This is Part 6 of my review on Expo East. The Natural Products Expo East is a international gathering of the top manufactures, retails, educators, and distributors in the natural health industry. There are two expos, East and West. East is in Baltimore and is about 50,000 people, where West is in Los Angeles and is well over 110,000 people now.
As some of you may know, I lean toward the raw vegan lifestyle. My actual diet is called the Mucusless Diet which no one knows about, so it's easier to tell people "Raw Vegan". Ultimately, I'm picky about what foods I eat and the quality of them. Traveling is always tough, but this year at Expo East I had lots of yummy things I could eat.
The following were My Top Five Favorite Raw Vegan Snacks!
These guys just about got passed by. It's a good thing they stopped me and offered me samples. I was just thinking, "Oh great, more trail mix", but oh my was I wrong. Almost everything in their brand is raw and absolutely everything is delectable.
I can't even tell you what all I tried. They had about 40 samples out for tasting, and I'm sure I tried about 30 of them. I remember that the sprouted pizza flavored almonds were great as well as the salt & vinegar almonds.
Not only do they have enticing blends of nuts, seeds, and superfoods, but they have really high quality raw ingredients available. Just look at their website. I've been sourcing over 500 herbs for Good Earth for years now and have never before been able to find at least half a dozen of these items.
You better believe that I'm going to be giving these guys a lot of my business, and I hope you do too.
This company is one of the original pioneers in the raw food movement. They have been making some of the best kale chips for over 30 years.
I first discovered these folks back in April at the Chicago Kehe trade show which is like an infant child of the Natural Products Expos. I was shocked mostly that I hadn't heard of them before and by how much better their kale chips were than all the others on the market.
Since then I've convinced my local store, Good Earth, to carry all of their products. I regularly buy and eat the Snack Mix. However, with their new products out, my usual snack is likely to switch to either the new Nut Clusters or the Macho Nacho Kale Chips. I suggest just trying everything and finding your own favorite.
Organic, Non GMO, Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, & Kosher
#3 Awesome Foods - Alive with Flavor
This company was new to me. They have rather generic, traditional looking packaging that doesn't even whisper the idea of raw, vegan, or no added sugar. However, the friendly girl in this picture got me up to speed on their brand and how amazing it really is.
They have several unique products like Kale Krackers, Vegetable Tempuraw, or the Granola Cereal with Goji Berries. All of their products rock a 6 month shelf life which is also uncommon. Their kale chips are tasty but nothing like Raw Food Central's kale chips. Stick to their crackers and other products.
They aren't available in Indiana yet, so I'm going to work on that. You should check their site to see if they are sold in your neighborhood.
Organic, Gluten Free, Vegan, Non GMO, Raw, Yeast Free, & No Sugar Added
#4 Living Raw - Live Wise Eat Raw
This group is a raw food company that still hand crafts their truffles using the best ingredients they can find. I really think each truffle really tastes like they care.
There is only five flavors in their line. The options are Coconut Karma, Darkest Cacao, Kickin' Cayenne (my favorite!), Hippie Hemp, and the newest flavor is Almond Avalanche.
This is another product I found out about back in April 2016 at the Chicago Kehe trade show. They seem to be a newer company, but are doing well. I see their products in various health food stores as I travel around, so keep your eyes peeled.
Organic, Raw, Vegan, Gluten Free, Non GMO, Paleo Friendly, & Fair Trade
#5 - Brad's Plant Based - Formerly Brad's Raw Chips
Brad's was a brand that I had written off. They had interesting products but it always seemed like their stuff was stale and chewy. I don't know about you but I like my kale chips crispy.
Well, let me tell you that that has all changed for the best. I think the key problem was their packaging. They had had a plastic clam shell container that wasn't air tight which lead to stale tasting chips, but now everything is in air tight bags. Not only that but they had several new flavors and concepts.
Products that really caught my eye (and my tongue) were the broccoli poppers and the new cheddar veggie chips. Both are vegan and raw but you'd never guess it if you didn't know. The broccoli popper even have added probiotics to improve your digestion.
As far as I can tell all of their products are Raw, Vegan, Organic, Non GMO, Gluten Free, & Soy Free. They are available at most health food stores nationwide. Their new products may not be on the shelves yet, so request them.
So I know I said I was do a top five but if I was going to have a sixth it would look like this..
These are mostly raw and fully vegan cookies that I very much enjoyed. They would have made the top five but they have switched to a non raw agave syrup. Non raw agave is about the same as corn syrup as far as sweeteners go. I'm not so down with that. I had a passionate discussion about this with their VP of sales. His point of the switch was that they could open the brand to more possibilities by dropping the raw label. My point was that you are cutting out the niche market that put you where you are. I see this mistake often with companies, and it always frustrates me.
I can't argue that they have some darn tasty treats tho.
I hope this review has left you hungry and motivated to request these items from you local store. I'll be back next week with my final piece on Expo East. I'll be covering all the other random amazing products that didn't fit into the previous categories. And if you've missed any of the other installments in this series please go back and get caught up!
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