This past weekend, I finally got to experience all the amazing madness that is Natural Products Expo West otherwise referred to as Expo West.
It’s a four day convention at the Anaheim convention center where just about every natural product line comes to showcase their products and debut new ones to wholesalers, health practitioners, retailers, bloggers/influencers, press, distributors etc.
Now, imagine Disneyland on the most crowded day where it’s packed with people but instead of children excited to meet Mickey & Minnie, it’s grown ups excited to EAT.
And every booth samples.
Like a lot of samples.
Like I’m still full from all the samples.
And then they give you stuff to take home.
Like a lot of stuff to take home:
It’s Costco on steroids meets trick-or-treating but with stuff you actually want to eat/are better for you to eat (there’s also a whole lifestyle and supplements section too).
I’ve wanted to go for the past four years but I’ve always been working or out of town. I went on Friday and Sunday and even that didn’t feel like enough time. The place was HUGE. Just when you thought you had explored all there was to explore, you realize there’s another floor above you and one below you each FILLED with more vendors.
And then you realize that a 4 minute walk away there’s a whole building with TWO more huge floors.
I didn’t get to all of the booths – but I did find so many new and exciting products that I can’t wait to share! Aside from all the snacking, Expo was also incredibly inspiring. It was so amazing to see so many great brands and the INCREDIBLE people behind them who are helping to change the way we all eat for the better.
Over the next few days I will share my favorite finds by category but today let’s start with the top 5 new discoveries that I can’t stop thinking about/talking about/eating/wishing I had more samples so I could keep eating! (also this was soo hard to narrow down!)
Top five new discoveries at Expo West:
#1- Barnana’s RIDGED plantain Chips
I looove plantain chips (it’s a real addiction) and there’s no better potato chip than one with good thick ridges. I never thought there would be a world where ridged plantain chips would exist but they do! And not just any old ridge but nice thick super crunchy ridged chips! And if that’s not enough, they’re organic, Non GMO, and cooked with coconut oil! Most chips are cooked in bad-for-you oils like canola or other vegetable oils and it’s so hard to find chips cooked in coconut or avocado oil. AND they used upcycled plantians- meaning that they take the plantains that are deemed to imperfect for grocery stores and use those which helps reduce waste!
They have four incredible flavors, Himayalan Pink Sea-salt, Acapulco Lime, Brazilian BBQ and my personal favorite, Sea Salt & Vinegar.
I’m literally snacking on a bag as I write this:
#2- Soozy’s Muffins
I got the chance to meet the amazing Soozy at the convention and am so inspired by her story. She created Soozy’s muffins after not being able to find any good grain-free muffin options and we should all be so thankful she did because these muffins are incredible. I never thought I would be team sweet potato muffin but it was a party of deliciousness in my mouth that I never wanted to end! It was so good in my breakfast bowl:
They also come in Double chocolate chip, Blueberry, and newly launched flavors, Banana chocolate chip (SO good), Green Tea Matcha and Coffee Cake (which I didn’t try because I was too full and now I live every moment regretting that life choice) They are all gluten/grain, dairy, soy and peanut-free with no gums, GMOs or refined sugars – basically like the amazing muffins you grew up eating without all the CRAP. I will be ordering these ASAP.
#3- Abby’s Better Nut Butter
What were you doing when you were 15? I was blasting Backstreet Boys cds in my room and trying on frosty eye-shadow. Abby, started this company. She’s 18 now and she employs her mom and brother. So not only did I walk away from her booth obsessed with her products but also inspired to be just a little bit more like her. I mean. The girl started this business before she could drive! But aside from all of that badassery, her nut butters are out of this world! They aren’t your ordinary nut butters either. The Date Pecan might be my favorite (like eat the whole jar with a spoon kind of favorite) but it was hard to choose because the coconut cashew, coffee almond, honey almond and strawberry cashew are all amazing too!
#4- Base Culture Paleo Sandwich Bread, Blondies, Pumpkin Bread and more
This was literally the last booth I hit at the end of the day on Sunday. I was sampled out so I took a few of the wrapped bite size samples home (which by the way I SO love that they do this!) and tried them Monday morning and oh. my. goodness. Let’s call a spade a spade, most paleo breads (and a lot of gluten free ones) are just plain gross. Not this one! It was soft, it was slightly sweet and I was so sad when that one bite was gone. It would be perfect for sandwiches or avocado toast! And then there was the pumpkin bread. And the blondie. And the brownie! Each sample was better than the next and I will 100% be ordering from them asap. Their line is entirely dairy/soy/grain/gluten/preservative free but let me tell you, it’s definitely not delicious free!
#5- Big Tree Farms Coco Aminos in Ginger Lime (but really all three flavors are out of this world)
I cook with coconut aminos at least once a week. It’s a staple in my cauliflower rice, I Iove to use it to season chicken or salmon and since going soy-free it’s been so nice to have on hand to cook with. I honestly had never heard of Big Tree Farms until expo but they make coconut sugar, nectar and aminos and it’s all fantastic but their Coco Aminos is absolutely out of this world. They had a bbq one, a plain one and then the Ginger Lime that I literally wanted to drink on a spoon it was that good. If you would have asked me before I went to Expo if a seasoning would be one of my top 5 favorite things out of the thousands of vendors and a chocolate wouldn’t make the list I would’ve said you were insane and clearly didn’t know me at all! But omg. That’s really just how good it is! I can’t wait to order some and start cooking with it! (I think the bbq and ginger lime will be available soon! It’s not on their website yet!)
So there you have it! Those are my top five new discoveries from Expo! There are SO many more I loved and will share soon! I’m so excited about all of these off-the-shelf finds because it makes our lives so much easier when we have healthier choices for snacking/eating/cooking/baking/desserting etc.
Hope you try these and love them as much as I do!