Last weekend I had the honor of being a part of the inaugural Greensboro, NC Gluten & Allergen Free Wellness Event! It was a great event and I am already looking forward to seeing it grow from year to year.
Norm's Farm is a local (Pittsboro) farm that grows and produces Elderberry products. I was first introduced to their elderberry last year at the Raleigh GAFWE and have since made it a staple in my medicine cabinet. Well, finally a year later I am happy to announce that we now carry Norm's Farm elderberry extract and wellness syrup! If your immune system is in need of a boost this flu season, be sure to keep us in mind (and support a local business instead of Whole Paycheck!).
Not only is Mina's stuff gluten free, but much of it is vegan, too! This is great for those of us who can't do eggs or dairy. I got the chance to taste their chocolate cake mix and it was amazing. Luckily, we managed to buy one of the only bags they had at the show. This will come in handy next time we have a birthday and need to make a cake!
Oh, and I got to meet THE Mina!
Aleia's Gluten Free
Aleia's came down from Connecticut for the show and had all sorts of goodies in-tow. I didn't go too wild trying stuff (although part of me regrets that now!), but I did get to try their to-die-for almond horns! We got a few more of their things to try at home, too.
No allergen-free weekend is complete without Enjoy Life, right? Kathleen and I met at the speaker and blogger's dinner the night before the Raleigh event last month, and I was delighted to see her again this weekend. Some of the creative uses for their Plentil chips will boggle your mind (chicken fingers?), and of course their stuff tastes good all on it's own, too.
Closing comments about the show [and all of the products I just told you about]:
Okay, guys, it might be a bummer, but I have to say what we all know deep in our hearts. Yes, gluten free (and everything else-free) culinary technology is advancing every day, which means more yummy treats for us... Just keep in mind that they should treated as such- treats. I am in no way recommending that you eat these things on a regular basis.
However, I think there is incredible value to having some sense of normalcy in your life. It can be hard avoiding gluten/dairy/soy/corn/eggs/whatever, especially on the days that you fully wrap your head around the fact that food sensitivities and allergies are a forever thing. Forever is a long time to think you'll never eat a decent piece of cake, cookie, or bread again, and I get that. That's why I openly share some of my favorite treats with you. Eat healthy most of the time, but on the days you have occasion to eat cake or a cookie, don't freak out about it- just enjoy it.