Alisa Fleming ~ Though I could probably scrap together a Part 4 to add to this year’s Expo West New Dairy-Free Product round-up, I think Parts 1, 2, and now 3 cover the bulk of the most exciting goodies. So here it is, the last of our Expo West 2012 new product highlights (numbers 21 through 30) for you to nosh on …
Wild Squirrel Flavored Nut Butters – Oh my, where has this amazing company been all of my life? Their current product line is dairy-free and has mostly vegan options (one variety uses honey), but the selections are anything but ordinary. Choose from Chocolate Sun-Sation Almond Butter, Joyful Java Almond Butter, Curious Cocoa-Nut Peanut Butter, Pretzel Pizazz Peanut Butter, and Sneaky Cinnamon Peanut Butter. Company website: www.wildsquirrelnutbutter.com
Nasoya Black Soybean TofuPlus – Traditional tofu is made from yellow soybeans, but this new firm, organic tofu is made from both black and yellow soybeans. What makes the black ones so special? The dark hue of black soybeans is a sign of extra antioxidants. Black soybeans have traditionally been used in Chinese medicine because of their healing benefits. This new tofu product is of course vegan, non-GMO, and a good source of calcium. Company website: www.nasoya.com
Hope Hummus – Though there are many wonderful brands of hummus on the market, this is the first one that I’ve seen to really branch out of the bean base. They marry their hummus with other rich foods like sweet potatoes and avocadoes. Keep an eye out for Hope Hummus in Original, Sweet Potato, and Spicy Avocado varieties. Company website: www.hopehummus.com
NibMor Daily Dose of Dark – Individually wrapped, 50 calorie squares of 72% dark vegan chocolate, made with organic ingredients? Yes please! At the Expo, NibMor was passing out samples of their new, perfectly snack-sized Daily Dose chocolates made with Rainforest Alliance Certified cocoa. The concept is pure genius, but who could stop at just one? Company website: www.nibmor.com
Better Bean “Rethought” Beans – Garbanzo beans, soybeans, cacoa beans, and now black beans and red beans … this is turning into a bean round-up! Even so, I would be remiss if I didn’t include the flavorful new bean products from Better Bean. Better Bean is vegan, soy-free, gluten-free, sourced locally, freshly prepared (not canned), and available in five naturally seasoned varieties: Rethought Red Beans, Cuban Black Beans, Uncanny Refried Black Beans, Wholly Chipotle Bean Dip, and Three Sisters Chili. Company website: www.betterbeanco.com
Thunderbird Energetica Artisan Energy Bars – A little birdie on the show floor told me about these great bars. They are 100% soy-free, dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, raw, and have no added sugar. They are sweetened with fruit and packed with whole food ingredients like chia seeds and organic quinoa (each bar has surprisingly different ingredients!). As an added bonus, the wrappers are biodegradable and decompose in just six weeks! You can find these energetic bars in six flavors, including Cherry Walnut Crunch, Cashew Fig Carrot, Cacao Hemp Walnut, and Almond Cookie Pow Wow. Company website: www.thunderbirdenergetica.com
Gardein New Frozen and Refrigerated Entrees – This vegan convenience food maker has been growing rapidly since it emerged just a few years ago. With no signs of slowing, they shared 9 new products at the expo! The five new frozen entrées included Lightly Breaded Turk'y Cutlets, Beefless Sliders, Zesty Marinara Crispy Chick'n Fillets, Terriyaki Chick'n Strips, and Southern BBQ Riblets. The four new arefrigerated entrees included Homestyle Beefless Burger, Classic BBQ Riblets, Meatless Ground, and All American Sloppy Joes. Company website: www.gardein.com
über by Larabar – Branching out of their date-based bars, Larabar has released a line of sweet and salty food bars that are made with fruits, nuts, and actually have some added sweeteners in the form brown rice syrup and honey. All of the über bars are gluten-free, non-GMO, and made without soy and dairy. The new bars are expected to hit store shelves in a few months, and will be available in the following flavors: Apple Turnover, Bananas Foster, Cherry Cobbler, and Roasted Nut Roll. Company website: www.larabar.com
Inner-ēco Dairy-Free Probiotic Kefir – Coconut water kefir seems to be a new big trend in tummy-taming food, and Inner-ēco is hoping to lead the pack. Their beneficial bacteria product is made with fresh harvested coconut water, and is available in three flavors – Original, Tropical, and Berry. It is labeled as dairy-free, soy-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, vegan and non-GMO. Company website: www.inner-eco.com
Califia Farms Pure Almond Milk – I can’t help it; even with all of the milk alternatives available, I still get excited when I see a new one, and this one has me particularly intrigued. Though I had never heard of the company, a quick peak at their website revealed some enticing products, including CaliCoco Coconut Water and Cuties 100% Tangerine Juice. At the Expo, they upped the ante, revealing their new line of Almond Milks available in Vanilla, Unsweetened, and get this, Creamy. Yum! And check out elegant look of this new product line in the photo below. If they taste half as good as they look, then I think I’ve found a new almond milk love. Company website: www.califiafarms.com
Bonus Products: There are two more dairy-free “biggies” that were launched at the show, but we already featured them here on Go Dairy Free! Check out the new vegan cheeses from Galaxy Foods and Daiya Foods that will be available in grocery stores nationwide this year.
Article by Alisa Fleming, founder of GoDairyFree.org, blogger at Alisa Cooks, and author of Go Dairy Free: The Guide and Cookbook for Milk Allergies, Lactose Intolerance, and Casein-Free Living. Alisa is also a freelance writer for several publications and recipe creator for the natural food industry, with an emphasis on special diets.