In March, the VeganRUs team went to a Natural Foods Expo at the Anaheim Convention Center. As a new member of the VeganRUs team, I was not readily prepared for this spectacular event. As I walked in, there was hundreds of vendors giving out information or passing out samples. I got to try a few samples and took samples home as well. The vendors ranged from foods, vitamins, makeup, herbs, and even shampoos. There were some really great food products out there that were NON-GMO. Although there were tons of samples, not all were as tasty on my palate as I had hoped. I got a chance to sample a bag of cheddar flavored kale and chia seed chips. My nephew was the one who actually tried it first as he pointed to which samples he wanted to try. He took one tiny bite and gave it back to us. My sister and I proceeded to try it, and realized why he gave it back. The chip was beyond bitter. It was even more bitter than a bitter melon, and the flavor lingered on your tongue after.
While I was walking around, I got to sample peanut butter that was not peanut butter. This peanut butter was made out of peas, and was surprisingly pretty close to the real deal. This product would be a great alternative for those who can’t eat peanut butter or not a fan of the ingredients inside peanut butter. This particular vendor also had a line of marinara/tomato sauce jars that had 8 hidden vegetables. Perfect for those little picky eaters of yours. The brand for the peanut butter is called Sneaky Chef. You can check out their site at: http://www.thesneakychef.com/
I also got some nutrition bars to sample. They were also gluten-free and dairy-free. They’re from a company called Zing. So if you’re looking for bars to eat while you’re out hiking or just something for energy, try these out. They’re surprisingly very tasty. I got to try the Cashew Cranberry Orange and Chocolate Coconut. They have a link on their website for a store locator. In the event, there’s not a store that carries them, you can buy them online. Check them out at: http://www.zingbars.com/
Want to make Mac N Cheese? There’s a vegan version of that! Daiya was testing out a new product of Mac N Cheese. It came pretty close to the real deal. The product is still being tested, but you can make it yourself at home. They offer many vegan type cheeses that can be found at Albertson’s and Vons. Check out recipes on their website: http://us.daiyafoods.com/recipes
Since it’s getting warmer, how about some ice cream or sorbet? There was a company called Jolly Llama that was giving out samples of their new product. It was the mint chocolate flavor that I got to sample. So delicious! Their product is gluten-free, dairy-free, nut-free, and non-GMO. This product is great for kids as well! The flavors are delicious. Check them out for some vegan friendly ice cream. Visit Jolly Llama at: http://thejollyllama.com/
I asked most of the vendors if their products were readily available for purchase in store. To my delight, most of them were available to purchase in the state of California at your local stores. Some of the vendors were still working on getting their products to the West Coast. Since the VeganRUs family is located out in California, the items I’ve listed above were available at my local stores like Sprouts of Albertson’s. If you’re not in California, I can’t guarantee the availability of the product, so you’ll have to search on their website to see if the item is available in your state.
Overall, this was just an awesome expo. I would not have had the chance to experience this without our amazing founder, Kimberly. I even had the chance to meet some fellow expo goers there. It was a great learning experience.
If you get a chance, I would recommend checking this expo out. If you’re on the East Coast, the event will start in September.
Education & Events: September 16–19, 2015
Trade Show: September 17–19, 2015
Baltimore Convention Center, Baltimore, MD USA
For more information, please visit: http://www.expoeast.com/ee15/public/enter.aspx