Natural Products Expo West, one of the largest trade shows featuring all the latest and greatest in the natural products industry can be seriously overwhelming. It would literally take you all three days of the show to see everything. My original strategy was foiled when I missed my flight on Friday, leaving me only a day and a half to try to hit all the vendors I wanted to see, so here is my round-up of the best vegan products that hit my radar.
There will be a chance for you to win one of four prize -packs with my favorite products at the end of this post!
Aside from endless rows of stuff,stuff and more stuff,Expo West was also a fun opportunity to connect with internet friends,like Jackie from Vegan Yack Attack and Jill from VeganCuts. I’m guessing a lot of the cool swag they discovered here will end up in future Vegan Cuts snack boxes.
Okay, so let’s get down to business.I asked my Facebook friends what products they wanted me to review and the big answer was vegan CHEESE.
Daiya introduced spreadable cream cheese in three flavors- Plain, Chive & Onion and Strawberry (my fave). Provolone, Swiss and Cheddar made their debut in Daiya Slices. Both the cream cheese and the new slices taste very distinctively Daiya.The Plain cream cheese had the most prominent aftertaste. I don’t think the Provolone or the Swiss are very convincing in flavor comparison to the “real” dairy counterparts but the cheddar slices will come in handy if you want to mack down with a grilled cheese sammie. If you really want a solid Provolone,take the effort to make the recipe in the Artisan Vegan Cheese Cookbook and you won’t be disappointed. My favorite new additions to the Daiya line are the Gluten-free Pizzas in four flavors: Cheez Lover’s, Margherita, Fire-roasted Vegetable, Mushroom and Roasted Garlic. The crust was thin, the sauce had a nice tang and I would happily make room for a couple of these vegan pizzas in my freezer. As always, Daiya products do not contain the top eight allergens: casein,whey,lactose,soy,gluten,eggs,peanuts or tree nuts(excluding coconut).
Follow Your Heart introduced the new Vegan Shreds in cheddar and mozzarella (soy-free,gluten-free,non-GMO). I loved both the taste and the melting properties in the grilled cheese sandwich I sampled.
But what really made me happy was…Vegan Bleu Cheese Dressing! I’ve been obsessing over a Buffalo Cauliflower recipe and this dressing is exactly what I needed to complete the dish.The dressing has a slight sweetness to it that will pair brilliantly with the hot n’spicy of the Buffalo sauce. Bleu cheese dressing isn’t really something I use for salads,I tend to reach for it as a dipping sauce for fried food or slathering on wraps. (Available for retail in mid-April)
There is such an incredible variety of plant-based cheeses on the market now. Teese is my go-to when I want a mozzarella I can use for Caprese salad. I prefer my Teese vegan cheese sliced very thin,nestled among heirloom tomatoes and drizzled with a good balsamic. The nacho cheese flavor comes in as a close second and melts great at high temperatures. They’re changing the packaging, so you’ll see the new labels on the chubs in stores soon. (soy-free,gluten-free)
I didn’t find Mr.Dewie’s booth until late on Sunday but I’m glad I finally did. This almond milk ice cream was divine (mint chip gets my vote!) only six ingredients and also gluten-free,dairy-free,soy-free. No weird after taste, very pleasing mouth-feel,two thumbs up!
I am a self-admitted Justin’s Dark Chocolate Peanut Butter Cup addict. The cups are perfect little discs of vegan friendly sweet chocolate love. Well guess what? They now come in single-serve packs! (Available in May)
If you have the misfortune of missing your flight to ExpoWest and find yourself stranded in an airport for hours you will be so stoked that you remembered to bring along these little packets of nut butter. There’s going to be a nifty Justin’s prize pack in my giveaway to share the nut butter love.
Numi Savory Tea- Someone made the comment, “Isn’t it just like vegetable broth?” Well, yeah kinda. But where else can you get Broccoli Cilantro,Tomato Mint,Fennel Spice, Spinach Chive or Carrot Curry broth in these super convenient single servings? My plan is to use these for tea-smoking and other culinary applications but they are also delicious to just sip. I will definitely be stocking my pantry with these savory teas.
After rushing through the show for 6 hours, I needed a pick me up. Teeccino is a caffeine-free herbal coffee with a deep,rich flavor. I’m down for the Mediterranean flavored blends like buttery hazelnut enriched by golden-roasted almonds, slightly sweetened by dates & figs but try the Maya flavors if you want a bolder, unsweetened cup.
