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June 5, 2013 -- Vegparadise News Bureau

Reflections on Natural Products Expo West 2013, Part 2

In Part 1 of our reflection on Expo West 2013 we reviewed our impressions of trends in the introduction of new products. As we attend each year, we experience a growing number of companies offering a complete line of vegan products and others making sure they have some vegan offerings.

In this report we turn the spotlight on foods that we found quite appealing to share with our readers. We focused on some of these products for their uniqueness, and others for maintaining their natural, high quality and healthful nutritional properties.

Some of these products are still so new they are not yet available in stores and need to be ordered online.

So, here goes:

Field Roast Frankfurters
In the past, we've been disappointed with many of the fake hot dogs. That is, until we tasted Field Roast Frankfurters. Anyone with faint memories of the real ones will appreciate these flavorful old-world style dogs that are probably the best ones out there.

Hodo Soy Yuba
These hand-cut ribbons of soy, cut from bean curd sheets, are bathed in a delicious sauce and can be eaten hot or cold. They're organic and gluten-free and come in two tasty flavors: Spicy Yuba and Sesame Yuba.

Monterey Farms Artihearts Fresh Grilled Artichokes
Artichoke hearts or Artihearts come in four delicious flavors: Buffalo, Grilled, Herbal, and Natural. For us it was a toss-up for top honors between the Buffalo and the Grilled, although the other two were delicious with their less intense flavors.

DF Mavens Original Hand Crafted Dairy-Free Frozen Desserts
No wonder DF Mavens won the Best New Vegan Product 2013 at Expo West. Even their competitors stopped by to taste and agree this ice cream was the best. The ice cream is available in three different varieties: Soy Collection, Coconut Collection, and No Sugar Added. We can't stop talking about our favorite flavors, New Orleans Salted Praline and Peanut Butter Fudge Mash.

Don't Go Nuts Nut Free Foods
Non-GMO soy butters in five flavors were created especially for people with peanut and tree-nut allergies and are made in a facility that has never processed nuts. They are certified organic and are peanut and tree-nut free. The five flavors are Chocolate, Cinnamon Sugar, Lightly Sea Salted, Pure Unsalted, Slightly Sweet. Vegans who avoid Nutella because it contains dairy may want to dip into the rich-tasting Chocolate Soy Butter.

Maggie's Conscious Vegan Cuisine
Chef Maggie Radzwiller has developed some natural plant-powerful meals and packed them into quart containers to serve generous portions to 4 people. Her 6 flavors passed our taste test with flying colors, especially the Very Good for You Korma, the Green Life, and Super Saag. They're also gluten and oil-free and low in sodium.

Dang Toasted Coconut Chips
One of the dominant food trends in Expo West 2013 was the marketing of coconut water. Many companies dove into this pool to market this beverage. What attracted us was the effort to use the coconut to create irresistibly tasty chips. This company lived up to their motto: "Dang, That's Good"

Food for Life Vegan Meats
Food for Life's Ezekial 4:9 Sprouted Whole Grain Bread is on top of our bread list. We didn't realize the company was into fake meats until we sampled them at the Expo. Wow! These were taste sensations. We enjoyed all three: Cluckphrey Baked Vegan Nuggets, Cluckphrey Baked Vegan Patties, and Moophrey Baked Vegan Burgers. We even love the clever names.

Qrunch Quinoa Burgers
This burger is designed for people with a host of food sensitivities and allergies. With quinoa as its base, the burger combines good health and good taste. In addition to the Original, it comes in three other flavors: Spicy Italian, Sweet Curry, and Green Chili. We loved the Spicy Italian.

Freekeh Foods Organic, Cracked, Toasted Green Wheat
This ancient grain, a variety of wheat from the Middle East, goes back almost 2000 years, but now it's grown in the US. We cooked up some of the Original in minutes and found it tasted even better than rice. Freekeh is also available in Tamari and Rosemary Sage flavors.

Beyond Meat Chicken-Free Strips
What a surprise! These strips look, feel, and taste like chicken--without the cluck. These high protein wonders can be purchased in packages labeled Grilled, Southwest, or Lightly Seasoned. We crossed the road to sample and enjoy the Southwest.

Asherah's Gourmet Vegan Burgers
These quinoa-based burgers are devoid of the 10 top food allergens, and taste great, especially the spicy Chipotle flavor. If you're not into spicy, you could chomp on the Original.

Sophie's Kitchen
Something fishy is going on in Sophie's Kitchen--exceptionally flavorful vegan versions of crab cakes, scallops, fish filets, calamari, shrimp, fishless sticks, coconut shrimp, and smoked salmon. The Crab Cakes and Smoked Salmon were worth writing home about.

Daiya Cheese Wedges
The Daiya Jalapeno Garlic Havarti is such a wow that vegetarians might go vegan after tasting it. The other two Wedges, Cheddar and Jack, are almost as tasty. Daiya has burst forth with more cheesy items--pizzas, cream cheeses, slices, and shreds in addition to their Wedges.


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