Highlights from the Biggest Healthy Food Expo
We’re always on the lookout for new products and ingredients to add to our supply of healthy foods and drinks. And we hit the jackpot at this year’s Natural Products Expo West (the world’s largest natural, organic and healthy products event).
We spent the day sipping, tasting, and chatting with some really innovative companies to find out what’s going to hit the grocery aisles next - and what’s worth buying.
Everything from CBD infused honey and edible coffee, to collagen shots and seaweed pasta was on display for us to sample. We were curious and brave enough to try some of these new and trendy items, but there were a few others we ran far far away from (let’s just say that the smell of sizzling fake meat with unknown ingredients was enough to make us lose our appetite). Luckily, we found solace in a bubbly bottle, a feel good bar that helps saves lives, a clever take on snack chips and a new way to eat hummus!
Here are Some of the Fun Finds!
Sound Sparkling Tea
Just like our other favorite combos: pb + j, turmeric + ginger, garlic + onions, beans + grains a new mash up has entered our vocabulary... tea + sparkling water. Separately, we live on these drinks throughout the day. Our daily iced tea, hot tea and sparkling water consumption keeps us hydrated without the excess sugar. And, we love an interesting flavor mixed in (elderberry, passionfruit, mint - you name it, we’re game to try it). So, you can imagine how much we geeked out when we came across Sound Sparkling Tea. The flavor combos alone were intriguing:
Great Tea with Grapefruit + Mint
Rose Tea with Lime + Cardamom
Yerba Mate with Citrus + Hibiscus
Chamomile with Vanilla + Elderflower
We loved that besides the amazing flavor, all were unsweetened and there were both caffeinated and caffeine free options. Plus, they were super refreshing! You can check them out at drinksound.com and @drink.sound #upgradeyoursparkling #lessismore
We can’t get enough hummus in our lives! We are often making different flavored hummus in our cooking demos and creating new ways to eat it. So, when we saw Hummus Pods in the lineup of new products to try, we had to taste it for ourselves. These ravioli-like pods are filled with different flavors of smooth hummus and stuffed into a whole grain crust that crisp up when you bake them. These were great on their own as a snack, but could definitely be made into a meal. We can’t wait to start using them in our kitchens. You can find the pods at https://www.modpodco.com/
This Bar Saves Lives
We are smitten with mission driven companies and This Bar Saves Lives pulls at our hearts as dietitians and moms. These snack bars are sweet alternatives to candy bars that pack in some extra crunch from nuts and seeds and lots of flavor. For every purchase, the company donates a life saving food packet to a malnourished child in need. Did we mention they’re tasty? Find them at Starbucks, Target and https://thissaveslives.com/
If you’re ever craving a crunchy, cheesy, puffed chip snack, as we do from time to time, then you might want to try Peatos. It’s like a healthier version of Cheetos made with better ingredients (don’t worry, they don’t taste like “health food”). They have several flavors, but the classic cheese was pretty tasty. Plus, we couldn’t help but laugh at their branding “Tigers Live Longer Than Cheetahs.” Just a word of caution, you might not want to put the bag down, so portion them out like any other snack to control the servings (and make sure you still eat your vegetables). ;) Find them at https://worldpeasbrand.com/#peatos
One day at the Expo was not enough, but we certainly saw a lot of trends while we were there:
The number one trend we saw throughout was “Plant Based.” Everything from non-dairy creamers to meal kits were claiming ancient grains, nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies as the base for many of the products on display.
Coffee continued to be a popular item, but in an edible form this year. We tasted coffee bean infused overnight oats and snack bars.
Drinks of all kinds were everywhere! It seemed like every other booth was serving some sort of tonic, elixir, tea, golden milk, sparkling water, kombucha or mushroom drink. We tasted more turmeric and ginger flavored beverages to last us a lifetime of anti-inflammatory bliss.
Grain free items were also popular - likely in response to the paleo and keto trend.
Seaweed was used in new ways like infused pasta, that surprisingly didn’t taste like seaweed.
Lastly, there were plenty of foods and drinks infused with CBD or collagen (more on those for another day). These two new trendy ingredients were seen in a variety of products from honey and chocolate, to coffee and tea and drinks and snack bars.
Overall, we were excited to see so many companies cleaning up the ingredients they use while being socially and environmentally conscious.