The Gluten-free & Allergen Friendly Expo (GFAF Expo), is a wonderful small event to attend if your’re new to gluten-free living. While not so beneficial for veterans, it’s a safe place to learn about some big name and small name brands, companies, and maybe even learn something new at the speaking sessions they hold throughout the weekend long expo. This was my second time ever going to the GFAF Expo, this years as an official blog ambassador. While it was smaller than 2 years ago (not sure why), there were still a few highlights and some fun products I want to share with you all!
The best Gluten-Free & Allergen-Friendly expo where celiacs, gluten & food allergic, autoimmune suffers alike can gather for a safe consumer to brand in-person experience! The GFAF Expo is the chance to connect with manufacturers, educators, services, and the community as a whole!
I am so excited to be an official blog ambassador for the GFAF Expo this year! If you’re a very long-time reader, you’ll remember that I attended the expo 2 years ago and blogged about it here. It was the first “foodie” expo I’d ever attended as it’s rare you can find any type of expo or conference close to New Jersey! I loved it though and was sad I couldn’t attend last year, but this year I am able to get up there again as well as be an ambassador. (Finally those business cards will com in handy!)
Anyway, if you don’t know what the GFAF Expo is, let me tell you! “The GFAF Expos are the largest and fastest growing special diet consumer events in the US. Started in 2007, the events are professionally managed and have expanded from one to seven cities throughout the United States. In addition to meeting the needs of the Celiac community, the Expo welcomes those with gluten sensitivities, auto-immune/inflammatory diseases and autism.”Read More
Oats. Oats and I have had a rocky relationship. I was never a big oat or oatmeal eater at anytime in my life, but I did enjoy the occasional bowl of instant oatmeal as a kid. Not just any instant oatmeal, but Quaker Instant Oatmeal with Dinosaur Eggs! You know the one where as you pour the hot water in, the eggs slowly dissolve and reveal a little tiny candy dinosaur! Haha, those were the best!
But then, many years later I found out I had Celiac and Quaker oats were a no go. Contaminated and not certified gluten-free, out of the question. From there, I never really had oats in my diet for a few years except for a small dabbling in Glutenfreeda’s instant oatmeals in the beginning of my gluten-free journey. But Oatmeal was never filling enough for a breakfast for me. I would much rather have a huge bowl of cereal then a tiny bowl of oats (full of sugar in those instant packs).
But then I started blogging and saw the love many bloggers had for overnight oats. This wasn’t just oats, but a mixture of many ingredients left to sit overnight and become think and creamy ready to eat in the morning. (I am a thick oatmeal person by the way…watery is so gross!) I knew I had to try overnight oats. I could make them a lot more hearty and filling and it would be easy to grab in the morning. Thus I ordered my first huge bulk bag of certified gluten-free rolled oats from GF Harvest. I jumped right in full force and made overnight oats. I had them about 3 times a week and well…after the first few weeks of this breakfast, I noticed my tummy was not a happy camper. This happened in the Summer so at least I didn’t kill myself before a long school day, but I did eat this when I went away to Washington DC and my stomach hurt on that trip. Bummer!
Then I thought I was allergic/intolerant to oats as Celiacs can be even if they are Gluten-Free. So I stopped eating them and was so sad. However when I went to the GFAF Expo I met the lovely people from GF Harvest and we chatted about our Celiac Disease and they suggested I not eat raw oats and try them only once a week in small amounts. The next time I had oats was in granola which is baked and now raw. And guess what?! My stomach was okay! I realized that as long as I baked the oats or thoroughly cooked them I would be fine. So hello granola and baked oats! I still watch my consumption though and never have oats more then 3 times a week, but I do love them 😉 So here I introduce you to my first ever oat bake or “baked oatmeal”. A lot healthier than those instant Quaker packets for sure! Haha!
Hazelnut Mocha Oat Bake
Ingredients: (serves: 1)
+ 1/3 Cup Gluten-Free Rolled Oats
+ 1/4 Tsp Baking Powder
+ 1/4 Cup + 1 TB Water
+ 1/4 Tsp Hazelnut Extract
+ 1 TB Chocolate Protein Powder (optional)
+ 1 TB Unsweetened Cocoa Powder (increase to 2 TB if not using protein powder)
+ 1 Tsp Instant Decaf Coffee Granuals
+ Raw Hazelnuts (to serve)
+ Preheat the oven to 350°F.
