Gluten Free Expo 2k15

I started a new page on my blog dedicated to all things Vancouver. It’s under “Raincouver Fun”, because how fitting. It’ll contain posts on restaurants,different parts of the city,activities and generally just life in Vancouver. Either if you live in Vancouver or you’re just interested in what goes on in different cities of the world, feel free to check it out.

The city of Vancouver has a very strong food scene,the abundance of coffee critics, local food and health consciousness.

Just over the past year or so, I have attended three food expos. Basically these expos are a showcase of different companies and businesses(lots of locals and ) who set up venues to promote their food products.

You pay around $10 to $15 for a ticket and you get to sample all the goodies they offer. I find that they most often have great deals and coupons for their products. Hehe and you get absolutely stuffed.But who can resist when there is free food being offered at all corners of the room.

The very first one I attended was of courtesy of a friend(ohmygod I’m so glad I went), so far my all time favorite because of variety,taste and events. The second time was VegFest which was basically a vegetarian/vegan food expo. Very interesting products, but I felt it was less enticing and smaller. The latest one I been to, the topic of this post, was the Gluten Free Expo.

To be honest, I had quite low expectations for this one. I went because I signed up to be a volunteer months ago. I wasn’t super into the gluten-free scene, since I was by no means gluten-intolerant(or at least I think so?).I felt you could either go really good or really bad with gluten-free foods. Plus I felt that gluten-free crackers,bread,chips..ect were too expensive for me.To my pleasant surprise, it turned out to be a blast. I thought the venue was very well-organized overall, not too crowded and my, my were there A LOT of vendors. There were so many freebies too!Who doesn’t like free things? The food was deelicious. I’m not going to lie, I had one too many baked cheese balls.Those things are addicting.

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The venue was pretty big to my surprise. There were lots of vendors… like 2 companies sampling brazilian cheese puffs and Quejos with their famous gluten-free cheese buns.

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Also lots of chips and cracker companies, the one that stood out for me was enerjive crackers(the chocolate is soo good), Giddyoyo, a raw local chocolate company has a fantastic range of chocolates with different flavors.

image source-foodiepages.ca

image source-foodiepages.ca

image source-shop.gidyyoyo.com

image source-shop.gidyyoyo.com

Wendy’s True Foods had their wonderful,decadent turtleneck cheese cake for sample. There were lots of bread companies and bakeries like Glutino,Enjoy Life and Lemonade Gluten Free Bakery(on King Edward) sampling their different kinds of breads,bagels,english muffins,cakes,muffins..ect .

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image source-lemonadebakery.ca

image source-lemonadebakery.ca

I was surprised how good some of the breads tasted–you couldn’t tell the difference! Oh and also a few pasta companies, one of them made their pasta with tofu I think though I don’t think I tried it.

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It was literally like grab how ever many you desire… but I decided not to be greedy and only took one;)

I tried pasta sauce from this one company and am totally regretting not getting the 2 for $5 deal because it was absolutely delightful authentic italian pasta sauce. I also tried maple flavor hemp hearts,very interesting! Vitamix was there demoing frozen desserts and soups. Ohmygosh, I tried the soup. It was probably made with a few vegetables, but it was hot,well flavored and delicious. A blender that can make hot soup due to friction. Claps. Oh did I mention free samples.

There were some bar companies like KIND , Simply Protein and a relatively new one called NAKD giving out and sampling their bars. I actually bought a few of nakd bars when I saw them in London Drugs on sale for 99 cents. I love the cacao orange ones! They’re made with a few simple ingredients, nothing else added! Dates,nuts and natural flavorings. Cereal and granola companies were there such as Nature’s Path, Ra Energy, and Bakery on Main,

Also Sabra was there sampling all their different kinds of hummus and one guacamole. They gave you a generous mound of the hummus you wanted to taste with tortilla round chips. Deelicious.I was surprised the guacamole actually tasted like avacados because I have had reaaally bad experiences with expensive store-bought guacamole,but this one was good!

image source-packworld.com

image source-packworld.com

Kitchening&Co were sampling their colourful,homemade macarons. They were soo good! I tried the salted caramel macaron. The boxes were flying off the table.

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West Point Naturals was giving out samples of their organic spices,trail mixes and candy. I can’t wait to use the chili powder and curry powder for some future recipes. And the trail mix I had for a morning snack the next day.

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Pamela’s gave out pouches of their gluten-free baking blends; the regular and pancake mix. It also included pamphlets about the company and many classic recipes like chocolate chip cookies. I’m so excited to use some of these to make some baked goods and pancakes:)

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Oh! And Corn Thins! My first time tasting them, they do taste like buttered popcorn. Very interesting..

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Interesting Find of the Day:

Farafena was a company I’d never seen before. The health products they were sampling included baobab powder,moringa,fonio graina and fonio flour. On the packages touted the outstanding nutritional stats with high protein contents and richness in antioxidants. More than quinoa or acai berries. The avid volunteer smirked at the thought to acai berries once being the prime superfood and refered to quinoa as “more of a filler”. Moringa had a beautiful, light green colour, similar to matcha and could be used to make tea. Baobab could be consumed by tablespoons blended into your shake or smoothies. They made green smoothies and strawberry banana smoothies to sample and little gluten-free muffin-like sweets using their products.I thought overall the concept was interesting and it was cool to see these products that no one has ever heard of before rise to market. Who knows, maybe in a few years, baobab and moringa will the new “superfoods” glossing all the health/recipe sections of the magazines.

Best Deal of the Day

Natera, the rivaling hemp heart company of Manitoba Harvest were selling their sample size packets of hemp hearts for $5 for 25!! They offered three different flavors, regular,maple and Himalayan pink salt. I.AM.SO.REGRETTING.NOT.GETTING.THESE. I think there must be something wrong with me to turn down this great deal.

The maple had a light tint of sweetness and flavor of real maple syrup that paired nicely with the nutty crunch of the hemp hearts. I didn’t try the pink salt ones, but I imagine they would be a good topping for salads,pasta,soups,burgers and other savory dishes. The maple hemp hearts would’ve been perfect for sprinkling for my morning oatmeal.

//

That was my experience at the Gluten Free Expo. I’m sure there were far more vendors than the ones I listed, but those were the ones that stood out for me. I added links to the websites of the vendors I talked about, so check them out if you want to know more about the products. I had a pretty great time the two days I participated in this grand event.And I was left with a pretty stuffed belly:P

Sorry for the long delayed posts, I’ve been very busy with school. I would love to blog more often if only I had the time;)

Until next time,

Happy Family Day!

Naomi

Links:

http://www.glutenfreeexpo.ca/bc/vancouver/

http://www.glutenfreeexpo.ca/product-directory/

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