We didn't want to miss a thing at Natural Products Expo West, so we tapped a few of the fearless members of New Hope Network's Blogger Co-op to help us hit the show floor.
Here are the products they deemed their favorite finds!
(Psst: Have a natural living blog? You can apply for the New Hope Blogger Co-op here.)
All of the products made by Because Cookie Dough are: Gluten-free, vegan, whole grain, soy free, sweetened with only dates and organic coconut sugar. The company offers a line of cookie doughs, but it is the newest product, a ready-to-eat-dessert, brownie batter, that is getting all of the attention. It is designed to be enjoyed raw or heated in the microwave for 20-30 seconds for a warm treat. Portable, convenient and ready in just seconds makes it a perfect sweet and healthful dessert any time of day.
— Jennifer Harris, Gluten Free Go-To Guide
Words cannot adequately describe how fantastic this sheep’s milk cheese pizza from Cappello’s tastes. This pizza is a first for the grain-free market and the pizza category—adding pasture raised sheep’s milk cheese to a pizza—making it one for the record books. I honestly can't tell the difference between this cheese and traditional cheese. Stringy, salty cheese sits atop a zesty sauce and a crispy crust that is slightly chewy. There is no soy or yeast in the pizza either. They also launched three new flavors of their paleo cookie dough: double chocolate, ginger snap and lemon zest.
Blogger Erica Dermer seconds Cappello's for the "naked" crust because she can't do dairy.
Jackie Day adds: I agree with Sarah on this one. I've been enjoying this little elixir of health at my local farmers market fresh from the barrel, long before the bottle even had a label; I'm so happy it's finding its way to stores. The rich-hued antioxidants with fermenting probiotics really pack a punch. Tasty, with a kick. I love it.
I fell in love with products at Natural Products Expo West that were “the real deal”—take fourth-generation farmer’s organic, sustainably farmed, premium mint, add European dark chocolate and get the most delectable dark chocolate mint patties ever, made by the Seely farmers themselves. Smell their mint oil—it’s like minty sunrays in a bottle. I also loved Green Mountain Creamery’s Maple Greek yogurt, made with Vermont organic milk, real maple syrup and little else.
— Risa Schulman, Tap~Root
The gluten-free oats innovators are at it again with new packaging for oatmeal on the go with the introduction of GoPacks. These packs are only 1-inch-thick, 6 inches high/wide and fold flat for easy transportation. They are designed for easy use with a Keurig—simply tear open the top, pop the bottom open so it can stand up, fill with hot water (4 ounces), stir and enjoy. No more oatmeal cups that can get crushed in luggage or punctured in a purse/bag. These oatmeal GoPacks are crush resistant, portable and can be transported any number of ways. The high-quality, gluten-free oatmeal thickens quickly and tastes fabulous.
"So smart! Fave new packaging innovation I saw this year," Erica Dermer adds.
Hail Merry is taking a dip into the savory snack arena with the new cashew based hummus (called Nut Hummus) in two flavors: Green Chile and Red Bell Pepper. These bean-free dips are paleo, raw and vegan with no added oils and nothing artificial. Made with only clean ingredients, the dips are creamy and savory. As a bonus, the red bell pepper flavor tastes just like pimento cheese. I could eat half of the container in one sitting easily. Can’t wait until these become available later this year.
There's just something about the taste of this vegan cheese that makes me feel really special when I eat it; almost elegant. It packs a powerhouse of flavor; an intermingling of smoky and sharp tones, that I envision being a hit everywhere from a fancy soirée to a summertime picnic. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. It's made from cashews, organic chickpea miso and a few other tasty tidbits. If you're vegan and missing cheese—or just want to indulge in something fabulously delicious—this one's for you. Vegan cheese has come a long way, baby. Check out Miyoko's new vegan mozzarella (great on pizza!) and palm oil-free vegan butter too.
Aptly described as half English scone, half Middle Eastern pita, these little vegan rounds are another awesome portable breakfast for those who want a delicious morning snack without investing much time. The subtle sweetness from the dried cranberries, orange juice, and a little cane sugar, provide a stand-alone sweet treat with no need to add jam or anything else; perfect as is. Pop em' in the toaster oven for a few minutes, and you're good to go! They're so soft; they taste fresh-baked. Check out the Date and Chia Morning Rounds too. Delicious!
It is so hard to find a "butter" that's dairy free and free from all chemicals and preservatives. Until now. Nutiva came out with a new Organic Buttery Coconut Oil that is vegan and contains all the health benefits (namely MCT's) that regular coconut oil has. The "buttery flavor" comes from pure certified organic non-GMO plants including sunflower, coconut and mint. The product is spot on for a butter replacement.
— Sarah Kay Hoffman
Blogger Lindsay Tredent Mauch seconded this pick, saying she's already used it with success on popcorn.
— Desarae Fowler, OhSoDelicioso
I’ve long been a fan of Coyuchi, the company that pretty much established the organic cotton bedding market. Their subtle palettes and exquisite styling simply scream eco-luxury. But they’re taking it to a whole new level with these adorable embroidered layettes. Fair trade made and soft as a whisper, this is the perfect gift for an expecting mommy greenest.
