The second day of the CDF Conference & Expo featured CDF’s stand alone gluten-free product expo. As expected, it was phenomenal.
There were gluten-free foods galore and tons of people needing to eat gluten-free in order to stay healthy. Guess what? They were all happy to be there.
Since I was there as an official blogger, I decided that instead of reporting back to you on the major companies that you’ve most likely heard about such as Enjoy Life, Rudi’s, Udi’s, I’d pick a just a handful of companies for you. This a small sampling of books and companies that were available at the expo. How awesome is it to be able to try sample’s from all of these incredible vendors represented in one place?
Lucy’s cookies are made in a dedicated facility and are free of milk, eggs, peanuts, tree nuts and gluten. Dr. Lucy Gibney was being interviewed by the LA Times during the Expo and there is no way I would have been able to remain as calm as she was during all of the chaos. When Lucy’s son was diagnosed with multiple and severe allergies, she took action by changing her mom’s recipes into scrupulously safe cookies for all children whether they live allergen free or not. Try these delightful cookies today. As Lucy says, ”Start eating what you’ve been missing.” Available at Well Amy.
Andean Dream makes some pretty impressive and flavorful cookies, pasta and soup.For now I will focus on their Andean Dream Quinoa Cookies. These yummy little morsels come in a carton as pictured and are individually wrapped for freshness. All of the packaging is recyclable for those of us that are greenies. For variety, they are produced in five flavors which are all free of gluten, dairy, eggs, soy, corn and nuts. After tasting these protein packed treats, I bought a package of each kind for my kiddos to have with lunch. I love the coffee and they love the coconut. Can’t wait to try their other products! Available at Well Amy.
Heavenly Organics Oh my! This company really does live up to its name. With many types of patties and Himalayan Honey to sample at their table, I could have stayed there all day. So before I go off on a tangent about honey and how fabulous it is for your health and how bad sugar is for your body, I’m going to zoom in on my favorite flavor of patty. Pomegranate. Made with organic honey & dark chocolate this product is also gluten and dairy free. Don’t you love when your food only has three ingredients(that you can pronounce) and tastes like heaven? A magically delicious way to have a dessert without adding sugar.Available at Well Amy.
Arnel’s Originals For some reason, I really connected with this lady right off the bat. When I got home and went to her website, I read the story of her journey and knew why. We definitely have plenty in common as mother’s. From what I read, it took 14 years to obtain a celiac disease diagnosis. After all those years of frustration, this woman had a mission to make some phenomenal gluten-free bread. She also wanted it to be healthy. Not stopping at just healthy, it needed to be dairy free, gluten-free, soy free and lastly GMO free. The result was Arnel’s Originals Buckwheat Bread. Made with organic buckwheat flour, organic brown rice flour and other wholesome ingredients, this bread has an awesome texture. Arnel offers mixes and online baking videos so you don’t have to go through the 8 year process that she did to make such goodness from your oven.
Jilz Gluten Free Crackers – These crackers were so delish that I had to buy several containers and mixes. Hopefully this health conscious company will be around for quite a while. Our favorite flavor so far is Mediterranean. Salty goodness. Support your smaller gluten-free start-up businesses. Find Jilz on Facebook by clicking here.
Weeknight Gluten Free by Kristine Kid For over 20 years, Kristine was the food editor of Bon Appetit magazine. One look through this book and it’s pretty easy to see why. This cookbook’s main focus is healthy living while offering you gluten-free recipes that are yummy but easy to make. This book has something for everyone and features gorgeous food photos that make your mouth water. Some of the recipes are so simple that my children can make me dinner too. It hurts no one that they all happen to be healthy in addition. There’s even a section called “Meatless Meals.” Can’t wait to try Steak and Rajas Tacos and make Coconut-Rum Caramelized Bananas for dessert.
Well Amy Wouldn’t it be a wonderful time saver if you had someone who could research all of the gluten-free products on the market for you and find some of healthier options for you? Well there is. Well Amy has recently launched their online market. Go take a look. Shop for your needs all in one place. I was so pleased to see some of the booths at the Expo marked with her Well Amy logo because it made it much easier for me to seek out the type of vendors that I was looking for as a consumer.
Well Amy also offers you a way to connect with people who are like you whether they are living an allergen free, eco-friendly or are into healthy living.
Gluten is my Bitch by April Peveteaux is one helluva book. I don’t think that I have ever laughed so hard about my gastrointestinal symptoms in my entire life. It took me over 25 years of having these symptoms to be diagnosed. That’s a whole lot of damage. There is nothing funny about that. BUT COME ON! We need to laugh sometimes. Why not laugh until you cry? I did.
I’ve never heard the word beshatting used in a sentence either. No one else that I have ever met has ever had the guts to write a whole chapter about poop. Kudos to April for discussing the matters of gluten-free living in adult words. She will always be my GFF. This Brooklyn girl has a whole lot of Chutzpah. It was certainly refreshing to read a bunch of naughty words mixed with good advice after having deep and intense medical discussions during the previous weeks….months…years.
