Gluten & Allergen Free Expo Mini Reviews Part 1

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I had a lot of people ask me what my allergens were at the expo.  The truth is, I don’t have any.  I recently discovered, via elimination diet, that I am lactose intolerant, but I have never been formally diagnosed with any food allergies.  So why in the world was I at this Expo, you wonder?!  Well, a lot of my crunchy friends have learned that so many health issues result from food allergies.  Battling with these allergies in every day life, where there are SO many allergens surrounding us can’t be easy.  I wanted to bring these companies that will help them find amazing products for them and their families.  Everything was so delicious.  There was literally not a single thing that I tried that I did not like.  In fact, there were several things that I am now completely in love with!  

As you may know, my cousin Liz has a long list of allergies.  It was such a pleasure to be there supporting her and her blog as well.  I know she really struggles, not only with her allergens, but also with the acknowledgement and acceptance of them from various friends and family.  It was SO nice to have a care-free weekend (aside from when I may have slightly poisoned her with almonds, which she will never let me live down.  HAHA!) where we could relax, meet amazing people representing amazing brands and enjoy LIFE!  I hope you enjoy my mini reviews of all of these great vendors!  We have some full reviews along with some giveaways coming soon to the blog, so make sure you come back and check them out!  If you are interested in learning more about these companies, you can find their website links on the GFAF Vendor page and you are welcome to check out the rest of our photos from the Expo as well!  You can also find more Expo pics on my Instagram!

The Allergy Relief Clinics folks are so helpful and friendly!  Their goal is to make you feel better.  They offer consultations, testing and treatment at their facilities and not only do they take insurance (including medicaid!), but they also offer flexible cash payment plans.  

Amy the Family Chef has created an amazing cookbook called The Warm Kitchen.  Her cookbook features delectable gluten-free recipes with stunning photos for each recipe.  The book includes chapters for all of the different types of recipes such as main dishes and treats, but also shows common substitutes in case you are also dairy or egg-free!

Ancient Harvest has a wide variety of quinoa products from pastas to polentas!  If you love oatmeal, but hate that gluten-free oatmeal is not so easy to find, you are in luck!  Ancient Harvest has several yummy flavors of hot cereal!

Aubrey Organics is a brand I am really excited about!  I was given some samples of their Calming Skin Therapy line to help with my rosacea (red cheeks!).  I learned about sea aster, which I had never before heard of, that gently soothes and hydrates your skin.

Bakery On Main carries a lot of breakfast and snack products.  In addition to instant oatmeal, they have granola and granola bars.  These are definitely some kid-friendly treats!

Bare Belly Organics was one of the few skin care vendors at the Expo.  They have available the most silky smooth lip balm ever!  They also have a really nice sunscreen that is totally safe for babies!

The Bites from Better Bites Bakery are OUTSTANDING!  Imagine delicious little blobs of cookie dough dipped in chocolate.  Yeah.  They did that.  It’s like the most amazing truffles you’ve ever tasted.  But it’s not candy!!  It’s heaven!

If you’re a fan of Italian food, you’re sure to be a fan of Bionaturae!  They have Italian ingredients such as pasta, olive oil and tomato products!

I was already a fan of Bob’s Red Mill products.  I use their gluten free oats in my lactation cookies!  They really have a ton of great products including cereal and granola!

Now I did NOT sample these items, but I would bet your furry pal would LOVE them!  Boo & Neo’s Gourmet Barkery creates healthy treats for your pooch with all natural ingredients.

Breeze Bars were created by dietitian Breeze Brown.  They are made with whole, natural ingredients and remind me of a healthy version of a rice cereal treat!  These bars are tasty and come in flavors to please everyone!

If you have a child who has Celiac disease, you probably don’t think about the things and events that he or she may have to avoid just to stay well.  What about summer camp?  The Gilmont Summer Camps host the Great Gluten Escape which is a kid’s camp where all of the food served is gluten-free.  You can send your kiddo off to camp knowing they will stay healthy and happy, enjoying ALL aspects of their camp experience.

I had the Canyon Oats Cocoa-Nut oatmeal for breakfast this morning and it is SO YUMMY!!  It’s so decadent, I almost wanted to eat it with some ice cream like it was a dessert!  It’s full of chocolate-y flavor and pieces of almonds.  YUM!!  And it’s so easy and quick to make!

We got to try some of Caeser’s frozen pasta dishes and these are really tasty!  They have MEAT in them, which is not the easiest to find when you’re shopping for gluten-free products.  They taste fresh and are full of flavor!

Chebe makes the best bread sticks EVER!  They are full of cheese and do not taste gluten-free at all!!  I really had to walk away to keep from eating more samples.

Gluten-free baking does NOT have to be difficult!  Check out Gluten-Free Palate for quick and easy recipes of 10 ingredients or less!

Move over Hamburger Helper, we’re bringing in CookSimple!!  These yummy meal starters will make dinner time a lot healthier AND easier!

These Crunchmaster crackers are so tasty and full of goodness!  You can also find them in GoPicnic meal kits!  

The Delight Gluten-Free magazine is a great source of information.  It features tons of recipes with mouthwatering photos, reviews of popular restaurants and more!  A copy of this magazine will be included in our GFAF Expo Goodie Box Giveaway!

If you are like me, you usually don’t always get all of the servings of fruits and veggies that you are supposed to eat in a day.  That’s where Dr. Black’s Texas Superfood comes in!  Get all of those missing vitamins in minerals from the amazing supplements!

Earth Balance is a brand I already love!  They have a full line of products from spreads to meals!  I love their non-dairy, coconut spread!

