Going into a health food store is daunting -- even for me. There is just so much stuff, so many labels, so many claims.
Multiply that by a hundred and that is what the annual Canadian Health Food Association's Trade Show is like.
I go every year in the hopes of discovering new and amazing things that I can introduce into my kitchen and of course, to you. This year was no different. Coconut, quinoa and chia seemed to be the trendy ingredients of choice in just about everything.
Out of the loads of products I taste tested, reps that I chatted with, and packaging I scrutinized, a few products stood out from the bunch that I think you need to start loving all over. If you can't get these online or at your local health food store, than start asking for them. Most health food stores are small enough that if there is demand for something, they will get it for you.
New Snack Of Choice: Seas Snax
These are so simple and so amazing. Take some seaweed, toss it in olive oil and sea salt and bake. Or try these ones. Though at first, seaweed may seem like a weird snack -- as you know, I am a lover of dulse. As a snack, sea weed is all kinds of perfect. Rich in thyroid-loving iodine and loads of other minerals it will alkaline you, mineralize you and beat down your potato chip cravings. They also had a "sprinkles" version that was lightly sweetened with Agave and which I enhaled on the way home covering myself in seaweed. Charming, I know.
Fave Canadian Brand: Prana
I have been a long time lover of Prana ever since I first met and fell in love with their Maple Nuts and have since fallen in love with their amazing fresh and clean super foods including my newest love -- white Mulberries. Their sesame snacks are addictive and you have to love a company that sends out Nut Sacks as a holiday gift.
Best New Packaging of an Old Favourite: Tie between Giddy Yoyo and Solar Raw's Ultimate Kale Chips
These are two top, top, top quality companies that have a lot in common. Their products are pure amazingness and made with loads of love and pure, clean and fresh ingredients. Giddy Yoyo makes amazing raw chocolate bars and now has a great line of superfoods too. My fave from them has to be their new chaga bar and chaga tinctures. Love that they are making this wildcrafted medicine so accessible.
Solar Raw's kale chips are like none other. Always super fresh and so good and throughout the harvest months, their kale comes directly off their own farm in Ontario. They also happen to be the amazing people who supplied me with 30 kale plants to use as decoration/snacks at my wedding.
Best Breakfast For People On The Moon: Holy Crap
A favourite across Canada since their appearance and '"real" on Dragon's Den, Holy Crap is reaching for the stars -- literally. The product is simple: chia seeds, hemp seeds, buckwheat mixed with some dried fruits making this clean, simple and one of the best easy snacks to take travelling. And they're going to the moon. The Canadian Space Agency has selected Holy Crap to accompany Canadian Astronaut and Mission 35 Commander Chris Hadfield on the December space mission to the International Space Station. Better than freeze-dried ice cream for sure.
Most Addictive Snack: enerjiVe's Quinoa Skinny Crackers
These cracker snacks are crunchy addiction. Just crunchy, salty and flavourful enough to make you want to eat a lot. The box says "skinny" but I don't know how that works when you kind of can't help but eat the whole box. They come in a bunch of flavours but I was all over the savoury ones.
Most Innovative + Transparent: One Degree Organic Foods
I love when companies combine new technologies with traditional values. One Degree Organic Foods makes bread, which doesn't sound all that exciting but here's the awesome factor: each load of bread has a QR code right on the front. When you scan it, you go to the product page where you can select each ingredient in that bread and see a video with the farmer who grew and harvested that ingredient. Super cool, right? A whole new way for us to know who is growing our food.
Top Find For My Kitchen: Three Farm's Camelina Oil
I had never even heard of Camelina Oil before. And now I am in love. I met one of the farmer's daughters and she was lovely. The oil has a flavour and colour similar to that flax and is also super high in omega 3. It is also really high in vitamin E which raises its smoke point, making it safe for cooking. I have used the oil in my cooking already and look forward to getting more of this into my kitchen. Definitely a great product to check out.
If you have tried any of these, please let me know what you think.
Follow Meghan Telpner on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@meghantelpner