Celiac Disease Foundation National Expo: Favorite Gluten-Free Products

Almost 3,000 people joined me at the Celiac Disease Foundation’s National Conference and Expo, where over 100 vendors showed off their gluten-free products. You can check out Go Gluten Freely’s review of the educational sessions, but this post is devoted to some of Go Gluten Freely’s expo favorites.

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Disclosure: I received a media pass from the Celiac Disease Foundation to attend and review the Conference and Expo. Product samples were given to all attendees. While I love the g-free swag, the honest opinions on Go Gluten Freely are always my own, whether products are free or purchased.

With the gluten-free market bursting at the seams, both in supply and demand, it is exciting to discover new celiac-safe finds. My top two expo categories are gluten-free replacements for those gluten-filled products that I miss and crave and gluten-free healthful options to balance out our new way of eating. You’ll see both in my CDF Expo highlights:

Snack Out Loud caught my attention with the packaging on its Power Puffs, perfect for a Super Hero party. The second thing I noticed was the passion behind the team running the booth. They are proud of their bean-based products: full of protein, complex carbs, fiber, and vitamins often lacking in the celiac diet (pre and post-diagnosis). Snack Out Loud’s Crunchy Bean Snacks (available in flavors like ranch and tomato basil) have 7g of fiber, and 7g of protein (and half the fat and calories of almonds) in a serving. This is a win for the nutrient-hungry celiac. I added some Crunchy Bean Snacks to a salad (loved it!) before Miss E finished off the bag.  If you’ve been reading a while, Miss E running off with my samples is a recurring theme. The Power Puffs in the cool bags are yummy (white cheddar was my personal favorite)… similar to puffed Cheetos, but with a heartier texture and actual nutrients.
Mia’s Kitchen Kale Pasta Sauce
I am notorious for adding green stuff to my pasta sauces and smoothies, so the name on this sauce made me stop and sample. Kale was number three on the ingredient list, right after California tomatoes and tomato puree. The taste was delicious and pasta is a staple in our house, so I purchased two jars to take home. They are already gone. I wish I had grabbed more!

Bisogno Pasta is a gluten-free artisan pasta that is in its own class of gluten-free pasta, which until recently were limited to decent-counterfeits but nutritiously-deficient corn and rice pasta. The top ingredients in the pasta sampled at the expo were: pea flour, garbanzo bean flour, and split moong bean powder… with additional flavors like beets or spinach, depending on the pasta variety. Bisogno Pasta has the freshness of homemade pasta and heats up in just a few minutes. The pea flour flavor was distinct, so I would not consider this a clone of wheat pasta if you are looking for an exact replacement. It is, however, a healthful and attractive, fresh, artisan pasta alternative…. also vegan, non-GMO, and high in protein. I put this one together with Mia’s Kitchen Kale Pasta Sauce and it passed the kid test.

Saying I discovered Schar at the CDF National Conference would be akin to saying I discovered Coke while attending a Soda Conference. Schar is a household name in the gluten-free world, and they provide amazing substitutes for our pre-gluten-free-life favorites. While the Schar products I most love are in the “use moderation” category, Schar gets bonus points because of its dedication to providing celiac-safe products and its emphasis on consumer education. The Schar booth at the expo provided practical handouts regarding a balanced gluten-free diet and (my favorite) gluten-free snacks for kids. So with the disclaimer that my Schar favorites are definitely treats, it offers some of the best gluten-free alternatives to timeless gluten goodies. It may be true that I ate way too many of Schar’s as-good-as-the-real-thing Vanilla Wafers. It may also be true that Miss E didn’t get any. It may also be true that I hid the package from my family and was only stopped from eating all of the wafers myself because my husband found my stash. They also make yummy gluten-free graham crackers, which I recently picked up for Miss E to make s’mores on an upcoming camping trip. The entire family went to town on the Chocolate Hazelnut Bars, which taste like a dressed-up kit-kat bar with a nod to Europe’s Nutella from the hazelnut flavor.


So Delicious Dairy Free Chocolate Coconut Milk
I won this carton of Chocolate Coconut Milk at the So Delicious booth and decided to use it in a recently discovered energy snack: Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding! For this lazy chef, it doesn’t get easier… check out the “recipe” (if you can call it that) in The Gluten Free Girls’ recent blog post:  Nutrient-Packed Chocolate Chia.  The pudding is rich and full of protein and Omega 3s. I’ve tried multiple varieties of chocolate coconut and almond milk in this recipe, and So Delicious’ chocolate coconut is my favorite for its richness. The SoDe folks were also offering samples of their strawberry bars at the booth. At 80 calories a bar, all I can say is Yum!


Crab Classic, Lobster Classic and Seafood Snackers
Lovers of California rolls, rejoice! I am not a sushi eater, so take this as second-hand information from some very happy sushi fans. Imitation crab used in California rolls is typically bound with wheat starch, but Trans-Ocean Crab Classic uses corn starch and tapioca starch, solving a major problem for gluten-free sushi lovers. I took home a sample of the seafood snackers, which both kiddos enjoyed. They contain an impressive 100 mg of EPA and DHA Omega-3 per serving, beating out the kids’ “high-risk-of-cavities” DHA gummy vitamins which contain only 32 mg.

What happens when someone with celiac disease marries a chef? Feel Good Foods!… gluten-free Asian food. The pork dumplings are perfect! They also have a full line of other Asian favorite meals and egg rolls, which have quickly become favorites in our house.


Hugo Naturals has a number of gluten-free personal care products, but it was the gluten-free nail polish that drew me to the booth. Miss E is a fan of all things girly, especially nail polish. Those packs of sparkly, Disney princess, nail polish are just not to be trusted on the fingernails of a four-year-old with celiac disease. They may very well be gluten-free, but my emails and calls have fallen into a black hole somewhere in China. Now, thanks to Hugo Naturals, Miss E does not have to limit nail polish to her toes.


Gluten-free sprinkles are my nemesis. I found some on amazon that would cost me my firstborn. At Christmas, I crushed up candy canes for sugar cookie sprinkles, and for our first gluten-free birthday party, I used gluten-free food coloring to dye sugar. Thrilled with the latter solution, Color Garden caught my attention. A gluten-free food coloring that is 100% plant-based. No weird #s before the color names. No strange chemicals. Just natural food coloring. According to Color Garden, these dyes do not stain… good news for your kids’ clothes, bad news for your Easter eggs. They are working on the Easter egg bit. Meanwhile, these are perfect for gluten-free and chemical-free dying of cupcakes, frosting, and sprinkles!

gift package including two champagne glasses and Glutino packaged treats, two flyers in front with a smiling couple advertising Gluten Free Singles
Gluten-free Singles
I am not in the market for a gluten-free man, but in case you are… you’re welcome! My gluten-eating hubby accommodates my celiac disease with no complaints.Go Gluten Freely is always on the hunt for new celiac-safe products. Join our newsletter for updates on gluten-free living and any our latest gluten-free finds!



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