either A) they loved it so much and I had to try it or B) they had heard of it and want to know how it tastes. The people at the Malk booth were crazy cool and friendly, which doesn’t go unnoticed.
Their nut milks come in 4 flavors: Unsweetened Pure Almond Milk, Pure Maple Pecan Milk, Vanilla Almond Milk and Unsweetened Cashew Milk. Lastly, they had a Pecan Milk + Cold Brew Coffee - wowza.
After tasting them all, I became an instant fan. They tasted so fresh, with great flavor and amazing, simple, real ingredients.
I think my favorite of their nut milks, if I had to choose, would be their Maple Pecan Milk. With organic pecans and real maple syrup, it’s as if you are drinking maple pecan pie. I also really loved that it wasn’t super sweet. Most nut milks that are sweetened are filled with all kinds of cane sugar (which I can’t eat) and are too sweet for me.
Their cold brew coffee with pecan milk is something that I am experiencing withdrawals from. Thankfully, they gave me a bottle for the road, which lasted until the next morning. Goodness I need to find this soon in Orange County! I have been calling every store that sells Malk in my city and I am still on the lookout. If you live in the Orange County (CA) area and have found Malk Organics, please tell me - I beg you!
Learn more about Malk Organics by visiting their website: http://malkorganics.com
2. B Raw Bar
organic, vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, paleo
This was the first booth, on the first day, that I visited. I met Dawn the creator and owner of this delicious superfood bar and, let me tell you, her bars set the bar high for expo. These raw bars were so fresh, so simple, and made with real ingredients that left an amazing aftertaste in my mouth.
There are over 10 super foods in each bar and it is rich in plant protein, sweetened with coconut nectar and packed with nourishing ingredients.
There are 4 different B RAW bars: Coconut Macadamia, Almond Crunch, Chocolate Expresso and Super Green. I really loved all 4 bars but my absolute fav was the Chocolate Espresso. It had a great espresso flavor and goodness these bars are filling.
All of the bars are handmade in Maui, Hawaii, and you can order them via their website: https://brawbar.com
3. The Maple Guild - Chocolate Hazelnut Maple Cream
organic, vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free
I am a big fan of maple everything. I think I get that from my Grampa who would take a swig of maple syrup after dinner. There is nothing like really good maple syrup! I have tried many different brands, but The Maple Guild really sticks out to me as probably the best maple I've ever had.
Their brand new products are insanely tasty. They have a maple tahini, maple peanut butter cream and a maple chocolate hazelnut maple cream, all of which are vegan & free of cane sugar! Praise the Lord! It was way better than that other famous chocolate hazelnut spread that I shall not even name, which has terrible ingredients, by the way. Also, The Maple Guild's Chocolate Hazelnut Maple Cream taste way better anyway!
This amazing Chocolate Hazelnut Maple Cream is made with simple ingredients, has a lovely texture and has amazing flavor. It's a game changer for spreads! It's so brand new that I don't even have a photo to show you of the product. I can't wait for this Chocolate Hazelnut Maple Cream to be available for purchase on their website.
I loved sampling all the maple syrups they had at Expo West, plus their maple creams and maple sweetened teas, too. I am definitely a fan of The Maple Guild and am so glad I found this wonderful and tasty company!
To learn more about The Maple Guild, visit www.MapleGuild.com
4. Better Bean Co’s Tuscan White Beans
non-GMO, vegan, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, sustainably sourced
With only 9 ingredients in this delicious jar of white beans, it leaves an incredible lasting flavor that you wont be able to take your mind off of until you go look for them at you local store.
Their Tuscan White Beans are so flavorful and are made with delicious ingredients such as: olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, garlic, fennel seed, rosemary and tellicherry pepper. This one might be my new fav from their line of beans. It has such a great mediterranean flavor, and I can see us eating it with a spoon right out of the jar.
I have been a fan of Better Bean Co for a few months now but had only tasted their delicious Skillet Refried Red Beans. We use their tasty beans on sandwiches, homemade tacos, or as a dip. I really love that the beans aren’t salty and come in so many different flavors.
Also, Hannah, also known as the Bean Queen and co-founder, is such a doll. She is so bubbly, warm, friendly and I am so thankful that I was able to meet her at Expo. We had been messaging back and forth through Instagram, and I already felt like I knew her. They have an amazing team at Better Bean Co. and I am so thankful to have met them and found their incredible beans!
It’s also clear that Hannah and her dad, Keith (the founder) love their product and what they do. That beautiful energy bounces off onto everyone who tastes their beans. It leaves a lovely impression on me, the foodie/food blogger/consumer.
