March 27, 2013

2013 Gluten Free Expo Highlights

Gluten Free seems to be taking the world by storm and yet I am always surprised to see just how popular it really is.  Whether it is a greater awareness of celiac and gluten intolerance or the gluten free diet trend, I am always excited to see how mainsteam it has become.  Perhaps this surprise element comes from having been gluten free for over 27 years and knowing that when I was first diagnosed, no one knew what gluten was or even understood that people could be allergic to such a thing.

This years Gluten Free Expo which was much larger than last year is an excellent example of just how big gluten free has become. It was a great opportunity to see what wonderful things Calgary and surrounding areas have to offer in the gluten free world.  It was like a gluten free haven for both myself, friends and my children.

My favorite part of the expo-of course-was the samples!!!  The majority of the booths were giving away a little taste of their gluten free offerings.  For those of you who were unable to attend, here are a few highlights:

Offers one of my favorite gluten free bread line-ups with no toaster needed!! They also have a variety of other delicious gluten free products such as muffins, bagels, pizza crusts, cookies and more.  MY MOST EXCITING DISCOVERY OF THE EXPO- they have developed a tortilla made of gluten free flours which seems so pliable that it will not break when folded.  This product is coming to Canada soon and I cannot wait to try it!!

Lakeview Bakery
A favorite of mine last year and again this year.  Lakeview bakery has been making gluten free products for many years and their products are leaps and bounds from where they originally started.  Their Against the Grain Bread is delicious and offers a perfect texture.  We sampled their cinnamon buns and although I am not a cinnamon bun fan, they were surprisingly not overly sweet and soft.  They also have gluten free pizza crusts, muffins, cookies, brownies and more. Their products are available through many grocery stores, specialty food stores and at their bakery.

Totally Gluten Free Bakery
I love the name of this company!!  No guess work needed-everything is gluten free.  We were delighted with the abundance of samples at this booth.  We tried the mini waffles, banana load, lemon poppy seed cake and bread.  All products were very moist and presented an indulgence for the sweet tooth!

Stella's Gluten Free Foods
This company out of Lacombe, AB offers gluten free perogies, ravioli and pizza pouches.  We were lucky enough to sample the ravioli and they were amazing.  Having been gluten free since I was 2, I have never had ravioli and was delighted to be able to try this tasty pasta.  Check out their website and facebook page for locations where products can be purchased.

Miss P's
This was my first time I had heard of this gluten free company, but I was excited to see this new gluten free product line offered out of Calgary's Farmer's Market.  The carrot cake was fluffy and their fococcia bread was super savory and soft.  I even bought a loaf to take home, definitely worth a trip to the market to check out her other products.

Pamela's Products
I may be a bit biased as I do share a name with the creator, but her products are always my go to when I need a premix for baking.  I like to use my own flour mixture at times, but if you are trying to follow a complex recipe for the first time, sometimes a premix is the best way to go.  They we giving away samples of gluten free brownie mix and I cannot wait to mix up a batch.  The product line also includes cookies and snack bars and can be bought at local grocery stores.

Judy G's Gluten Free
A long time favorite gluten free product.  Judy G's pizza crusts are thin crust and are available as plain crusts to make your own pizza or premade pizzas with flavourful toppings.  She also offers a lactose free cheese pizza!  Her company started in Calgary and the products are available in local groceries stores.

These are just a few of the wonderful exhibitors that took place in this year Gluten Free Expo, for a full list of exhibitors visit Calgary Gluten Free Expo.  Cannot wait until next year to see what future products and information the Calgary and Canadian gluten free marketplace holds.

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