— Rachel Sarnoff, Mommy Greenest
If you have to taste coffee on the go, there is seriously no better way to do it than Blue Bottle. USDA Certified Organic and absolutely delicious, Blue Bottle delivers classic cold brew taste in a can, and—my favorite—chicory spiced New Orleans style iced in a carton. After launching at Natural Products Expo West, this idealistic group of javaphiles is set to take on the world of Joe.
I'm a huge fan of turmeric tea, but sometimes I want something sweet with the mouth feel of hot chocolate late at night. With Gaia's new golden milk powder, all I need is a dairy-free milk and a mug and I get all the benefits of turmeric along with the satiation of hot chocolate or another sweet, milky drink. Dates naturally sweeten this mix, and the flavors of cardamom and vanilla are prominent. Golden Milk is vegan and gluten-free.
— Erica Dermer, Celiac and the Beast
Free from the top eight allergens, vegan and gluten free, it's hard to find great chips for baking. Pascha Chocolate is free from this and organic, while managing to make a killer "white chocolate" chip that's perfect for baking without the dairy found in other chips. A cross-over chocolate, combining the free-from market and the vegan market to create one sweet cookie.
I've been waiting for Follow Your Heart to launch their new bread line since I heard rumblings about it last year. With three new breads, they certainly know how to launch an item! All three breads—brioche, oat and millet—are vegan and CSA certified gluten-free too. The bread is delicious and the texture could rival even the top "breadwinners" in the current gluten-free marketplace. Follow your heart to the grocery store for this launch.
Sarah Kay Hoffman seconds this pick.
Safe Catch was definitely a highlight for me and I wish I knew about this brand when I was pregnant because they have a pretty meticulous protocol for testing every single fish for high levels of mercury. They have the strictest mercury limits of any brand and their product Safe Catch Elite is the only tuna brand that passes Consumer Reports “Low Mercury” criteria for pregnant women and kids.
Safe Catch also tastes exceptional. If you weren't aware, most canned tuna companies pre-cook their tuna and use additives and fillers to put flavor back into the fish. These brands will put the tuna on racks which drains out more than 80 percent of the natural omega-3s and added benefits. Safe Catch doesn't remove the delicious juices from the fish, so you get the full flavor of the fish and a nice dose of omega-3s with every bite.
They use a unique cooking process called "raw packing" in which they take hand cut tuna steaks and pack them in the can, and cook in the can to retain 100 percent of the omega-3s, natural vitamins and minerals. They also don’t add any broth, oil or water to their tuna. Safe Catch tuna is just cooked in its natural fish oils for a very fresh flavor!
What else is awesome about Safe Catch?
I can't see myself purchasing any other brand now other than Safe Catch.
— Colleen Francioli, FODMAP Life
For those of you who love tempeh and appreciate it as a delicious protein source (whether you are vegan, or not), you need to learn about TempehSure, a DIY plant-based protein system that allows you to make tempeh in your own kitchen.
While I was near the Daiya booth chatting with a few well-knowns in the vegan world like vegan educator and chef extraordinaire Mimi Clark and teacher/naturalist/hippie and founder of Tofurky Seth Tibbott, I also had the chance to meet John Silva of the TempehSure team. He shared oodles of information about their new kickstarter and how the TempehSure device helps people make tempeh from a variety of legumes such as soy beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc.
He was saying how making your own tempeh is also another way to ensure (hence the "sure" of the brand name) you know exactly what's going into your tempeh. TempehSure provides a trusted source for pre-portioned starter culture, bean blends and their dual-stage Protein Pod that seamlessly incubates and pasteurizes tempeh at the touch of a button from your smartphone (yes, there's an app for that!). The Protein Pod makes 1.5 pounds of tempeh, great for those wanting to tinker around at home. The Protein Pod is also great for chefs who want to try to make small batches first to see how they like the device, or they can buy the larger unit, the Protein Pod Plus and make up to 3 pounds of tempeh at a time.
I'm sold, and I want to make my own tempeh stat!
Alpendough Snickerdoodle cookie dough is hands down the BEST cookie dough I've ever had, and it's VEGAN! They also have double chocolate and chocolate chip. "Making gluten free and vegan cookie dough doesn't mean that we are exempt from good taste and texture." It's true what they say—the taste and the texture was so good! I think having a small amount of this dough raw is a perfect treat—but of course go ahead and make a batch of cookies too! Here are the ingredients for snickerdoodle: Bob's Red Mill gluten-free whole grain oat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic coconut oil, organic maple syrup, organic coconut milk, organic dark brown sugar (non-bone char), water, tapioca flour, less than 2% of: organic vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, organic cinnamon, baking powder (aluminum-free)
Pogo lip balm, is a refillable, organic lip balm. It's even dishwasher safe so each container is pure before popping in a fresh, balm cartridge refill. Pogo has gently extracted butters, oils, essential oils and herbs to moisturize the lips in the essences of vanilla, peach, mint, apricot, berries and bananas.