+ Oil a single serve Ceramic Ramekin. Add in all dry ingredients and stir to combine. Then add in all wet ingredients and stir again.
+ Cover the Ramekin with foil and place in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. Remove, uncover, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
+ Top with Hazelnuts or even Hazelnut Butter! Happy breakfasting!
Since I don’t have time to bake in the morning, I baked this the night before, let it cool, and then placed the foil back over top, poking a few holes in the foil. Then I just took it out in the morning and heated it in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Easy and quick!
The photos without the Hazelnuts were from the first time I made this. The photos with the Hazelnuts were another time!
Do you like baked oats, oatmeal, or overnight oats best?
What is you go to breakfast during the week? Cereal or granola is the easiest for me to just throw together in 2 minutes. But sometimes I will prep a bowl of quinoa flakes or buckwheat cereal in a bowl with all the dry ingredients, then just add the water in the morning and microwave.
———————————————-Stay connected: Facebook: Strength and Sunshine Twitter: @RebeccaGF666 Instagram: rebeccagf666 Pinterest: RebeccaGF666 Bloglovin’: Strength and Sunshine Google+: Rebecca Pytell
Hey, hope you are all having a wonderful Tuesday! So you know I went to the GFAF Expo in Secaucus, New Jersey on Saturday. It was the first time I have ever been and I have to say it was fun and a great way to get to know the brands I have known and used online and in stores for so long, but actually got to speak with representatives in person. You really got a great sense of which companies took immense pride in their products and serving the allergy community the best they can. I brought my point-and-shoot camera along, but ended up not taking many pictures. (Bad blogger). I was to busy chatting with the companies, picking up samples, and copious amounts of coupons and information
The venue was actually a lot smaller than I had thought, it was a small expo but there were still a good amount of brands there. I knew most of them but did find one or two new ones. Here is a list of the venders that were there. (That list says Nature’s Path would be there…but they were not! I am so sad, I love Nature’s Path and would have loved to meet them!) But one of the new companies I found was Ola! Granola. I was floored when I saw the nutrition info for their gluten-free and vegan granola. Normally granolas are loaded with sugar, salt, and calories for a measly 1/4 cup, but theirs is not. Take a look! That is a 1/3 cup serving for 100 calories, 10mg of sodium, and only 4g of sugar!
Before I found Ola’s booth I had went and talked to the GF Harvest guys. I told them that I loved their rolled oats but I thought I couldn’t handle them anymore. They are a family-owned business and the son of the company who was diagnosed with celiac at age 2, talked to me about how has to watch how much pats he eats in a week. He said you have to take it real slow when you haven’t eaten them in years and you have to only eat small quantities. So he instilled some confidence back in me and I am going to try eating oats one day a week and see how it goes! So when I came to Ola’s booth and saw that granola, I had to buy some! I bought a bag of Chocolate Banana Chip…o so good! I tried it with my blueberry chocolate green smoothie on Sunday and-it-was-to-die-for!
My mom had fun sampling foods from all the brands and found some new things she loved. Like AllerEnergy’s soft pretzels, Everybody Eats breads, and Bard’s GF beer. She loved both and I know she struggles to find breads and products she loves to replace her old gluten-filled favorites. I didn’t sample any foods there but I did get loaded with samples to take home. And I got product request forms for a few products that I have always wanted to try but my grocery sucks with their product selection. So when we went grocery shopping later that day I brought a request form for Freedom Foods cereals and Wink Frozen Desserts. We ended up having a long conversation with the head of the health foods department and found out she was actually at the expo that day as well. She said she got info form every company that was there and that they are hoping to expand their allergy-free/ health food selection immensely by 2014…we’ll see.
So here is my haul of product goodies…minus the coupons and packets of info, tips, and company things.
We have my Ola! Granola, Pamela’s Artisan Flour Blend, Hail Merry Macaroons, Mediterranean Snacks Lentil Crackers and Hummuz Crisps, Enjoy Life’s Seed and Fruit mix, San-J Tamari, Pamela’s Whenever Bar, Bakery on Main’s Maple Muffin Oatmeal, NatVia Stevia, Nogii bars, Raw Revolution bars, Enjoy Life cookies, Now honey energy bar, Canyon Oats honey oatmeal, Udi’s Ancient Grains Crackers, and Heavenly Organic’s Honey Chocolate Mint Pattie.
