The Gluten & Allergen Free Expo 2014 in NJ Recap

        The much awaited GFAF expo at the Meadowlands finally took place last weekend.  If you have been following me on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook, I’m pretty sure you have seen me sharing non stop the past few days.  Missed my posts? Don’t worry, here are some of the highlights.
     With our friend from Down Under, Freedom Foods.  I was so fortunate to have met them the previous year and was able to stock up on their cereals before it became available in the stores here in NJ. My kids go through TropicO’s, Maple Crunch and Cocoa Crunch cereals like crazy. 
       This year, they brought some new items like ProTeen Crunch Cereal, pancake mix and that jar I’m holding called Smudge. The later sounds quite weird but the taste is to die for! 
      The photo was taken early Saturday morning.  Since I normally do my shopping on the second day, I didn’t buy any that time.  Guess what?  Their products sold out! Bummer! Now, I made a reminder for next year that says “Must Buy Freedom Foods products on Saturday at 9 am!” 
      One of the perks of the GFAFExpo is that attendees would be able to taste new or upcoming products.  A good example for this year is Dole’s latest product line of ready to eat soups. Aside from being gluten free and top 8 allergy friendly, it’s also Non GMO, no MSG and preservative.  Shhh, the Sweet Corn soup is really good.  

      Another company that I’m glad was present at the Expo is Explore Asian.  I’ve seen their Black Bean pasta at Costco for months but was hesitant to buy because it was only available in a big package.   After the taste test, I have to say, I’m now confident to get that big box during my next shopping trip. 
       Not only does it tastes good, the spaghetti holds its share really well.  Have you noticed that the samples are inside the slow cooker?  That tells a lot especially to us GF pasta eaters. 

           By now, I’m sure you already know that I am a big supporter of local businesses.  Here’s my latest find – DF Mavens Ice Cream! Well, technically they are not from Jersey but hey Astoria, NY is not that far.  I can’t wait to visit them soon.  After all, they made me feel good about having ice cream for breakfast!

           Here’s a “selfie” with the gorgeous and super sweet friend from Ian’s Natural Foods.  Did you know that they do have a GF Panko Bread Crumbs? I’ll be bugging my local stores (as always) about it really soon.  

       Ola! Foods has been a big supporter of our blog since the start.  Here’s a picture with the company’s founder Dina.  Just in case you don’t know, there’s a giveaway currently running for a $45 Granola Gift pack here on the blog. Make sure to join.   


         It’s always fun chatting with company reps. Check out that big pack of Way Better Snacks! Okay, the one she’s holding is actually a pillow but hey I like it too. Funny how she’s very generous with the samples yet totally watchful with that particular prop.  Many attendees including me are trying to snag it but with no success.  
         New this year are our friends from World Foods Sauces.  I have tried some of their products before and even made my Asian Style Ratatouille recipe using their Thai Coconut Galangal Sauce.  It is so surprising to learn that they have other gluten free and food allergy friendly.  I can’t wait to share with you the contents of the gift bag I got from them.  
       Though food was my top priority for attending the event, I wouldn’t miss the chance to personally say hi to Andrea and Jay of Red Apple Lipstick.  This awesome couple has been a big blessing to me. Because of them, I didn’t have to sacrifice my love for lipsticks and beauty products.
     Can you imagine my predicament when I was told to remove all the things my children are allergic to from the house?  I totally understand the need to get rid of all the unsafe food.  What made me almost lost my sanity was finding out that there are food and other harmful ingredients on basic things like soaps, shampoo, cleaning products and even cosmetics.  
       Their products have allowed me to still enjoy my bright lipsticks and make up in general  without feeling guilty of being close to the kids.     

         That’s me all smiles while juggling all the bags filled with samples and coupons from Day 1.  
      There are still so much to share about the GFAF Expo.  In fact, I can make a whole novel (maybe, if I just have the time) out of it.  As you can see, it is definitely worth it to attend a GFAF Expo.  
        So, will I see you there next year?

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