New in allergen free

Last Saturday Verdelicias had a lot of fun trying and testing delicious new products in the Now We’re Cookin’ kitchen in Evanston. Their allergen friendly tasting panel with Chicago bloggers showcased vegan, vegetarian and gluten free foods that are conveniently easy to cook or take along.

Allergen free or allergen safe is a category that has increasingly become popular in the US market as allergy incidences continue to grow. An estimated 15 million people have some kind of food allergy according to Food Allergy Research and Education. Food allergies have grown over 18.5% over the past decade among adults, and approximately 50% between 1997 and 2011 among children.

That means we need more food alternatives that leave out allergens like milk, eggs, peanuts, fish, shellfish, soy and wheat. Our moderator Natalie introduced us to a variety of delicious options from Kitchfix, Bearded Brothers, D-Ology and Modern Table Meals, brands that continue to lead in the allergen friendly space. 

Kitchfix is a Chicago-based company that specializes in ready-to-eat, chef-crafted meals made with nutrient dense, locally sourced gluten free and dairy-free ingredients. They have a lot of healthy options right on their Website.

During the tasting, we tried their wholesome dairy-free yogurt parfait made with cashews and complemented with tasty paleo granola and strawberries. It tasted just like cheesecake. Rich and creamy. Their wheat-free paleo granola is slowly roasted in coconut oil and made with a blend of nuts, seeds and grain free ingredients. Very delicious. 

Then, we tried the energy bars from Bearded Brothers, an Austin-based company specialized in wholesome organic snacks. Their bars are raw, non-GMO, vegan, gluten and soy free. Their packaging is also compostable. My favorite one during the tasting was their kale and orange bar, and their chocolate bar. A great after-workout snack. 

Modern Table Meals provided samples of their convenient protein-rich, bean-based pasta meals. These can be put together in 15 minutes and come in Mediterranean, Italian, Teriyaki and Southwest flavor combinations. The company focuses on bringing easy, healthy and tasty meals to busy homes. All meals are GMO-free and made without artificial colors or preservatives.

Their teriyaki pasta was probably my favorite. Paired with a green salad, it’s not a bad option for a busy night. 

Lastly, we tried the delicious gluten free pizza crust from D-Ology, an alternative Chicago bakery that specializes in artisan gluten free and vegan pastries. The crust we tried was made with almond flour and it was pretty close to the real thing. Airy, soft and tasty. It was the best thing I tried from the panel.

Similar products will continue to pop up in the market. According to Whole Foods Magazine, the category expansion will include the development of more baking at home products, nutrient rich fortified foods and gluten free products. Dairy alternatives will also continue to be popular. 

As we get more options in the market, I hope labels will also become more clear and certifications more strict. This will certainly help add credence to the hard work of conscious companies out there. Keeping prices reasonable will help too.

1 comment:

  1. Yummy! Those Bearded Brothers bars sound delicious, well, everything you just mentioned.
    Saludos, Elba de LiveColorful.Co