— Daily Baez, Daily Curlz
Refresh on the go. How genius is this, especially with summer just around the corner? Removes odor-causing bacteria and super easy to use. Just open the packet, unfold the wipe and apply to underarms. Made with natural antiseptic lavender, no aluminum chlorohydrate, no propylene glycol, no parabens or phthalates.
Beard Balm, all natural face care for men. I have to be honest, this is the first time I have come across this product and I think it is great for those men wanting to grow an awesome beard. I see a lot of men with beards and they look dry and dull, but with this product, beginners and veterans can have a perfect, tangle-free beard. The package is manly enough and the inside is a balm made with the best ingredients: grapeseed oil, coconut oil, lanolin and beeswax. It softens whiskers, relieves dry, itchy skin, controls frizz and tangles, prevents split ends and reduces patchiness.
It was love at first sight for me when I saw Brami's adorable packaging. I’m glad it drew me in because their lupini beans are delicious and loaded with nutrition. Packed with protein and fiber, these edamame-like snacks have five times more minerals than coconut water and 63 percent more manganese than kale.
They’re also low in calories, fat and carbohydrates, making them a healthy alternative to chips or nuts. Plus, Brami’s beans are non-GMO and naturally gluten and soy free. My favorite flavor is the Chili Lime.
— Whitney Lauritesen, Eco-Vegan Gal
This was the booth I recommended the most when friends asked me what they should try at Natural Products Expo West. I fell in lust with this brand after one sip of their organic, cold pressed, raw pistachio nut milk. The flavor is unlike any non-dairy milk I’ve ever tried. Their pistachio butter is also out of this world. Made with organic coconut oil and vanilla, it has a lovely creaminess and perfect salt balance. Nutraw also makes a five-ingredient, 100 percent raw superfood bar. If you’re a pistachio lover, you must try this line.
— Whitney Lauritsen, Eco-Vegan Gal
I have been a big fan of Vital Proteins since I learned about their Collagen Peptides at last year’s Natural Products Expo West. This year they debuted a Marine Collagen at the show that’s got all the same great benefits as their collagen peptide, but it’s made from wild-caught snapper. You can get 11 grams of protein with two scoops of this product and the collagen helps support healthy skin, nails and joints. The best part is you get all of these benefits without the fish flavor or smell—it’s unflavored and odorless. Awesome!
— Lindsay Tredent Mauch, Fit and Awesome
Sarah Kay Hoffman seconds this Expo West product pick.
I was happy to see more brands of bone broth at the show this year. Bone broth has so many health benefits, but it can take awhile to make from scratch. I tried the Epic bone broth that was simmering over their Expo West stove on Saturday morning and it was delicious. I am really impressed with Epic’s whole animal initiative in which they are using more of the animal and using it for different products. The bone broth is sold in a glass bottle, and I’m pretty sure I would be content just sipping it plain. It’s that good and a perfectly paleo snack or soup base.
I was on the hunt at Natural Products Expo West for products that were paleo, minimally processed and full of good, natural ingredients. The Curry Turkey meat and veggie bar from Wild Zora was one of my favorites! The curry turkey was flavored with cardamom, vegetables like spinach, and fruits like apricot and dates. The combination of these ingredients made for a nice, soft texture that I really enjoyed. There’s no added sugar and these bars are paleo AND whole 30 approved! I will definitely be adding these to my list of paleo snacks on the go.
One of the most frustrating items to buy when you’re shopping for a “no sugar” person is pasta sauce. Pasta should be one of the easiest dishes for the home cook, but my sauce options are incredibly few and far between. As tomatoes are acidic, many brands cut the acid with sugar. Sauces ‘N Love decided that’s lame, let’s just use better tomatoes. The sauce was well seasoned and I could taste the quality. I’m so excited that my pasta sauce option went from one to 10 different kinds made by Sauces ‘N Love.
— Rebekka Utermohlen, Fit and Awesome
When I sampled Nada Moo I decided to veer away from safe flavors like vanilla and chocolate. Instead I decided that if I was going to sample a vegan ice cream, I was going to really see what they are made of and went for Pistachio. Oh holy ice cream angels, Nada Moo is a game changer. I’ve had vegan ice cream before, but this coconut-milk-based ice cream was on par with Talenti. As I have acne, it’s nice to know when I decide to have dairy-free weeks I can totally indulge in Nada Moo.
"LOVED the new flavors, pistachio FTW," added Erica Dermer.
Kite Hill is a vegan almond-based cheese that is to die for! I can’t believe it’s not dairy. I tried the chive dip and the brie. The brie has a dull bitter aftertaste but it’s far from weird, and if you are a funky cheese fan, it’s really not that bad. The chive dip on the other hand is a dead ringer replacement for any cream cheese based party dip. Bonus, no cows were disturbed in the process of this cheese. I will be buying this for family gatherings moving forward.
What the @newhope360 @deliciousliving blog team loved at #ExpoWest #EWBlogger
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