Natural Products Expo West (and Expo East) are like Christmas for me – no better yet – like Toys R’ Us. Remember when you were a kid and your parents or grandparents, uncles, aunts – it didn’t matter which family member it was – they’d pull in to the parking lot of the toy store and out you jumped, barely WAITING to go check out your favorite toys and you couldn’t WAIT to bring them home, rip open the box and try them? That’s basically how I feel after attending these shows. The sensation I get from opening samples or full-size products when I get home is similar to that new toy smell; I just love new natural, health(ier), non-GMO, organic, sustainable, fair trade, free-of products! I especially love when I can find products that are free or low in FODMAPs. There were several different products that I tried (I know my FODMAP threshold and what triggers my symptoms), but for this post I am only going to include those that are low in FODMAPs.
Here are some of my favorites from Expo West 2016 (here’s some facts in case you’re not familiar with the show):
Highlights from the Show
— Jessie Shafer, RD (@DLJessie) March 11, 2016
This tweet could be applied to so many things about #expolife! I’ve been on both sides – working as a marketing and pr strategist, standing in a booth all three days, talking my face off, back hurting and starving. Or I’ve spent my time at the show on behalf of my business, sprinting the show floor, zipping up escalators, trying to see as many booths as possible, not eating a real breakfast or lunch and starving but finally giving in to some samples here and there!
Here are a few products I found that appear to be low in FODMAPs based on their low-FODMAP ingredients. I’ve included ingredients and links on where to buy. I’ll also be sharing these on Pinterest. Enjoy!
Safe Catch was definitely a highlight for me and I wish I knew about this brand when I was pregnant because they have a pretty meticulous protocol for testing every single fish for high levels of mercury. They have the strictest mercury limits of any brand and their product Safe Catch Elite is the only tuna brand that passes Consumer Reports “Low Mercury” criteria for pregnant women and kids.
Safe Catch also tastes exceptional. If you weren’t aware, most canned tuna companies pre-cook their tuna and use additives and fillers to put flavor back into the fish. These brands will put the tuna on racks which drains out over 80% of the natural omega-3s and added benefits. In order to really appreciate Safe Catch, you would need to try it yourself. When I had a taste test I thought it was like having freshly caught tuna, grilled and served to me. Safe Catch doesn’t remove the delicious juices from the fish, so you get the full flavor of the fish and a nice dose of Omega 3s with every bite. The way they do it is by using a unique cooking process called ‘Raw Packing’ where they take hand cut tuna steaks and pack them in the can, and cook in the can to retain 100% of the Omega-3s, natural vitamins and minerals. They also don’t add any broth, oil, or water to their tuna. Safe Catch tuna is just cooked in its natural fish oils for a very fresh flavor!
What else is awesome about Safe Catch?
- Safe Catch is non-GMO and BPA free and dolphin safe
- Safe Catch tuna is traceable from catch to can and they only buy from captains whose fish come from managed and sustainable stocks
- Their limit for Safe Catch Elite Wild Tuna is ten times (10x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit and their limit for Wild Albacore Tuna is three times (3x) stricter than the FDA mercury action limit
- If one fish doesn’t meet their purity standards they don’t buy it
- They don’t add any fillers or additives, unless where salt is noted, they don’t add anything except tuna.
I can’t see myself purchasing any other brand now other than Safe Catch. If you want to make the most awesome tuna salad, tuna casserole, tuna tomato and bacon sandwich or tuna melt, go to this link for the Safe Catch store finder.
Rebel Fish had salmon in a pouch that you can microwave. I tried the Maple Mesquite Smoked Sea Salt and thought it tasted very fresh and was delightfully flaky. Yes this is farmed salmon but take a look at how they treat their fish: “Raised in pristine ocean waters, Rebel Fish salmon are isolated in a pure environment that nearly replicates the wild and is perfect for producing premium salmon, prized for its taste and delicate soft texture. Our salmon is nurtured throughout their natural growth cycle to ensure fish welfare and guaranteed high quality.” Learn more here.
