Monday, October 12, 2015

10 Best Products from NJ GFAF Expo

Last weekend I attended the Gluten Free & Allergen Friendly (GFAF) Expo in Secaucus, NJ as an official blogger. I got to see, taste, and buy some really cool new products. There were LOTS of vendors at the show. Some I remembered from last year, but others were new to the show and new to me, and they had some really cool new products. Those are the companies I considered when compiling my 10 Best at NJ GFAF Expo list.

1. Enlightened Roasted Broad Beans
Chips. Pretzels. Beans? That's right. The bean has now become a snack food (and a gluten-free one at that) thanks to these delicious snacks from Enlightened. The roasted beans come in different flavors, such as sea salt (my favorite), wasabi, garlic & onion, sriracha, and mesquite BBQ. The crispy beans are also high-protein, non-GMO, low in sugar, all-natural, high in fiber, low in fat, and 100 calories per serving!

2. GeeFree Puff Pastry Sheets
I've let so many recipes go by because I couldn't find gluten-free puff pastry. Well, no longer! GeeFree makes a gluten-free puff pastry, available in the frozen food section, as well as frozen pre-made snacks using the puff pastry, such as cheeseburger bites, spanakopita, and franks in a blanket. Would make a great after-school snack!

3. Otto's Cassava Flour
I made yuca dough from scratch once. And I will probably never do it again, nor will I need to with Otto's Cassava Flour. This is a gluten-free, grain-free, and nut-free flour made from yuca. It's a 1:1 substitute for wheat flour in recipes, and you can find recipes from the Otto's Naturals website.

4. Nima
Nima is a handheld device that lets users discreetly test their food for gluten. Just place some food into the disposable capsule and insert the capsule into the device. Turn on the power and in two minutes you'll either see a smiley face (gluten-free!) or a frowny face (gluten!). This is a pretty cool device that would be nice to take when you're eating out or traveling just to make sure that the gluten-free food you're served actually is gluten-free. It's a little pricey at $249, but if you pre-order from October 20 through October 25, it's only $179. The price goes up to $199 from October 26 until limited quantities are sold out.

Have you ever watched The Sopranos? If you remember the character Bobby Baccalieri, then you'll know who Steve Schirripa is. If that's not enough to make you want to try out his marinara sauce, then how about the fact that it's SO GOOD. It's homemade sauce for people who don't have time to make homemade sauce. There's no added sugar, it's non-GMO, and it's gluten-free. There's also a Tomato Basil Sauce and an Arrabiata Sauce. Though these sauces are naturally gluten-free, they are manufactured in a shared facility but good manufacturing processes are in place to avoid cross-contamination.

6. Wholly Gluten Free Pizza Dough Balls
It can be difficult to find a good gluten-free pizza dough for making your own pizzas at home, but I was really impressed with the dough from Wholly Gluten Free. It comes pre-made in the freezer section. Just roll it out, put on your toppings, and bake. You could use it for lots of other things, too! Plus, the company also makes pie shells and brownies.

7. Fresh Kids 
Among the gluten-free snacks this company makes, don't you just love their colors and packaging? These non-GMO snacks include gluten-free star-shaped pretzels, gluten-free popcorn, and gluten-free white cheddar puffs. The company launched its products in schools first in order to be part of the healthy food revolution taking place in America's school cafeterias. But you can buy these products at local stores, too, and give your kids healthy and gluten-free food for lunchboxes or after-school snacks!

8. Banza Chickpea Pasta
So much of gluten-free pasta is made from rice and corn. And that's fine, but there is a concern about eating too much rice, and therefore, ingesting too much arsenic from the rice. Also, with corn being an ingredient in almost everything else we eat, why make it the main ingredient in our pasta? So I was happy to find Banza pasta, which is made from chickpeas, and even happier that it tasted really good! They make four different types of gluten-free pasta, including shells, which is something I have never seen from gluten-free pasta before.

9. Pretzel Crisps Gluten-Free Minis
Everyone knows Pretzel Crisps, but if you're gluten-free, you can't eat them! Until now. The company recently launched a gluten-free version of their pretzel minis. Along with the original pretzel flavor, you can also find gluten-free vanilla yogurt-flavored minis, dark chocolate, and salted caramel. Just make sure to read the package so you don't get them mixed up with the regular pretzel minis.

10. Conte's Cheese Tortellini
If you were following me on Twitter during the Expo, you might have seen my update about how I've been looking for gluten-free tortellini since my husband was diagnosed. But nowhere had I been able to find it! We have this amazing recipe that uses tortellini and goat cheese, but I had to stop making it for lack of any gluten-free tortellini. Until now! Conte's, which makes great gluten-free ravioli, is now coming out with gluten-free cheese tortellini. If you don't see it in your local grocery store, make sure to request it!

So now we've come to the part where I'm going to give away some goodies I got at the Expo. Starting today and going through Friday, use the Rafflecopter below to enter to win an assortment of goodies. (Contiguous U.S. entries only. No Alaska or Hawaii. No international entries.) One winner will randomly be selected to win:

- breath mints from Minute Rice
- "Don't Wheat Me" button
- coupons for Walker's shortbread, Nature's Path Organic, Veggie Fries, and Enjoy Life foods
- Buddha Bowl Himalayan Pink Organic Popcorn
- Milton's Gluten-Free Crispy Salt Baked Crackers
- Wild Garden Snack Box to Go
- NoGii Chocolate Caramel Bliss bar
- Mediterranean Snacks Bean Stacks Sea Salt
- Baby Mum-Mum Carrot Rice Rusks
- Wellaby's Cheese-Ups
- Nature's Path EnviroKidz Gluten-Free Berry Blast Crispy Rice Bar
- Enjoy Life Cinnamon Bun bar
- GoPicnic tote bag

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