We sampled dozens of cookies, noshed on countless bites of bars, slurped what seemed like gallons of beverages, and yes, probably gained a few pounds. But this major show comes along just once per year, and I wasn’t going to leave Expo West 2015 without covering as much as humanly possible. In the end, I found more great foods than I could write about in one post, so I narrowed it down to 23 of the hot new products (or relatively new in a couple of cases, but very new to me) that had us raving. Why 23? Well, I had to stop somewhere, but I just wasn’t read at twenty.
The following fabulous dairy-free food finds from Expo West 2015 are listed alphabetically (there is simply no way I could rank them!). Note that all just happen to be gluten-free, too – totally unplanned – and most are vegan and soy-free, with just a couple exceptions:
Bliss Nut-Butters – This was one of the first foods I tried at Expo West 2015, and I still remembered them three days into tastings – now that is saying something. The uniquely crunchy Cinnamon Chia Seed Peanut Butter totally rocked my nutty world and the Hazelnut Butter was the best of its kind, in my opinion. Availability: Now, Online.
Chao Vegan Cheese – This new alternative was highly recommended to me by The Blender Girl, and she was right, Field Roast has found the umami factor with their latest cheesy creation. It’s available in three flavors, tastes good cold or melted (yes, look, it melts) and uses just a bit of fermented tofu (Chao) for flavor rather than the base. Availability: In stores now, select online retailers (refrigerated)
Daiya Deliciously Dairy-Free Cheesecakes – They were cutting such big chunks that I only sampled the New York, but these dreamy indulgences come in four flavors, and the New York was a simply amazing dessert. Like all Daiya goodness, it’s free of gluten and the top allergens – seriously, I don’t know how they did it. Availability: Rolling out to stores in Mar/Apr 2015
Dr. Praeger’s Super Greens Veggie Burgers – Need to fit a whole salad into a sandwich? Just speak to the Praeger innovation team, they’ll get right on it – oh wait, they’ve already tackled that challenge. These wonder patties are packed with so many healthy ingredients, from collard greens to teff, that it’s hard to believe they actually taste good, too! Each bite is soft, tender, gluten-free, and vegan. Honorable mention to their new Sunwiches – amazing little doughy whole wheat round pockets filled with jam and Sunbutter. Availability: In stores now (Sunwiches coming soon)
Ellyndale Butter-Infused Coconut Oil – Their new Coconut Infusions line is full of flavor, certified organic, and completely dairy-free. The flavor is indeed rich and buttery, but far more pure than your average spread. (Sorry, fuzzy picture!) Availability: Beginning Mar/Apr 2015
Follow Your Heart Cheese Vegan Slices – Don’t be confused, these aren’t their original slices. These cheesy bites are a seriously new formula that is coconut-based, soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, and get this my peanut-free friends, even pea protein-free! It’s pretty darn good, too, and does indeed “melt”. Availability: In stores now, select online retailers (refrigerated)
Hu Kitchen Chocolate Bars – From a popular paleo/primal restaurant in New York comes some seriously amazing, coconut sugar-sweetened chocolate. I was transported to a much calmer place when I tasted the nourishing Crunchy Banana and Almond Butter & Puffed Quinoa. The other flavors are now on my hit list. Availability: Sold online now
Ian’s Herb-Crusted Fish Filets – Sadly, I was too full to sample these, but Tony went back for seconds, and would have certainly grabbed an entire fish stick or two had no one been looking! Ian’s has really been upping their game in the frozen food department, with high quality ingredients and killer spice blends. They are definitely winning with gluten-free, nut-free, dairy-free, egg-free entrees like this. (Their Sriracha Fire Sticks were another popular, super spicy addition) Availability: Rolling out to stores now
Little Northern Bakehouse Vegan Gluten-Free Bread – I can eat wheat, and do sometimes, but that doesn’t stop me from appreciating a good gluten-free product, especially when they’ve managed to cut out gluten AND eggs. It’s soy-free and nut-free, to boot and comes from my current favorite bakery, Silver Hills. Granted, I only tasted it toasted, but it was seriously impressive in taste and texture for any bread. Availability: Brand new brand, but should gain good distribution soon
Liz Lovely Cookie Truffles – I SO did not need to discover this addictive, sweet, certainly not healthy, delight. The Chocolate Moose Cookie Truffle made memorable tracks on my taste buds and probably on my hips. And if you think you’ve got the “I can’t eat…” excuse, consider that these creamy, chocolaty, kosher parve babies are unbelievably gluten-free and vegan. Availability: Popping up online now
Navitas Naturals Caramel Coconut Chips – Flavored coconut chips seemed to be everywhere, but Navitas put so much natural caramel goodness on them that they clustered together. Way better than caramel corn and far more nutritious. Availability: Online and in stores now
