I attended Nourished Festival in Denver over the weekend, previously known as the Gluten-Free Expo, as everything there was, in fact, gluten free. They also sectioned off specific dietary needs, such as plant based, nut free, Paleo, Keto and others.
I tell you, the best compliment toward a product has to be when it is deliciously memorable even after trying hundreds of samples at a fest with hundreds of products from an array of vendors. I left the fest filled to the brim, moaning with my hand on my stomach, not wanting to think about food ever again
Even then, I couldn’t help but boast about some of the products to my closest friends and family. It’s fascinating how creative some of these companies get with food! There is nothing I admire more than a product that is safe for all or most food-restrictive diets, that tastes delicious, and that takes total out-of-the-box thinking to create.
Watermelon seed butter. Did you even know watermelon seeds were edible? 88 Acres is a nut-free company that makes all of their products out of seeds, including butters and bars. I tried pumpkin seed butter, sunflower butter (with a chocolate flavor option, oh my) and watermelon seed butter. Is that not just the most creative thing you’ve ever heard?! While most of the seed butters had intense earthy flavors, I found the watermelon butter flavor to be subtle, sweet and ever so creamy. I won’t stop bragging for 88 Acres about this delectable creation.
Raw, Paleo cookie dough. If I’m in need of a celebratory treat, or I have a major sweet craving, the guiltiest pleasure I can craft in my mind is raw cookie dough. But when that dough is egg-free and totally safe to eat, along with Paleo, meaning full of protein and healthy fats, I don’t have to feel guilty at all! Sara’s Cosmic Cookie Dough is like sampling a spoonful of heaven. With flavors like chocolate chip cookie, and hot chocolate (with a bit of cayenne to give it spice), I really don’t know that there will be anything better on the market, ever. They sampled both the raw dough and the baked cookies, and it’s impossible to decide which is tastier!
Egg-free, gluten-free bread. I have been waiting my whole gluten-free existence for a GF bread to come to the market that also doesn’t have egg, as I don’t eat either. It took until now for me to find it! Praise all that is good for Little Northern Bakehouse. All of their breads are plant-based and free of eggs, and also gluten free. They come in an array of flavors, sweet, savory and multi-grain. A double bonus was at the fest, they were sampling grilled cheese sandwiches made with this bread and vegan cheese, which were to die for. This bread does not fall apart at all. At home, I’ve made BLTs, toast, garlic bread, PB&J and croutons with it. I’m in love.
Gluten-free stout. I can’t mention this fest without noting that there were FOUR gluten-free breweries present! I stopped drinking years ago, for the most part, so I’ve been out of the beer scene. Last I checked, there weren’t very many options! And guess what? They don’t taste ick anymore, either. I’m amazed at how far these have come and am forever grateful for these companies for doing what they do. What stuck out in my mind was a stone fruit beer, with a peachy flavor, and a grapefruit IPA, so apparently I have summer on the mind. But even so, my favorite was Holidaily’s gluten-free Riva Stout, because I’ve also been waiting by entire gluten-free existence for a GF stout to come to the market. Dark beers have always been my favorite, and this one is as good as any stout I’ve ever had. PSA: Holidaily will forever be my favorite GF beer company. I served their beers at my wedding, took my celiac dad to their brewery, got drunk on a flight with my mom, and continually have the Riva Stout, Fat Randy’s IPA or seasonal Pumpkin Ale in my fridge.
As a reminder, all of my endorsements are voluntary. If there is a healthy product that you recently tried and loved, one you loathe, or one you’re curious to learn more about, leave a comment and let me know! Until then, my face will be shoved into a pint of raw cookie dough and I won’t feel a bit guilty about it.