It’s hard to believe that three weeks have passed since the Natural Products Expo West trade show ended. The event was so much more than I had anticipated. It was fast paced and there was more to see and taste than ever possible. The true highlight was connecting with so many friends in the vegan community, not to mention meeting the faces behind some of the companies that I have grown to know and love. Plus, many companies wait all year long to debut their brand new products, and as promised, I am bringing my favorite new items right here to YOU! Read on to learn about my favorite new vegan items from Natural Products Expo West.
And now for the products…
Who doesn’t love bacon? Vegan or not, let’s admit that we are all obsessed with the salty creation. If you haven’t heard already, there’s amazingly good news for the plant based folks on the bacon-front, and it’s called Phoney Baloney’s. Yup, that’s right folks, you can have your tasty bacon and it can be pig free! Coconut bacon is the new plant based craze! But does it taste like bacon? It’s been a long time since this cowgirl has eaten meat of any kind, but I can attest that coconut bacon actually tastes like the bacon I remember from when I was a kid. Try it for yourself. And just in case you’re wondering, all Phoney Baloney products are totally free of gluten for all the celiacs and gluten-free cowgirls and cowboys out there.
For those of you who are plant based eaters, Phoney Baloney’s is probably old news to you, but what’s so exciting is the compilation of NEW flavors that are about to hit grocery store shelves later in the year. And the new flavors are…drum roll please…Original Low Sodium, Candied, Chipotle BBQ and Apple Fennel. I tried all these delicious flavors and the Apple Fennel was my favorite. Be on the lookout for these in the grocery stores very soon!
Another one of my new favorite food items from Expo was Teese, a non-dairy shelf stable cheese made by Chicago Vegan Foods. While Teese has been available for a while, I haven’t been able to find it in Northern California so this was my first time trying the plant-based cheese alternative, and that’s why I am including it here in my list. Teese comes in four flavors, two of which are best for using as cheese sauces, their Nacho and Mac’ n’ Teese. The other two flavors, Cheddar and Mozzarella are best for shredding or slicing; both are perfect on pizza, grilled cheese sandwiches and quesadillas. Teese is completely nut-free, palm oil free, soy free, wheat and gluten free.
Next, I fell in love with the Date Lady. Well, not the Date Lady herself, but her yummy sweet products. If you’re looking for an alternative liquid sweetener rather than using sugar, agave or maple syrup, you might consider trying this totally vegan, organic, kosher, and gluten free date syrup. The syrups do not contain any additives or preservatives. The syrups are available in 12 ounce jars, in both original date flavor as well as caramel, these are sure to sweeten any dish you create, and just as nature intended.
My final Expo West pick is a kombucha drink made by Health-Ade. Aren’t familiar with kombucha? It’s a fermented drink (contains a little alcohol) that is made from tea and is fermented using sugar, interestingly enough, kombucha has a low-glycemic index and is anti-inflammatory. It contains active enzymes, polyphenol antioxidants, and is high in probiotics. It’s claimed it help fight disease. In fact, with the support of my Naturopathic doctor, I drank one daily during my battle with cancer. Kombucha can take some getting used to if you haven’t had one before as it has an interesting taste. You can make your own at home or purchase them ready-to-go at grocery stores all over the country.
Back to Health-Ade kombucha, I fell in love with this California company that has the most lovely and simple packaging, not to mention their array of unique flavors which include: Original, California Grape, Pink Lady Apple, Lemon Ginger, Plum, Pomegranate and Cayenne Cleanse. What’s not to love?
Well, that’s not all I have for you this week! Check out the video below by The Vegan Zombie boys who put together their rendition of their favorite vegan products from Expo West (some of the products I happen to love myself as well!). If you’ve never been to a trade show of this size, this is a great introduction into what the Natural Products Expo is all about; it’s pretty wild and crazy. Oh, and keep your eyes peeled for a certain cowgirl that just might make an appearance or two in the video. Yeehaw!