No Cow Bars – How could I not love a bar with this name?! Luckily, the taste of these protein-packers from D’s Naturals was on par with the catchy title. D himself (yes, a hard name to misspell) has a proprietary “smooth” vegan protein blend that I have to agree was darn close to seamless. Plus, they’re gluten-free, soy-free, vegan, low sugar and come in flavors like peanut butter cookie dough. D has a way with words, don’t you think? Availability: Now online
Organic Gemini Tigernut Horchata – I first discovered my new milky love at the San Francisco Fancy Food Show, but Expo West 2015 was where I solidified our relationship. Though I’ve only trialed the Unsweetened thus far (which was surprisingly sweet!), I will be guzzling many other flavors as soon as I get the chance. Availability: Now, online and select stores
Paleo Passion Pops – Made with real fruit and no added sweeteners, these refreshers were a pure treat. The flavors of each were intense but quite natural-tasting. I only wish they had offered me more flavors to trial! Availability: Now, online and select stores
Pascha Make Me Smile Chocolate Spread – This creamy cacao spread is an amazing top allergen-free delight for frosting lovers like me. It’s perfectly chocolate, rich and decadent, yet totally nut-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and sweetened with dates. So lay it on thick! Availability: Jun/Jul 2015
RawFoodz Zen Buddha Buttery-Style Spread – It isn’t often that you find a raw food company that is top allergen-friendly (yes, they are nut-free!), let alone one that is available throughout North America, but this little company has delicious potential. I honestly can’t remember which of their products were the new ones, as everything was a creamy, cheesy, or buttery dairy-free find. But I agreed with the owner that this unique spread was a keeper – it tastes natural, pure, and like the ingredients within. It isn’t trying to be butter, but rather achieves spreadable satisfaction without needing to be something else. Availability: Now, in stores.
Rawpothecary Whole-listic Coffee Seed Milks – I am not a coffee fan at all, but the five-spice added to their vegan Moka Chia was simply too alluring to resist. Tony liked their Sun Coffee and Coffee Protein Milks, too, but warned me that they were for true java fans only. Availability: Now, online and select stores
So Delicious Dairy Free Cashew Ice Cream – I got sneak pints of this stuff before the show, but that doesn’t erase the fact that these decadent frozen desserts were a best of Expo West 2015. I sent dozens of people over to sample them, and the responses included more “Oh My GOOOOOD” raves than I could count. Availability: Rolling out to stores now
Suncoast Gold Macadamia Milk – My good friend Tess Masters of The Blender Girl was doing some mad blending at their booth and insisted that I “MUST” try this new gem. Indeed, it’s creamy, rich, dairy-free, soy-free, vegan, serious drinkable, and coming to the U.S. straight from an Australian macadamia farm. I liked the Unsweetened best for its versatility, but Tess can’t get enough of the Vanilla. Rumor has it their macadamia oil is pretty darn amazing, too. Availability: Hopefully mid-2015 in the US – already in Australia
The Original Cosmo’s Dairy-Free Spicy Ranch – They started with dairy-based dressings, but we appreciate that Cosmo’s has whipped up a creamy delight for us, too! This stuff is seriously thick, rich, and flavorful with just the right kick. It is far more wholesome than expected, and is soy-free, nut-free, and gluten-free (does contain eggs). Availability: Now, online and in stores
Uncle Matt’s Organic Orange Turmeric Juice – A part of their new “Blends with Benefits” line, this positively scrumptious beverage (coming from someone who doesn’t drink juice!) not only has anti-inflammatory properties but also probiotics. Availability: Rolling out to stores now
Wildway Grain-Free Granola – There was a lot (A LOT) of granola and trail mixes at Expo West 2015, all were pretty good, but this one stood out from the pack. Free of sweeteners yet full of flavor, Wildway is actually a soft, tender blend with truly fresh-tasty fruit bites throughout. The Banana Nut was a phenomenal infusion but the Coconut Cashew was a close, mellower second. All are vegan, gluten-free, and paleo-friendly. Availability: Now, online and select stores
Yogi Probiotic Tea – I’ll share more about this soon, but it seems those mad nutrition scientists have found a way to make probiotics heat-stable, and one of my favorite brands of tea was quick to make a better brew. I believe they have a few flavors, but I tried the Cranberry Spice and was wooed by it’s mellow, seductive and soothing notes. Take that dairy yogurt! Availability: Not sure yet, but hopefully soon by mid-2015
But don’t think for a minute that this is it for our awesome Expo West 2015 discoveries. We’ll be posting all week on the Go Dairy Free Twitter and Instagram with the hashtag #dairyfreefinds – follow us!