You can learn more about Better Bean Co. by visiting their website and looking for them at your local Whole Foods, Mother’s Markets or through their store locater. http://betterbeanco.com
5. Primal Kitchen Green Goddess Dressing
cage-free eggs, dairy-free, sugar-free, soy-free, canola-free, gluten-free, grain-free, Whole 30, paleo
I am already such a fan of Primal Kitchen Foods and have loved their avocado oil for awhile now. I am so glad I stopped by their booth at the expo to see what new products they are launching.
My mom has been talking about green goddess dressing for a long time. I have never tried it and the way my mom has talked about it in the past, I knew I wanted to. I had though about finding a recipe and making it myself but that never happened. Of course I was blown away when I saw that Primal Kitchen has launched a Green Goddess Dressing.
I tasted it on a slice of cucumber, my fav, and instantly fell in love with it. I basically drank whatever dressing was left in my little sample cup. I could have taken a swig from the bottle if they had let me. It was filled with amazing flavor and clean simple ingredients - such a great combo!
Everyone at the Primal Kitchen Foods booth was super friendly. It was so great to meet the team and try out their new products. Along with the Green Goddess Dressing, they have Primal Fuel in two flavors: Chocolate Coconut and Vanilla Coconut. Their new Fuel protein powder is pretty tasty, and I am so excited for the launch of this product.
You can learn more about their new dressing and product line on their website - www.primalkitchen.com
6. Watusee Foods Popped Chickpeatos
gluten-free, non-GMO, soy-free, corn-free, kosher, vegan (except for ranch flavor)
You know I love my Chickpeatos and Chickpea Crumbs from Watusee foods, but they have done it again, friends! Their brand new not-even-available-to-the-public Popped Chickpeatos are so incredibly delicious and addicting you will freak out when you taste them! I only say that because that was my reaction when I first tried them at Expo West.
These new Popped Chickpeatos are made with real, simple ingredients and come in 4 flavors: Ranch, Salted Caramel, Wasabi and Sea Salt. Having tasted all of them, I am sure these will fly off the shelves!
There are other Chickpea products out there on the market but there is something about Watusee that, in my opinion, does it best. Also, the owner, Jimmy Chickpea, is pretty awesome. He has a great team.
You can literally eat these Popped Chickpeatos like popcorn, they have more than 3 times the protein of Pirate Booty. Plus, there is no corn in these tasty snacks! These Popped Chickpeatos are made of baked peas and chickpeas.
Side note: I literally just grabbed a handful of the Ranch Popped Chickpeatos and told myself that I would eat them one-by-one and sat and ate every last one before coming back to write this blog.
You can learn more about Watusee foods at www.WatuseeFoods.com
vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, paleo, no added sugar, paleo, no carrageenan, gum-free, kosher
One of the things that I was on the hunt for at Expo West, but didn’t know if I would find,
was a vegan yogurt that didn’t have cane sugar in it. I thought it was a long shot - I always read the labels on the back of dairy free yogurts at the store and there is always cane sugar in it. Typically, if for some reason there is no cane sugar, there is something else that I don’t eat like corn starch.
In the first hour of the first day, probably my 5th booth or so, at Expo West I found COYO and was in love. COYO is a dairy-free coconut milk yogurt that is handcrafted from the squeezed flesh of the coconut. There are no added sugars or preservatives and minimal ingredients in each flavor.
There are four flavors: Plain, Mango, Chocolate and Mixed Berry. Having tried all 4 flavors, I am excited to say that I went straight to Mother’s Market here in Orange County to purchase all of them.
I told the guys at the COYO booth that I found exactly what I was looking for in the first hour of the first day at Expo West, so I could go home now.
These yogurts are very rich. I can’t eat a whole one on my own in one sitting. They are delicious, but so rich and creamy. I like to add some grain-free granola (I like this one from CocoBakes) and drizzle some honey on top.
There are many vegan yogurts out there, and while I have tried many of them and enjoyed the taste of them, I just can’t eat them because of the cane sugar.
To learn more about COYO or to find a store near you, visit their website: www.coyo.com
8. TuMe Water - New Flavors
vegan, non-GMO, dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, low sugar, no carrageenan
Oh turmeric, how I love you! Whether in broth, a latte or in TuMe Water, you are so tasty and have so many wonderful benefits.
I found TuMe last Expo West (a year ago) and it quickly became a favorite drink in our household. I got my dad hooked on TuMe Water as well. The Mango TuMe Water was my favorite until this weekend.
