No matter what your food preferences, allergies or sensitivities, you’ll find something yummy to nosh on at this weekend’s EAT Vancouver, currently running through until Sunday evening at BC Place.
I went through the show yesterday, and my focus was looking for new vegan and gluten-free foods. Check out some of my great discoveries!
The Soup Factory is a mom-and-pop business based out of Prince George, and they sell healthy, delicious pre-packaged soup. They have no added sugars, are low in sodium, high in protein and fibre, and they have a lot of gluten-free options that are made with ether rice, beans or rice-flour pasta.
I only had Luna and Larry’s Coconut Bliss bars for the first time last year, and it was love at first bite. If you’re vegan, ice cream is something you probably miss. Yeah, there are soy-based “ice creams,” but they sometimes include dodgy ingredients, and some people are allergic to soy. What I love about Larry and Luna’s Coconut Bliss is that they are all natural: just coconut milk, agave to sweeten, and then flavouring. This year, they’ve come up with tons of amazing new flavours, like Mocha Maca Crunch, Salted Caramel and Chocolate, and Strawberry. The best part of Coconut Bliss? It’s vegan, dairy-, soy- and gluten-free, but it still has that wonderful, creamy mouth-feel. You gotta get some!
WestPoint Naturals offer a whole line of gluten-free flours and baking ingredients. Best part: you can buy them at the show for the ultra-cheap price of $3 each. For those of you with kids (or for your inner kid), they also feature gluten-free gummy bears.
Speaking of gluten-free flour, check out Westin Bakery’s brand-new All But Gluten line. It includes bread, rasin bread, a rosemary Focaccia, carrot morning-glory muffins, and, joy of joys, pizza shells! Load one of those up with Daiya cheese and your favorite veggies, and have a vegan pizza party!
Caramel. It’s one of those techniques that is more akin to science than to cooking. Making caramel with dairy, butter and cream, is challenging enough, let alone attempting to make something delicious without those important ingredients. Well, after a lot of ruined batches, the two ladies behind In the Oven Caramels, Erica and Sami, finally came up with the perfect recipe for vegan caramel. They chose Vancouver to start up their business specifically because of our vegan-friendly culture, and believe that they have the only vegan caramel company in Canada. Yeah! Go, Vancouver!
One thing many people aren’t aware of when it comes to gluten-free living is how many sauces contain wheat. soy sauce and vinegars, which are the basis of other sauces like ketchup and BBQ sauce, make many every-day sauces inedible to Celiacs. Check out Honey Bunny’s line of gluten-free, organic ketchups and BBQ sauces. Sweetened with their own honey, they are made with rice vinegar, and gluten-free. And, if you, like me, have a kid who slathers everything with a layer of ketchup, you’ll feel much better about feeding them this than the high-fructose version.
Did you know Pez was gluten-free? Okay, so maybe it’s not healthy, but it sure wins the nostalgia-factor!
These are just some of the gluten-free and vegan options at this year’s EAT Vancouver. There’s tons more stuff in store, including gluten-free cooking classes, celebrity chefs and samples from Vancouver’s tops restaurants. Get down to BC Place this weekend and check out all the gluten-free goodness for yourself.
Saturday: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Sunday: 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.
For information, tickets and schedules, visit: www.eat-vancouver.com.
Rebecca Coleman is a blogger, teacher and social media marketing strategist. She runs a recipe blog, Cooking by Laptop, and loves to experiment in the kitchen. She blogs at Vancity Buzz about restrictive diets. Connect with Rebecca on Twitter @rebeccacoleman.