PARTY IN MINNEAPOLIS AT THE GFFAFest

I was thrilled to be part of the blogging team for the GFFAFest in Minneapolis, May 16 and 17, 2015. The expo, sponsored by Gluten Free and More Magazine , showcased products for those with food allergies and celiac disease and was highlighted by speakers and demos.

Joining me at the bloggers table was KilKenny Kitchen, Angela’s Kitchen, and my friend Erica from Celiac and the Beast.

Both days were filled with demos and informative speakers including Debbie Adler and Jules Shepard. It was great meeting Debbie and getting a signed copy of her baking book.

And my day was complete when I finally got to meet Jules Shepard, the real GF Jules, and try her fabulous flour blends. More on those in a bit.

Like the other GFFAFests held around the country, this one was well attended and it’s always nice meeting other people with food allergies and discussing how they live well and thrive.

Here’s a recap of the best, dairy free products I found at the Fest. Please note, I was not paid to endorse any of these items.

Perennial Dairy Free Favorite Award: Enjoy Life Foods

Craig and Samantha from Enjoy Life spent the weekend passing out samples of Plentils, granola bars, and cookies- all free of the top 8 allergens. Enjoy Life is sold in stores nationwide and across the country. I highly recommend the entire line of Enjoy Life products.

Best Dairy Free Chips: Way Better Snacks

Dairy free, made from sprouted goodness, and sold nationwide. My favorite are the sweet potato which are crisp and really taste like sweet potatoes! I generally hide these when I buy them so I don’t have to share any! Thanks too to Way Better Snacks and rep Angela for the bloggers goodie bag.

Best Dairy Free Cereal: Simply Native Wild Rice Hot Cereal

The cereals are filed with wild rice, seeds and fruit. They are Non-GMO, certified gluten free and a good source of fiber and protein. The cereals easily cook up in 10 minutes in the microwave or on the stovetop and would be even more delicious drizzled with maple syrup. Make up a big batch on a Sunday and eat all week for breakfast or as a side dish. Purchase online at SimplyNativeFoods.com

Best Dairy Free Snack for Athletes: Nots Snacks

NOTS Snacks are made from sunflower seeds, are a certified vegan snack, Non-GMO, and free from the top 8 allergens. The snacks are healthy, crunchy, satisfying and slightly sweet. It does not take many to feel full and the bags are lightweight and easily portable, so the perfect snack for active people. NOTS comes in three flavors: Original, Peppa, and Cajun. I loved all three flavors and it was hard to pick a favorite. I think mixing all three bags would make for a unique flavor burst. Buy locally in Minnesota or online.

Best Dairy Free Soup: Soupology

These soups are vegan and gluten free and for me to recommend a soup is big! I prefer to make my own soups because I generally find store bought soups too salty and not fresh, and lacking in flavor. However, these soups are of the same quality that I make in my own kitchen. Sampling at the fest were Ancient Grains, a traditional soup filled with wholesome broth, veggies, and grains. Roasted Butternut Squash; simply delicious and creamy. Spinach and Kale was my favorite for its rich creaminess with intense flavorings. This soup could easily be served cold in the summer or even used to toss pasta.

Best Dairy Free Crackers: Flackers

Flackers and Seedsters are made by Doctor In the Kitchen. Flackers are flax seed crackers that are dairy and gluten free,high in Omega-3 fatty acids and fiber. They come in several varieties; my favorite being Rosemary. I loved seeing actual pieces of rosemary in the crackers and tasting the freshness the rosemary. Flackers would certainly be a nice compliment to the Soupology soup! Seedsters are sprouted seed snacks that look like granola and are also dairy and gluten free. Both products are sold in stores nationwide or buy online.

Best Dairy Free Flour/Bread/Cookie Mixes: GFJules

I’ve heard so many good things about GF Jules Products and its founder Jules Shepard. Let me say loud and clear: I was NOT disappointed. The mixes are made with a few simple ingredients which produce a clean taste,certainly not gritty. I especially liked the Rosemary Bread made with the bread flour. The bread is not heavy or doughy and there’s no strange after taste as in some gluten free breads. Rather, this bread has the taste of something grandma would make – wholesome and simply delicious. The dairy free sugar cookies Jules sampled are by far the best I‘ve tasted and it was amazing watching these cookies bake on a portable pizza oven!

Use Jules’ flour any way you would use any other store bought flour –and expect everything to taste better. And know you are getting a product from a super sweet gal who’s devoted to making Non-GMO products that are dairy and gluten free and taste outstanding. Order online and have this goodness shipped to your door.

Best Dairy Free Summer Cool Down: Coconut Bliss

Coconut Bliss is a coconut based organic “ice cream” that is truly out of this world! It’s made from coconut milk and free of dairy, soy and gluten. If you like coconut, like I do, you will love this! Coconut Bliss is sold in grocery stores nationwide. I highly recommend it.

Best Non-Food Find- Tower Garden

With the Tower Garden you can grow any vegetable, greens, herbs inside without dirt and without needing a lot of space. Imagine homegrown lettuce, tomatoes, beets in the dead of winter!

Have you recently tried any new dairy free products? Tell us your favorites in the comments section

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