Their turmeric infused water combines the ancient healing powers of turmeric, known to contain antioxidant and vitamins with fabulous flavors, like mango, to create a healthy and natural sports drink that is above all the rest.
TuMe uses real ingredients that have real benefits to create these hydrating and incredibly refreshing drinks.
TuMe Water come in 5 flavors now. Their first 3 flavors are Berries, Citrus, Mango and their brand new flavors are Pomegranate and Coconut Water. All of which are infused with turmeric and all of which are so good.
I tasted the new flavors and I loved them! I might even love the Pomegranate more than the Mango now, but if I saw them both at the store, I couldn't choose and would get both! The Pomegranate and the Coconut Water were so beyond refreshing and tasty. They nailed these two flavors!
You know that most sports drinks or drinks similar to this nature are filled with chemicals, fake ingredients food coloring and all kinds of sugar. There are only 5 calories in a serving and 1 gram of natural cane sugar in each drink.
You might be thinking, Krysten - I thought you can’t have cane sugar! Well, I can’t, honestly. BUT 1 gram on occasion isn’t bad for me (personally) and many of you can have it, so I am just spreading the love of TuMe. Also, my family loves it, too. So check them out!
You can learn more about TuMe and their new flavors at www.drinktume.com
9. Vital Proteins - Bone Broth Collagen & Collagen Veggie Blend
organic, paleo, Whole 30, non-GMO kosher, grass fed, AIP, paleo, no added sugar, gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free
Vital Proteins makes a product that I use on the daily called collagen peptides. Their
organic pasture-raised, grass-fed collage peptides are great for your skin, hair, tendons, cartilage, bones and joints. Collagen is the most abundant protein in the body, and these natural peptide are highly bio-available, digestible and solute in cold or hot liquids.
I use my Collagen Peptides in my hot chocolate (recipe here), soup, coffee, smoothies or mix it into water. A serving of Collagen Peptides adds 18 grams of protein - wowza!
At Expo West, Vital Proteins introduced a few new products and I am so excited about them all - in particular their Bone Broth Collagen in Beef or Chicken flavors.
Vital Proteins’ Chicken and Beef Bone Broth is made from free range chickens and aid in digestion, support the immune system and help promote overall health and wellness.
You can add this powder to a warm cup of water and enjoy the many benefits of broth (as I wrote about in this blog) and sip on a comforting tasty cup of Chicken or Beef Bone Broth Collagen. This was one of my favorite booths to stop at mid day for a pick me up from a hot cup of their bone broth collagen or the Collagen Veggie Blend.
This new hot product from Vital Proteins is the Collagen Veggie Blend. It combines the benefits of collagen and whole organic veggies and fruits to make a delicious nutrient packed collagen blend. You can add it to water or your favorite nut milk or juice. Add it to a smoothie and enjoy.
In this amazing blend, you will receive 300% of your daily Vitamin C which helps promote a healthy immune system, there are 20g of collagen, no added sugars and it’s also Whole 30 and paleo approved.
You can learn more about these products at www.VitalProteins.com
10. Hope Foods - Black Garlic Hummus
organic, non-gmo, gluten-free, vegan
I love garlic. I really, really love garlic! I already loved Hope Foods Hummus, but now I think I love it even more! Before tasting their brand spankin’ new Garlic, their Kale Pesto was my legit fav. Jeff and I could easily down it all with some Jilz Crackers or sliced cucumber, no problem. But now their new Black Garlic has become my number one fav!
Their booth at Expo West was pretty cool. It had fun music, great people and yummy samples of their hummus and guacamole.
The new Black Garlic hummus caught my attention because, well… garlic! The black garlic inside the hummus has been aged and has a rich flavor, but it isn’t over-the-top garlicy. Nothing is too garlicy for me, but this is just the right amount of garlic for anyone to enjoy.
Hope Foods makes their hummus in small batches in Colorado. I love the story behind their name: Hope. “We named our company Hope Foods because of our belief in the power of better food and the hope our customers have for products they can trust, from a company they believe in.”
They have many different flavors but after giving their black garlic hummus a try, it’s by far my favorite.
You can learn more about Hope Foods and their fabulous line of hummus and guacamole on their website, www.hopefoods.com
Last year, I posted a large photo of all the goodies I brought home form Expo East, this year there was way too much stuff to fit into one photo. To see some of the goods you can check out my Instagram story where I talk about many of these companies, their products and many more exciting food allergy friendly finds.