New Planet Beer
Cheers to gluten-free (GF) beer that has its own personality!
New Planet Beer (newplanetbeer.com) manufactured in Boulder, Colorado was developed out of necessity for those who drink GF beer due to Celiac Disease and/or Gluten Intolerance and don’t want to sacrifice taste in order to share a cold brew with their friends.
For many of us who like beer – especially when it’s 110 degrees outside – the first taste of GF beer is enough to make us gag. It sure isn’t what you would expect beer to taste like when you used to drink Coors or Budweiser. New Planet will change that gag reflex into a smile.
In 2003, the company’s founder, Pedro Gonzalez discovered that he had Celiac Disease.
For many newly diagnosed Celiacs and gluten intolerant people, finding out that they must give up their regular beer and pizza can be quite a shock. The reason why they must do this is that beer usually contains several forbidden sources of gluten such as wheat, barley and rye.
Pedro decided to pursue making a GF beer that tasted much better than those on the shelves in 2008. Through trial and error, Pedro created one that could truly be enjoyed by many fellow beer consumers. New Planet made its debut to the public in 2009.
Developed out of necessity described above, New Planet has come out with three flavor varieties.
Off Grid Pale Ale
Love amber and darker beers? This one’s for you. With the inclusion of 3 varieties of hops, Off Grid Pale Ale provides you with the accustomed amber coloring, a nice citrusy flavor and has an appealing aroma. Even if you weren’t an amber lover before going GF, this is definitely worth a try.
Tread Lightly Ale
For the traditional beer drinker this is a terrific light tasting beer without the undesirable aftertaste of most sorghum based beers on the market. It tastes so much like “real beer” that you wouldn’t know that it’s GF unless someone told you.
3R Raspberry Ale
Why would you want to drink yet another sweet, fruity beer? Surprisingly enough, this isn’t a wine cooler dressed in a beer bottle. This beer has just the right amount on fruit flavor without being too sweet. 3R Raspberry Ale is absolutely amazingly crisp and refreshing.
I must add that 3R is my favorite to keep on hand for lounging around the pool. It’s my personal favorite summertime beer.
Available in at least 33 states, New Planet Beer has made it easy to find in a store near you by adding a store locator to their website. newplanetbeer.com/where-to-find-us/
What an amazing experience I had in Seattle. I was invited to attend a GIG Leadership Conference by a friend of mine who happens to be a GIG Leader. The bottom line is that we all share the same mission which is to help others once they are diagnosed with either Celiac Disease or Gluten Intolerance. Let’s face it, being gluten free (GF) can be challenging but when you surround yourself with others with the same dietary issues (not to mention a plethora of autoimmune disorders) – you are among friends.
Not knowing what to expect was a true blessing in disquise. I learned about team building and met some new life long friends. They aren’t just Celiac but also have the same plethora of health issues that I do.
I met Mrs. Alaska and my inspiration to try to bake again, Kyra of the Crave Bake Shop in Portland, OR while on my way to the Tailgate Party and Mariner’s ball game. How terrific is that!
What I didn’t know before heading to Seattle was that the last day of the conference was a Gluten Free Expo. Always on the lookout for GF, non-GMO and dairy free products, I made my way through the booths and found some terrific NEW items. Well, new to me at least. Here are my FANTASTIC FIVE:
ELS http://www.elskitchen.com/ - How heart-broken were you the first time you went to a party and had to pass on the Chex Mix because of all the gluten containing ingredients? A solution is now available with these crunchy mixes! In my opinion, traditional Chex Mix pales in comparison.
WOW Baking Company http://www.wowbaking.com/ - First time ever that I have said WOW when biting into a cookie was when I tried their Lemon Burst cookies at the Expo. These delights made me want to give up gluten – oh wait, I already have.
Rose City Delicacies http://www.rosecitydelicacies.com/ - 4 types of delicious Certified Gluten Free creamy Mustard that have alcohol and butter included in the recipe. These don’t have to be used on a sandwich. They were all so yummy that they could even be used as dip!
Zing Bars http://www.zingbars.com/ - Until this event, I had never seen a Zing Bar. I tried them all. Couldn’t find one that wasn’t just melt in your mouth flavorful. Oh how I love these!
Kay’s Naturals http://kaysglutenfree.com/front/ - Kay’s provides those who need protein but don’t like the taste of meat or eggs with the protein of three eggs. These crunchy bites come in a variety of flavors. My kids like the cookie bites the best but I prefer the jalapeno honey mustard.
Let me just add that I tried Garlic Jim’s Pizza http://www.garlicjims.com/home/ and begged them to open a place here in Tucson. They offer GF and GF/DF pizza. Super delish!