Check out Elyse Wagner of My Kitchen Shrink and find out what vegetable you should NOT be eating!!

Ener-G creates yummy breads and more for people with all different types of allergies.  You can actually do a search by allergen on their website to find out which of their products are safe for you.  Keep an eye out for a full review of their products coming soon!

Enjoy Life was one of the bigger vendors of the GFAF Expo and another one of our favorite brands.  They carry such a wide variety of products for so many allergy needs, you’re sure to find something tasty that fits your needs!  

Explore Asian makes some incredible bean and rice pastas.  I got to sample their black bean spaghetti and it was really delicious!  It was definitely something that I think my kids would really love!

Find Me Gluten Free is an awesome FREE app that helps you find gluten-free friendly businesses near you!

Freedom Foods is another one of our favorites!  They have only recently come to the US, but have been in Australia for over 20 years.  They make some amazing, great tasting cereals that kids LOVE!

If you are looking for a place to buy gluten-free grains in BULK, check out GF Harvest!!

When you’re the only person if your family who has Celiac disease, it may be tough to get the support you need.  You are NOT alone, though!  Check out the Gluten Intolerance Group!  They have branches all over the country, not just in Dallas!

GinnyBakes makes some ridiculously delicious cookies.  They have several yummy flavors, but my favorite is their Dreamy Vegan Delight.  The name is not even kidding.  They are seriously dreamy!!  Keep an eye out for a full review coming soon!

Glutino is probably a brand you already know if you are gluten-free!  The carry a full line of products for every meal from toaster pastries and baking products to cookies and freezer meals!

We love the convenience of GoPicnic!  No more need to send your kids on a field trip with a Lunchable!  There’s now healthy alternatives for breakfast, lunch and snack time!  

Green Plate Foods makes some amazing baked goods and snacks.  They have some delicious fruit snacks called Nubblers that will have you tossing all other fruit snacks out the window!!

Since I just recently learned that I am lactose intolerant, I’ve been on the hunt for a cream cheese replacement.  Well, I found a totally yummy one with Green Valley Organics!!

If you have a crazy sweet tooth like me, you MUST try Hail Merry‘s goodies!  Their Miracle Tarts are INSANE.  Keep an eye out for a full review coming soon!

Another great maker of cookies is HomeFree!  They are made in a dedicated bakery that is free of peanuts, tree nuts, wheat, gluten, eggs and dairy!

If you heart quinoa, you’ll love I Heart Keenwah!  These are tasty, sweet, crunchy granola-like snacks.  Word at the Expo is that a salty/savory snack will be coming soon!

Ian’s is already one of my go-to brands!  I love their cookie buttons and so do my kids!  They also have a complete line of food including frozen chicken nuggets!!

Vitamins aren’t really a one size fits all type of supplement.  Your lifestyle determines what nutrients your body is lacking.  With IDLife, you can get supplements that are completely tailored to your body’s needs!

If you are looking for the ultimate gluten-free seasoning, try Italian Fusion!  They have a dry season mix that can go in/on ANYTHING!  They also have a salad dressing that doubles as a mouthwatering marinade.

Jones Dairy Farm introduced us to their amazing turkey bacon.  I’ve never had a turkey bacon that I loved.  This stuff is SO yummy!!  

Jovial is another brand that I am already very familiar with!  Even though I’m not gluten-free, I find that eating gluten-free products just make me FEEL better.  I am in love with the chocolate filled cookies they make!

Kay’s Naturals is a brand that is new to me!  They make some great products including a snack mix and cereals.

Kim and Jake’s makes THE BEST cookies I had at the Expo.  They were Chocolate Chip and Ocean Salt and had huge chunks of chocolate  Their sourdough bread is also equally amazing!!

If you’re looking for a great place to find gluten-free and natural foods, check out Kroger!  They have a great selection, including many of the brands that were featured at the Expo.

If you’re looking to add a healthy boost to your food, try Linwoods Milled Organic Flaxseed Mixes.  You can mix them into just about any food for extra boosts of protein and antioxidants.

Are you trying to stop drinking soda?  Well, lucky for you, you don’t have to!!  Replace you Dr. Pepper with Pure Doctor Live Kombucha Soda.  There are a ton of different flavors to replace all of your favorite traditional sodas and these are not only super yummy, but good for you!!

Living Now makes a bunch of gluten-free products for baking including some super yummy brownie mixes which are free of the eight major allergens!

I’m amazed how great these gluten-free breads from Local Oven taste!  You definitely aren’t missing out on anything by eating these instead of “regular” bread!

I am looking forward to taking a trip to Market Street!  They have a HUGE section of gluten-free products, including most things that are hard to find at any other store!

Mayacamas has created a great line of gluten free pasta sauces, seasonings, soups and gravy mixes.  All of their products are vegetarian as well!

STAY TUNED FOR PART TWO OF OUR MINI REVIEWS!

Photo Credit: GFAF Expo Logo from gfafexpo.com

I am a Crunchy Mama of 5 rowdy boys, stepmama to 1 girl and have another sweet girl on the way! I also gave birth to a baby girl in January 2016 for an awesome couple as their surrogate. I married my awesome husband, Brian in October 2016 and we are located in a little city outside of Dallas, Texas. I am a jill-of-many-trades. I run a laundry service, do custom sewing and even sell lactation cookies to my locals. I love to shop at thrift stores, take showers without an audience and spend time dreaming of a life off the grid! Follow me on Instagram for behind-the-scenes photos in the life of my crunchy family!