I was so excited when the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest asked me to be one of their featured bloggers in the blogger’s booth at their expo in Richmond, VA.
The Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest is an expo that features gluten-free exhibitors, seminars, cooking demonstrations, bloggers and authors. The two-day event gives you a chance to sample and try awesome gluten-free foods and products, to learn from gluten-free experts and watch cooking demonstrations from some amazing gluten-free chefs. This year the Richmond expo was held at the Greater Richmond Convention Center the weekend of August 26th and 27th.
What is so amazing about the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest is that you get to be with your people and know you are safe to try all of the gluten-free products. There is nothing like the feeling of being around other people who understand your gluten-free journey. The gluten-free community is so encouraging and supportive. The best thing about community means welcoming new friends. I was so blessed by all of the people I met and the new friends that I gained. Seriously, this is the reason I have this blog. I hope that by sharing my gluten-free journey that I can help others with theirs. It’s all about community and my friend you are not alone.
Now for my gluten-free favorites from the expo!
I was so excited that my friends at Enjoy Life Foods were bringing their Enjoy Life Land to Richmond. Enjoy Life Foods is an amazing company that makes products that are not only certified gluten-free but is free from the top 8 food allergens: wheat/gluten, dairy, peanuts, tree nuts, egg, soy, fish and shellfish. They are also Non-GMO and made with no artificial anything. At the expo, they had a fun and interactive exhibit called Enjoy Life Land where you could explore their products and receive free samples of their Mini Chips (chocolate chips), Chewy Bars, and Plentis. Enjoy Life Foods was the title sponsor of the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest.
GF Jules is the maker of amazing gluten-free flour mixes. Not only is Jules the creator of her 7 different gluten-free flour mixes, but she is an author and a huge advocate for the gluten-free community. I had a fangirl moment when I met her because she has made such an impact on the gluten-free community with her mixes, recipes, blog and her advocacy work. She not only gave a presentation on Gluten-Free Food Labeling & Food Safety but also did a cooking demo making her famous gluten-free baguettes. Her booth had the longest line waiting to try her delicious gluten-free bread.
Canyon Bakehouse is one of my favorite brands of gluten-free bread products. They have 6differentt flavors of sandwich bread, focaccia, hamburger and hot dog buns, bagels and brownie bites. They featured their new Heritage Style bread and their newest flavors of bagels the blueberry and cinnamon raisin at the expo. The Heritage Style bread is a larger loaf, so you will be happy building your favorite “sammie” with this new size of loaf. I can’t say enough about their bagels. They are soft just the way a good bagel is supposed to be. I love that this company was also created after a co-founder was diagnosed with Celiac disease.
Full Flavor Foods are the creators of gluten-free soups, sauces and gravies. Their products are so flavorful! I was blown away by the taste and texture of their gravies and cream soup. Also, 4 of the gravies and 2 of the soup stocks are also dairy-free. In addition, their Mushroom and Cream Soups/Sauces are also lactose-free! (They use coconut oil instead of cream in their cream soups and sauces.) Not only are their products amazing but this is a family-owned business, who understands the challenges we face in gluten-free cooking because their mother is gluten intolerant. I love that not only is this a family owned business but they have a personal vested interest in the gluten-free community. Both Mr. Swanson Sr and his son Paul were a joy to talk with and you can tell they love what they do.
Don’t Go Nuts is an also another family-owned business that was created because their daughter Lily was diagnosed with a life-threatening allergy to peanuts and tree nuts. They have a full line of organic, Non-GMO, peanut-free, tree nut-free, wheat-free, gluten-free, egg-free, sesame-free kids’ snacks. They have a full line of snack bars, nut free spreads and dips. I absolutely loved their Blueberry Blast bar!
Quinoa Queen is the creator of delicious quinoa and quinoa cereal. Their company works closely with small indigenous farmers in the Andean mountains of Ecuador, where the owner was raised, to bring you the best quality Quinoa. I am a huge fan of quinoa and quinoa products. I had never tried quinoa cereal before. I loved the flavor and the texture of the cereal. They offer original, organic and citrus bliss flavors of their quinoa cereal. They also have organic golden raw quinoa as well. I love that this is also a family business. I so enjoyed talking with the owners about their products.
Chocolate Moonshine DC has the most amazing variety of gluten-free specialty flavored chocolate bars, truffles and fudge. They have an impressive 39 different flavors of their Moonshine bars. My favorite was the raspberry chocolate bar. Moonshine bars would make a perfect gift for a gluten-free family member, friend or for yourself! The owners are a husband and wife team that was such a joy to talk with. Their warmth made everyone who visited their booth feel like family.
