Day 2: Natural Expo West

Temple Turmeric
How do you start Day 2 of Expo? With a Temple Turmeric Elixir, that’s how. It was defreaknlicous and wonderfully packed with what I needed to restart my body. I’ve had my eye on this New York based company for a while and I’m happy to report they are expanding, thriving, and creating more elixirs sans honey. 

Temple Turmeric proved to be the right way to start the day because Day 2 was going to to be an epic finale.

With as much flack as Daiya gets I give them a lot of credit, especially when it comes to marketing. They have found a way to break in and make their products one of the most accessible. They have been a staple at my local grocery store for years and have managed to wiggle their way into most non-vegan restaurants as an acceptable option. 
This year they were debuting new pre-made mac and cheeses, new pizza options (including a supreme pizza with Beyondmeat crumbles), yogurts, cheesecakes and an improved upon cheese formula for their blocks. 
The Breakdown: 
The mac and cheeses were OK; slightly flavorless in my opinion (think Daiya with pasta; that’s it). 
The yogurts were wayyyyy to sweet, I couldn’t get past my first sample to try another flavor. 
I was actually a fan of the pizzas, especially with the gluten-free crusts. 
The cheesecakes really tasted like cheesecake which was quite impressive.
The wedges, to be honest, didn’t taste that different to me. 

With options that are really blowing me away this year like Follow Your Heart, Chao and Teese, Daiya isn’t wowing me much as it once did. 

*revision: since trying the Mac and Cheese again in the comfort of my own home, it was fantastically better than when I had it at expo. 

I remember the first time I tried Teeccino and thought it was coffee flavored with hazelnut; It was delicious and robust. I was completely dumbfounded to learn it was not coffee;  it didn’t even contain caffeine! I was happily shocked (I personally try to stay away from coffee as much as possible).

This alternative provides you all the flavors of a tasty coffee, but in a natural way and sans all the coffee jitters. Check out the link above to learn about all the nutritional benefits. 

Organic Gemini Tigernuts
This was my first experience trying the infamous tigernut and now I’m hooked. This nutritious nut, excuse me, root vegetable (the name is deceiving) is an ancient superfood high in fiber, iron, potassium and vitamins E & C. It’s a remarkable little thing. 
I not only tried an actual tigernut for the first time, but I tried Organic Gemini’s tasty tasty tasy tigernut drinks. Horchata Tigernut Milk. It does exist and you need to grab yourself a bottle. It’s smooth, simple and nutritious. The drinks are handmade in small batches and made with biodynamically filtered water.
Pretty cool stuff they’re doing over there and I can’t wait to see them on the West Coast. 

So Delicious
Let’s stop for a moment and reflect upon the deliciousness that is So Delicious’s new cashew milk ice cream. The reason I have only one photo is because I was too busy “Oooing and Awing” over the new flavors; my hands were full. Not to mention the fact that they had So Delicious chocolate milk flowing on tap. This booth was Willy Wonka’s Factory…for me at least. 
It’s funny because when I was a kid I never cared for ice cream, only until I had vegan ice cream did I find the appeal. I think So Delicious nails the textures and flavors going beyond the “icy problem” most vegan ice cream’s have. It’s ice cream, not Italian ice so let’s give it the textures and flavors it deserves! 
The flavor that really won me over was Snickerdoodle. Chunks of snickerdoodle cookie making it’s way through cashew milk creaminess–how can you not love that? I mean, I also wouldn’t be upset if you showed up at my doorstep with any of the other 5 flavors too. Just sayin’.

Pur Gum
If I go for gum, Pur is the one I reach for first. Their gum is aspartame free, non-gmo, vegan and MSG free. Pur is a higher quality product with the same price point as other lower quality options on the market, but it does not contain the harmful chemicals that they do. I find that reassuring when I want some quick minty freshness.  
To add to their gum line, they have introduced mints. Pretty solid and just like a mentos. 

Ancient Harvest
A great addition to the Ancient Harvest line is Ancient Grains instant hot cereal! Welcome to the future of health, it’s quite simple really. Getting back to the basics. Long gone are the processed Quaker Oat’s instant oatmeal days. I’ve been waiting for an organic, non-GMO to-go option that consists of; hearty oats, quinoa, millet and amaranth without added sugars and here it is!

Health-Ade Kombucha
One of my favorite kombuchas on the market happens to reside in my own backyard. Hailing from Los Angeles, Health-Ade is a really tasty probiotic drink that comes in a variety of flavors, including some rotating seasonal options. 
It was great to stop by their booth and take a minute to introduce some beneficial flora into my body between samples. 