World of Chia Strawberry Spread Standard – deliciously sweet strawberries roll off your tongue with this jam. I liked the taste and consistency from the chia seeds. I could see using this spread with lactose-free cream cheese on a bagel, or in stuffed gluten-free french toast or just as is on a gluten-free cracker. Make sure you get the standard version, not the premium which is made with agave. The standard is all-natural and does not contain pectin, artificial colors, flavorings, preservatives or additives. No High Fructose Corn Syrup. Sweetened with cane sugar. Purchase here.
I checked out Suzanne’s Specialties Rice Nectars and fruit spreads. Their Rice Nectars are natural alternative sweeteners produced by steeping brown rice with special enzymes (koji) and then converting mashed grain into a smooth flavored, sweet liquid extract. The extract is then concentrated to create their Original Rice Nectar. Hand mashed blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries are added to create their Fruited Rice Nectars.
• no preservatives
• no artificial flavors or colors
Suzanne’s Specialties Rice Nectar Fruit Spreads I learned are the first and only grain-based fruit spreads. They make them by blending the highest quality fruit with their brown rice syrup. Rice Nectar Fruit Spreads are lighter than traditional jams and jellies. Try these flavors: (not apricot as that’s a high-FODMAP fruit): Blueberry, Raspberry, andStrawberry. “They’re a delicious and healthy alternative for your children’s lunchboxes.”
• sweetened with Rice Nectar
• low in calories
• no corn syrup
• no refined sugars
I haven’t tried this pasta for myself but the ingredients check out as far as appearing to be low in FODMAPs. What a delicious pasta this must be! Ingredients: Brown rice flour, water, potato starch, tapioca starch, whole egg, xantham gum, salt, glucono-delta-lactone.
- Glutino Big Pretzels – NEW – these are just like the harder pretzels you might’ve enjoyed growing up. I still like the mini twists by Glutino the best, but if you’re into hard, super crunchy pretzels these are for you. Ingredients: corn starch, rice flour, potato starch, corn dextrin, palm oil, salt, sugar, cellulose gum, cellulose powder, sunflower lecithin, yeast, sodium bicarbonate, sodium acid pyrophosphate.
- Earth Balance Gluten Free Vegan Cheddar Mac & Cheese – If you’re looking for a nice vegan alternative to mac & cheese, this is a great product to have on hand when you don’t have time to make it yourself (like this recipe here – swap out lobster for vegan). I tried this mac & cheese at the show and it was creamy, but not heavy and I loved the mild flavor!
Alpendough Snickerdoodle cookie dough – hands down the BEST cookie dough I’ve ever had and it’s VEGAN! They also have double chocolate and chocolate chip. “Making gluten free and vegan cookie dough doesn’t mean that we are exempt from good taste and texture.” It’s true – the taste and the texture was so good! I think having a small amount of this dough raw is a perfect treat – but of course go ahead and make a batch of cookies too! Here are the ingredients for snickerdoodle: Bob’s Red Mill gluten-free whole grain oat flour, organic evaporated cane juice, organic coconut oil, organic maple syrup, organic coconut milk, organic dark brown sugar (non-bone char), water, tapioca flour, less than 2% of: organic vanilla extract, baking soda, sea salt, xanthan gum, organic cinnamon, baking powder (aluminum-free)
Order their deliciousness online. More on the company: Alpendough provides an opportunity for consumers to choose products that positively influence the world environmentally and ethically, while providing individuals who make educated food decisions and those with dietary restrictions to experience the joy and flavor of the best cookie dough, ever.
PopArt Popcorn – This is FUN and delicious popcorn that you’ve got to try! Organic non-GMO corn, all-natural, gluten-free, no trans fats, no MSG, vegan friendly popcorn! These two flavors are my new best friends:
Nori Sesame Ingredients:Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil, Sesame Flour, Sea Salt, Dried Seaweed, Sugar Sesame Oil
Rosemary Truffle ingredients: Organic Non-GMO Popcorn, High Oleic Safflower and/or Sunflower Oil, Sea Salt, Rosemary, Black Summer Truffle, Aroma.
