…..there was a LOT to check out and a LOT of people!
Happy Celiac Awareness Month! I would like to start it off by giving you a recap (in 2 parts) of the always awesome Gluten and Allergen Free Expo that took place in Chicago last month on the 20th and 21st. Thousands attended and there were over 150 vendors. SO much to report about that I’m doing it in 2 parts!
Here I am with Cindy from Vegetarian Mamma!
Betsy from Gluten Free Betsy and Alissa from Breaking up with Captain Crunch!
Pam from I’m a Celiac and Erica from Celiac and the Beast!
Glutonazon was in da house! (aka Melissa)
Connie from Daily Forage
It was great hanging out with fellow bloggers (when I wasn’t busy checking out all the products!). We had an area where we all congregated and some even had some great items to sell like Erica from Celiac and the Beast. Her t-shirts and hoodies are very popular, you should check them out! Besides seeing my local GF pals, Betsy from Gluten Free Betsy and Melissa, Ms. Geekily GF aka Glutonazon (see above pic), I loved seeing Cindy from Vegetarian Mamma again and meeting Amy Leger, The Savvy Celiac, for the first time. We have known each other online for a while now. Was great meeting some other bloggers for the first time too, such as Alissa from Breaking up with Captain Crunch, Claudine from Gluten Free Green Bean, Melanie from Hope’s Kitchen, Rebecca from Pretty Little Celiac, Pam from I’m a Celiac, Connie from Daily Forage and last but not least, I had a great time hanging with Lizz from A Little Bit of This and That. We had a blast sampling products together! Hope I’m not forgetting to mention anyone, we really had a great group! Thanks again to our sponsor, Holy Crap Cereal!
Think I’d make a good spokesperson??
My favorite GF product discovery of the Expo was:
Love this chocolate!! Here is the owner of PASCHA, Simon Lester.
PASCHA Organic Allergy-Free Dark Chocolate! – I think their President and CEO, Simon, could tell I was a wee bit excited to come across this delightful discovery. My friends know how geeked I get over chocolate, this sent me over the top! Cacao is a superfood and their bars range from 55% cacao to 80% cacao. The higher the number usually means a more bitter taste but not with their bars! What I loved too was the smooth taste. What is so awesome, is that their chocolate is completely allergy free too! As someone whose food allergy list keeps growing and growing, it was so refreshing to see that their chocolate is completely free of all the allergens. Allergy free and healthier chocolate, gotta love it!!
Here are some other awesome new discoveries:
Smart Flour Foods - Sampled some most yummy pizza made with their flour blend, which is made from ancient grains, teff, amaranth and sorghum. Couldn’t get enough of it!! Their breads rock too and I can’t believe I forgot to snap a pic of their yummies, most likely because their booth was very popular every time I walked by!!
Laura and Taste Guru ROCK!
Taste Guru - Absolutely love this company! They try out the products first then ship the best of the best right to your door. One of the most frustrating things about having to change to a gluten-free lifestyle is the money you have to spend sampling products until you find the ones you like best and/or have the best ingredients. Taste Guru does the job for you! I really enjoyed meeting Laura Hanley, their Marketing Guru as well. She’s a lot of fun and is aka G-Free Laura.
Loved the way their cheese melted!
Yummy Vegan Cheese! Great for Nachos!
Chicago Vegan Foods - Did you know that most marshmallows are not vegan because they are made with egg or gelatin, which is usually not vegetarian-friendly? Their marshmallows are vegan and are called Dandies Vegan Marshmallows. They are delicious and I like that they are made with non-GMO ingredients. What I was most excited about was their vegan cheese. I’m mostly dairy-free, am able to eat hard cheese but I prefer to mostly not eat cheese at all because I worry about the after effects. Their cheese melts very evenly and is delicious! Loved trying their Nacho Vegan Sauce, now I can have guilt-free nachos! If you want a good vegan cheese, I highly suggest checking their product line here. Their products are sold at Whole Foods around Chicago and if you are outside the Chicago area, can also buy them online.
Great for a Bake Sale or Pot Luck!
Kemnitz Family Kitchen - Gluten Free Labels - Loved seeing these labels. This makes it so easy, whether you are bringing food to a pot luck or bake sale or have a restaurant and need to designate a GF meal, this eliminates the need to find pen and paper and risk losing it somewhere and makes it easy to tell what has been prepared GF. Was such a delight meeting owner,Susan Nelson too! Please check out their product line here. I will be doing a giveaway soon so please keep a lookout for it soon!
Their breads really are Outrageous!
Outrageous Baking - Absolutely loved sampling their breads! My favorite was their Chocolate Zucchini Bread. It was very moist and delicious and love that their breads are all gluten and dairy-free! Please check them out here.
Really tasty and SO healthy!
Powbab - This really geeked me out. Being that I’m a Health Coach, I love anything that has to do with the superfoods and this one was really interesting. Their chews are made from Baobab, which comes from a tree in Africa, Pomegranate and Acai Berry. They are really tasty and help boost your immunity and are high in antioxidants. They give you 100% of the daily dose of vitamins C and E and are a good source of vitamin A.
Part 2 coming real soon – Updates of my favorite products/people I’ve loved to blog about…