Teechia is a new “super seeds” cereal made with chia,flax,amaranth,quinoa,pumpkin and ramon seeds (gluten-free and no sugar added). I like this as a topping for coconut yogurt,sprinkled on a fruit parfait or added to a smoothie to bump up the protein. I don’t care for sweet cereals,so I really enjoy the earthy taste of Teechia. You’re going to get a chance to win some in my giveaway below!
If you follow me on Instagram, you know I love a good tasty firestorm. I felt like cheating on Sriracha,so I gave Start Hot Curry Sauce a try. It’s not as vinegary as Tabasco,is mild to medium on the heat scale and the curry kick will perk up any dish. I sampled Start on a piece of pineapple and have been dreaming about making a Hawaiian pizza with Start in the pizza sauce base-YUM! (gluten-free,non-GMO,no MSG)
If you’ve been dying to try my KimChi Fried Rice Balls but are not up for making your own vegan kimchi,Wildbrine has some delicious vegan kimchi and fermented foods. I liked the Korean and Japanese kimchis best. Compared to the other vegan kimchis on the market, the price point on Wildbrine is great, about $8.99 here in Hawaii. I have seen other brands as high as $23.99 for a similar sized jar- yikes!!! Try the dill & garlic sauerkraut too, it’s just begging to take a ride on a Reuben sandwich.
Sencha Naturals Green Tea + C is probably my new favorite drink. Just add the packet to water and you get an effervescent dose of antioxidants from sencha and matcha green tea, vitamin C from acerola cherries, and electrolytes from water-extracted purple sweet potato and coconut water. The sugar-free sweetness comes from monk fruit, with no after taste. Green Tea + C is available in three flavors: Original,Tropical Mango and my personal favorite,Dragonfruit.(vegan,non-GMO) If you don’t want to drink your antioxidants, you can freshen your breath and get the health benefits of green tea in Sencha Green Tea Mints. I’m a sucker for packaging and the green tea mint tubes fit perfectly in my little purse.
The Green Tea + C will be available for retail in June but you get a chance to win a box of Green Tea + C and Sencha Green Tea Mints in my giveaway!
Natural Vitality supplements were a life saver during this show. Last year, I got really sick after the Expo. My immune system just couldn’t fight off all the germs from the food samples,hand shaking and hoards of people. So when Natural Vitality offered to send me Vitamin C,B12 and and Energy 28 Whole Food Energizer for review, I said I would give the products a go and see if I could dodge the flu bullet while traveling. Three weeks,six cities and four airplanes later…I did not get sick! I had already started using the Magnesium Calm as part of my Mandarin Mimosa Mocktail to help with muscle pain but I am now a fan of and believer in the other products too. The Vitamin C and B12 come in vegan capsules,while the Energy 28 is in a liquid form. Let me be honest and tell you that I don’t particularly care for the taste of the liquid vitamins,but with a glass of juice as a chaser, I can get it down.
I sampled a new product,Plant Sourced Minerals,at the show. It contains naturally occurring humic and fulvic acids, polysaccharides, lipids and other valuable nutritional cofactors. I haven’t tried this long term to see if I notice any health benefits but I’m curious to know if it will give me super powers. And yes, you’re going to have a chance to win some!
The Giveaway: April 5th-April 19th…Win one of four prize packs (This giveaway is now closed,winners announced in the comment section)
- Justin’s Nut Butter– $50 worth of product
- Sencha Naturals– One variety box of Green Tea Mint tubes (retails at $35.40) and a variety box of Green Tea +C (will retail at about $15.00).
- Teeccino– One 10-ct Tee-Bag box of one of our Dandelion Teeccino flavors, 11oz bag of one of our other Teeccino flavors, a 6 serving bag of TeeChia, and a ceramic mug.
- Natural Vitality– One bottle each of Vitamin C and B12, Energy 28 Whole Food Energizer and Plant-Sourced Minerals Supplement
- Leave a comment on this blog post letting me know which prize pack you’d like to win and that you’ve completed all 3 steps to enter.
- Follow Justin’s, Sencha Naturals, Teecino and Natural Vitality on Facebook,say “Hi” and let them know Veggietorials sent you
- Subscribe to my Veggietorials YouTube channel
- I will select (4) Four winners to receive the different prize packs on April 19th and contact them via email. Please be sure that your comment on this post is linked to a valid email address.You will have 48 hours to respond with your shipping information or an alternate winner will be chosen.
- Winners must have a U.S. shipping address
*Disclaimer -I did not receive any compensation to write the reviews. I reached out to the companies for the giveaway so that you could enjoy some of the awesome ExpoWest swag.The products have been generously donated for the giveaway but I do not promise favorable reviews.My opinions are always 100% honest.
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