Califia Farms
A company working towards creating a better product for their consumers is Califia Farms. They are working overtime in removing carrageenan from their product line, as well as adding in grab and go protein packed almond milks. Impressive. The sprouted grain 100% plant protein almond milks are delicious! I would love to grab and go these for breakfast, after a workout and before a hike. I appreciate a company that listens to feedback and works towards improving. That shows love for their own products as well as the love for the people. 

Hilary's Eat Well
It was a complete pleasure meeting Hilary and her wonderful team. I was a supporter of their products even prior to meeting them at their booth. Their frozen patties are ones I reach for when I buy frozen options. They contain no fillers, are soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free, yeast-free, egg-free, dairy-free and organic. They are impressively simple, but hearty, tasty and nutritious. They retain their shape without crumbling– a problem amongst other gluten-free options. 
They have also introduced a salad dressing line that is winning everyone over. I don’t buy salad dressings, but these I would. They retain the same promise as the patties, as well as staying very low in calories. No shortage of flavors either. I’m happy to see a small company thriving and expanding. 

Taza Chocolate
A friend of mine, Art Jaunts introduced me to Taza stone ground chocolate about 3 or 4 years ago. It was and still is one of the most pure chocolates I’ve ever had. From the way the chocolate is sourced to the companies fair-trade values, this is a beautiful display of a well-rounded Klean-Slate approved company. 
I was so excited to see how much they have expanded their line!
One of my new favorites is the Toffee Almond & Sea Salt–to die for.

Two Moms in the Raw
The unicorn of all unicorns: Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free Graham Crackers! It exists and its coming our way! How delighted and overjoyed I was to find Two Moms in the Raw bringing this readily available, non-cardboardesque option to the market. Every time I think about making smores (yes, this thought happens often) the hardest part is the graham cracker. You’d think it would be finding a vegan marshmallow, but Dandies and Sweet and Sara have us covered. 
Now, voila! I’m set.  

Way Better Snacks
One of the two options of chips I usually reach for is Way Better Chips. Way Better Chips are sprouted (most ideal), gluten-free and MSG-free. They include superfoods like; sprouted chia seeds, flax and quinoa. They are the perfect chip to pair with dips, hummus and guacamole.
Now they have added crackers to their line. CAREFUL because the Mustard & Cheddar flavor is made with real cheese, but the other two are not. 
I was a fan of the Rosemary & Olive Oil. It was flavorful, hearty and not too dry. A well-balanced nutritious cracker option to pair with a tasty cashew cheese. 

Harbor Creek Farms
Ohhh yes this happened and yes on Day 2 I ate my weight in strudels and calzones. I don’t know the last time I had a calzone or strudel! Thankfully, I saved myself for the right moment to indulge. Happy Cow founder Eric Brent was kind enough to introduce me to Harbor Creek Farms. He wasn’t wrong when he said I would be Wow’d. The strudel and calzones were flaky, flavorful, layered, textured, savory and irresistible. Some of their options are paired with Beyondmeat; making it a solid alternative for any vegan/non-vegan craving a substantially delicious option. My mother would approve. 

Go Raw
New Packaging Alert! 
One of the first raw brands I remember seeing at my local grocery store (not Whole Foods or Sprouts) was Go Raw. I’ve been a fan of theirs for a while especially the Go Raw Live Pumpkin Bars. They are easy protein charged snacks without a ton of calories. With 5 ingredients they are crunchy, soft and chewy all at the same time. It’s quite magical. 
They have recently added a ton to their line including; coconut crisps, sprouted seeds, sprouted granola, sprouted bites, sprouted cookies, sprouted bars and sprouted flax chips. Yup, they are doing quite well for themselves.

Dr. Bronner's
Have I mentioned I use Dr. Bronner’s Liquid Castile Lavender Soap everyday? Well, I do. On all my trips, I always bring the travel size to wash my face/body and clothes. It truly is the “Swiss-army knife” of cleaning products (so says the website).  
Now this lovely company has released an organic, flouride-free toothpaste. Right up my alley. I currently use Nature Gate and I believe I will be switching back and forth between Dr. Bronner’s and them.  

Living Intentions
Let’s take pause for some silly shenanigans. 

Eat Pastry
I couldn’t help myself, I needed to please my inner child with cookie dough. Pleased she was. 
This is straight up cookie dough; the kind that makes you pop open the lid, grab a spoon and take comfort in front of the TV. 
Oh and yes you can make cookies. I don’t know how one would get to the point of actually being able to make cookies before eating the container, but I suppose it has been done. Possibly buying two containers? One for consumption and one for cooking. Yes, yes, that’s how it is done or at least that’s how I would have to do it. 

Expo was everything everyone said it would be. I dove right in and swam my little heart out. 
These two write-ups cover a fraction of all the vendors. Please excuse me for not including all of them, but I am but one lone blogger. I will say, my time was not wasted and I will be on the lookout each and every day for everything that is worthy of a discussion. You will always be informed.
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