I was so happy to see my friends from Brazi Bites in Virgina. Brazi Bites are one of my favorite gluten-free bread products! I buy the big bags of the Brazi Bites at Costco. My family absolutely adores them. I even created a recipe for gluten-free Taco Pie using Brazi Bites as the crust. If you have never tried Brazi Bites, they are frozen Brazilian cheese bread balls that come in four flavors, Cheddar & Parmesan, Garlic & Asiago, Zesty Pepper Jack and 3 Cheese Pizza.
Aleias is another family-owned company. The founder Aleia is a culinary trained chef who is also gluten intolerant. Thier Non-GMO and certified gluten-free line includes ten artisan cookies, bread crumbs, panko, croutons, stuffing mixes and breads. Thier Almond Horn cookies are my all-time favorite gluten-free cookie! I can’t wait to try their stuffing mixes for the up and coming holidays.
Chebe is one of the first bread mixes I tried when I went gluten-free in 2007. I loved making pizza crust with their original cheese bread mix. All of their products are naturally gluten-free. They have a full line of gluten-free mixes that include their original cheese bread mix, all-purpose flour mix, pizza crust, garlic-onion breadsticks, focaccia bread and cinnamon rolls. They also offer frozen doughs as well in cheese rolls, breadsticks, pizza crust and ciabatta bread.
Capt Marriners Gourmet is another family-owned company that has a full line of dehydrated soups, chili, seasoning and more. Their whole line of products is vegan, gluten-free, Non-GMO and Kosher. I was totally impressed by Chef Niva’s recipes made with their products. I fell in love with their Lentil and Taste Like Chicken soup. Chef Niva is passionate about health and wellness through nutrition and I love that.
Sonoma Flatbreads is one of my favorite frozen gluten-free pizza brands! Not only are they certified gluten-free but certified organic. One of my all-time favorite foods in the world is pizza, so I’m really picky about my gluten-free pizza. The crust and flavor of the Sonoma Flatbreads pizza are spot on. I was definitely in my happy place tasting their samples. They were one of the most popular booths at the expo.
Ronzoni has a great gluten-free pasta made with corn, brown and white rice and quinoa. They have both regular and thin spaghetti, penne, rotini and macaroni noodles. I really enjoy the flavor and texture of the Ronzoni gluten-free noodles. Also when I cook their pasta it does not get mushy. That’s a big deal with gluten-free pasta. I love that they are also easy to find in my local Walmart and grocery store.
Boar’s Head has a full line of gluten-free deli meats, cheese, sausages, bacon, hot dogs, jerky, hummus and condiments. The ladies at the Boars Head booth were one of the happiest and friendliest groups at the expo. I fully enjoyed all of the products I sampled. My favorite new Boar’s Head products that I tried were the chicken sausages and the horseradish pickles. Seriously they are the best pickles I have ever had! I buy Boars Head at my local grocery store and have always been impressed with the quality and taste of their products.
Dayia makes outstanding dairy-free products. Their plant-based dairy-free products are also free of gluten, soy, egg, peanut, fish and shellfish. Their dairy-free product line includes a variety of cheeses, cheesecake, pizza, cheezy mac, greek yogurt, dressings and sauces. I sampled their dairy-free and gluten-free cheesecake and it was amazing!
Chef Dawn of Carolina Cupcakery has a dedicated gluten and nut free Food Allergy Bakery. She has a full line of gluten-free goodies that are baked from scratch with Non-GMO ingredients. She also has a baked goods line called Crazy 8 that are free from the top 8 food allergens. Her bakery is dedicated wheat and nut free kitchen. I loved her red velvet gluten-free cupcakes. If you are ever in Chesapeake, VA a visit to the Food Allergy bakery is a must and please tell my friend Dawn “hi” from me.
Kristin is the founder of the Prioritized Group and is a disability advocate and food allergy consultant. She is a trained disability advocate and mom to three boys with multiple life-threatening food allergies. If you are feeling overwhelmed by your child’s special needs she can help you gain services and accommodations entitled to your child at school. I am honored to call her my friend!
Gluten Free & More Magazine‘s focus is to be a guide to people living with food allergies. It features delicious gluten-free and dairy-free recipes, diet advice and invaluable medical information. Recipes also include ingredient substitutions for common food allergens like dairy, egg, peanut, soy and tree nuts. Gluten Free & More Magazine is THE magazine for people with allergies and food sensitivities. Gluten Free & More Magazine was one of the sponsors of the Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest.
I had such an amazing weekend at the Gluten-Free Allergy Fest! I had so much fun meeting everyone from the gluten-free community and making new friends. I was so blessed to be part of such an awesome event for the gluten-free community. I hope that by sharing my gluten-free journey on this blog I can help others with theirs. I am so looking forward to being part of the Gluten-Free Allergy Fest next year. Thank you, Gluten-Free Food Allergy Fest for inviting me to be part of your event!