Sunday, July 26, 2015

Day after the GF & AF Expo

Well folks, I am exhausted. I had a wonderful time at the GF & AF Expo in Worcester at the DCU Center yesterday. However, I had a procedure on Thursday and may have pushed myself too far. Regardless I had a wonderful experience and today I will touch on that a bit.

Before that, I am trying to boost myself up a bit with Organize Yourself Skinny's Peanut Butter and Banana Green Smoothie. With a recipe of banana, kale (I used spinach), almond milk, Greek yogurt (I use Cabot french vanilla), peanut butter, and maple syrup. This is TASTY! Even my boyfriend who doesn't like greens said it tastes good. Here is the original post from Organize Yourself Skinny. I use a Hamilton Beach blender (Amazon link).

Back to the Gluten Free and Allergen Friendly Expo! I don't even know where to begin...
Okay. (sigh). I have to say that the DCU Center is easy to get to and parking was easy, but the parking garage doesn't make a lot of sense. The Center is perfect for big expos though. Unfortunately it was quite cold in there all day! Myself and the other bloggers went in @ 9:30 to meet each other. I found out that I need business cards! Oy vey! I wrote my blog address down for everyone and we all exchanged contact info. Then we checked in with Massel who was the blogger sponsor. We met Marc Migdal from Massel and he talked about their products.

Massel has been making gluten-free, vegan, and kosher bouillon cubes and seasonings for over 30 years. They have a dedicated gluten-free, vegan, kosher facility in Sydney, Australia. They have 4 categories of products:
1. 7's Bouillon cubes which retail about $.99. They come in vegetable, chicken, and beef. These are manufactured in vegetable base so they ARE VEGAN!
2. Ultracube salt-reduced bouillon, 10 cubes per box. Same flavors.
3. Concentrated liquid stock/marinade. Great for marinades, stir fries, salad dressings, and more.
4. All purpose bouillon and seasoning granules.
(I was not paid to write this by the way). I am going to look for these in my local Shaw's.
Massel's website is here and from there you can find them all over the net.

Then we broke and started doing our blogger thing. Wow, there were a lot of vendors! 
See? LOTS! Some of the big names like Udi's, Enjoy Life, Justine's, Cheerios, Earth Balance, Glutino, and many more! I was thrilled to see so many varieties and local vendors as well. I was a little overwhelmed at the sights, sounds, and smells of it all. but I talked to almost every single vendor.  So, as not to overwhelm you, I will give my readers a Top 5 Vendors List. Here we go, NOT in any order or rank:

1. Green Valley Organics. I spoke w/ a wonderful man who I think is named David (I am poor with names). They have a Certified Humane farm located in Sonoma County. They make lactose-free yogurt, kefirs, sour cream, and cream cheese. They had kefirs and cream cheeses at the Expo, though I only tried the Kefir, as I LOVE Kefir. I tasted the Blueberry Pomegranate Acai Kefir and oh boy was it delicious. I will be filling out the Store Request Form to encourage my local independent natural food store to carry it. http://greenvalleylactosefree.com/

2. Home Free. I had a great conversation with the rep about their products. I tasted the chocolate chip  mini cookies, lemon burst mini cookies, and the vanilla mini cookies. The Lemon Burst cookies are new and ooh yum. She encouraged me to try the vanilla cookies, said they tasted just like a Vanilla Wafer. "OH I miss those," I said. "Not any more," she said, handing me one. YES, goddess yes, THESE are the gluten free vanilla cookies I have been looking for! I will have to buy these in bulk... 
**FYI, they are changing the packaging of all their cookies from that sky blue color to multi-colors, which will make it easier to differentiate between each cookie type. 

3. Superseedz Gourmet Pumpkin Seeds. I met Seed Queen/Founder, Kathie and tried some of their fantastic pumpkin seeds. I enjoy seeds, especially sweet ones, and their new Maple Sugar & Sea Salt seeds are deliciously crunchy, sweet and salty. Yummy! But what I liked more than these was Coco Joe. Chocolate, vanilla, and seeds! YES please! I will be sharing these, rather reluctantly, with my bosses and encouraging them to buy these seeds. Kathie very graciously gave me a bag of Coco Joe seeds, which I will enjoy slowly as to make them last. Check Kathie and company out at http://superseedz.com/. Buy some, seriously. 

4. Downeast Cider. Of the 4 cider companies that were at this expo, this is my favorite, and that is even ABOVE Woodchuck, which I have been faithfully drinking for years. Downeast is made in their cidery on Terminal St. in Boston. I tried the Original Blend and Cranberry Blend. The Original Blend seemed to be missing something, or maybe I am used to Woodchuck and Angry Orchard, but the Cranberry Blend is scrumptious. I was happy to hear that Downeast Cider can be found here on Cape Cod, including Luke's! 

5. Flatout flatbread now makes a gluten-free flatbread! They gave me one to try (and blog about later), which I am looking forward to eating. I miss flatbread, but hopefully not anymore.
http://www.flatoutbread.com/glutenfree

6. Otto's Naturals Cassavaflour. I met Sadie Olsen, the owner, and we chatted about cassava flour. This stuff is amazing! It's gluten, grain and nut free. It's grain-free because it is made from yuca root, imported from Brazil if I remember correctly. It can be used 1:1 substitute for wheat flour. Sadie was making tortillas and they were mmm mmm good. She generously gave bloggers a free 2 lb. bag of Cassava flour! I will be experimenting with it over the next few months. Check back later for that.
http://www.ottosnaturals.com/ There some great looking recipes on their website that I will explore. Brownies for one.

Keep an eye out on my blog as I will be writing more about EVERYTHING I received!

Folks, look at all this swag I got! This is just bag one!











So, my trip was superb, even though I exhausted myself. For more info on the GF & AF Expo, please visit http://gfafexpo.com/.
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Their next show is the NY Metro Show, Oct. 3-4 in Secaucus, NJ. More details here! They always need bloggers and volunteers so go check it out please!

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