“At Pop Art Snacks, we thrive on inserting fun into the mundane. Much like Andy Warhol did for the Campbell’s Soup Can in the art world, we do for snack food. We take the traditional snack popcorn and elevate it into a savory ‘taste of art.’ ”
Wild Things – Dark chocolate raspberry skinny dipped almonds – delicious! I loved the light coating of sweet raspberries and chocolate. Such a satisfying treat to carry along in your bag to work, on the plane or anytime you need a snack. A low-FODMAP serving of almonds is 10, so please keep that in mind when snacking on these or any almonds. Ingredients: Almonds, dark chocolate, organic maple syrup, sea salt and raspberries!
Did you know that plantain chips are low in FODMAPs? Get your hands on a bag of Kiwa Golden Plantain Chips. A low-FODMAP serving is 10 chips. Ingredients for this product: Plantains, non-hydrogenated palm oil, salt.
Other snacks I liked:
RW Garcia 3Seed Sweet Potato Crackers – made with stone ground yellow corn, sweet potato, sunflower or corn oil, flaxseed, black sesame seeds, chia seeds, sea salt, trace of lime.
Hail Merry Salted Brownie Merry Bites -made with organic maple syrup, organic shredded coconut, dark cocoa*, almond flour, organic chocolate chips* (organic cane sugar, organic cocoa liquor, organic cocoa butter), organic virgin coconut oil, organic coconut sugar, organic Madagascar vanilla, Celtic sea salt. *Fair Trade Certified by Fair Trade USA.
SeaSnax Big Grab & Go Lime – made with harvested organic seaweed, add organic extra virgin olive oil, a pinch of sea salt and zesty lime.
Make Your Own Tempeh? Say What?
TempehSure™ – for those of you who love tempeh and appreciate it as a delicious protein source (whether you are vegan, or not), you need to learn about TempehSure, a DIY plant-based protein system that allows you to make tempeh in your own kitchen. While I was near the Daiya booth chatting with a few well-knowns in the vegan world like vegan educator and chef extraordinaire Mimi Clark and teacher/naturalist/hippie and founder of Tofurky Seth Tibbott, I also had the chance to meet John Silva of the TempehSure team. He shared oodles of information all about their new kickstarter and how the TempehSure device helps people make tempeh from a variety of legumes such as soy beans, chickpeas, lentils, etc. He was saying how making your own tempeh is also another way to ensure (hence the “sure” of the brand name) you know exactly what’s going into your tempeh. Maybe you’re trying to avoid soy? If so, you can enjoy your tempeh without it. TempehSure provides a trusted source for pre-portioned starter culture, bean blends and their dual-stage Protein Pod that seamlessly incubates and pasteurizes tempeh at the touch of a button from your smartphone (yes, there’s an app for that!). The Protein Pod makes 1.5 pounds of tempeh, great for those wanting to tinker around at home. The Protein Pod is also great for chefs who want to try and make small batches first to see how they like the device, or they can buy the larger unit, the Protein Pod Plus and make up to 3 pounds of tempeh at a time. I’m sold, and I want to make my own tempeh stat!
Try Some Probiotics
You can read a story I wrote about probiotics for NewHope.com which will be published soon (i’ll come back and share the link here). There were several probiotic supplements, digestive aids and other food products that incorporated probiotics. My story also includes commentary from a talk by Dr. Mark Davis, ND, titled “Probiotics: Delivering a Good Gut Feeling” which focused on probiotics, the differences between the many strains and why they’re beneficial for our digestive system.
Check out more products from Expo West by going to my Instagram feed here.
Looking for help on the low-FODMAP diet? Ask me about my nutritional coaching services by contacting me here.
Be good to yourself and your gut!