Then we have a flexible cutting board, rubber brush, and personal utensil pack all from San-J, Mediterranean Snack’s clip, some pens and buttons, Glutenfree Labels labels and stickers (Kelly, the founder of the company, is so wonderful! She talked with my mom and I for awhile and told us all about her company and how she started. So inspiring and a wonderful idea!), Bonne Maman Strawberry Jam, and Vidafree Strawberry Pie.
Vitamix had a booth there as well and I got to see the $600 machine in action up close and personal. I would have loved to take home a free sample of that haha! My dream appliance…maybe for Christmas? And of course I stopped by the Plant Fusion table (my beloved protein powder). I got to speak with Chris (the head of the company) whom I have been in contact with over the last few weeks. We have been working together and discussing my new potential job as a social media assistant and blog ambassador, along with some community outreach and demos. I am really excited to begin working with them and when everything is set in stone I will give you more details!
That pretty much sums it up. not much of a recap but there isn’t much to tell. Once I try some of these products I will let you know more about them! But if you are completely new to being gluten-free and have multiple allergies I would definitely suggest checking out some of these brands and even going to the expo if it comes to your neighborhood!
So tell me:
What is you favorite Gluten-Free brand and why?
If you could make any food allergy friendly what would it be or what product would you change if you could? I wish Udi’s breads didn’t have that miniscule amount of egg whites…
Hey, happy Thursday! Just one more day until the weekend, I can’t wait. I have been crazy busy this week but I think it is mostly due to the fact that I am just still getting used to the new routine and swing of things with school. I am hoping it will get easier and easier each week but right now I am TIRED! During school my classes are all over the place and we only have 4 minutes to get to our next class. So I have to sprint from one side of the school to the other side climb up 2 flights of steps and run to the door of my class…but the bell always rings before I get to that last stretch of hall. Thankfully my teacher is okay with it. And that is juts one class…I have to do multiple sprints throughout the day. Since I have 9 classes as well, I really have no down-time. Some classes are just easier electives so they provide some relief but I am still just exhausted by the time I get home…then it is time for homework…when will it end!
So geuss what I finally am giving a try this week? Sprouting lentils! I am so excited and have a new recipe in my mind to try with them when they are done. I am hoping by tomorrow they will be sprouted enough, but so far so good. I started them on Monday and having been giving them motherly care all week. I also picked up some Golden Beets (never had them before, only the traditional red/purple) so I am excited to use them with the lentils! If the recipe comes out good I will be sharing it next week so stay tuned.
I have been so stressed about managing my time with homework, studying, blogging, eating, sleeping, and working out when I get home. It is really hard and I am so worried my blog will be the first to suffer but I am still trucking on with 5 posts a week…for now. I will keep trying my hardest but if it gets to be to much I may have to cut down to 3 or 4 a week instead. Besides that I am also diligent about keeping enough time at night for my workouts. Tuesday I did my 30 minutes of HIIT right when I got home and I plan to do the same today after school. I also did an hour of yoga on Tuesday. Wednesday I did my lower and upper body strength training after homework and dinner. And I will also be doing my calves, push-up, Pilates leg-work routine tonight. It’s a whirl-wind but it always feels great to workout and get the stress pushed aside!
One more thing I am excited about. I mentioned it a few weeks back but now it is finally time! The GFAF Expo on Saturday! I have never been but it seems like fun. From the site, “The Expo is the premier gluten and allergen free event in the US. Whether you are looking for specialty products that taste great or trying to learn how to cook and bake to meet your dietary needs, the Expo is the place to be!” I will be going with my mom and know she will get more out of it than me since I tend to not eat much in the way of processed food and snacks. But it will be great for meeting up with a few of my favorite brands and I will be meeting up with the Plant Fusion team. (I need to update you on Plant Fusion, but that will be another post!) So expect to see a recap sometime next week of the expo!
Alright that’s all I have time for today. I will see you tomorrow for the Friday Finisher with some great posts and pins, don’t miss out!
So tell me:
Are you going to the Expo? Have you ever been?
Have you ever sprouted lentils or beans or even grains? I used Lindsay’s guide and it seems to be working perfectly!
How have your workouts been this week? Try anything new and exciting?