Posts Tagged ‘Brookside Chocolate’

On the first official day of the 5th Annual International Food Blogger Conference (IFBC), Grocery presented 16 different food products for all the attendees to try as our first official activity. Complemented with a representative from each company to speak about the company and their products, this rapid-fire session allowed all attendees to sample the products while learning about the product, company, and the movement to better eating. Most of these products followed similar traits – vegan, gluten-free, no sugar, not fat, or any combination of these and more.

First, we tried an all-natural strawberry fruit strip from Stretch Island Fruit Co. This strip of puréed fruit (middle row, second from left) comes with half a serving of fruit in each strip, and has no added sugar. This vegan and gluten-free snack goes great in a child’s lunch box.

Second, we sampled a chocolate truffle from Lindt (ball under the jar). Pro Tip: how to use a Lindt truffle – when you brew your cup of coffee in the morning, place a Lindt truffle in your coffee mug before brewing for a chocolate-inufsed coffee.

Next, we received a bag of Annie’s Homegrown Organic Fruit Snacks (middle row, left). Launching in 2008, these fruit snacks have become one of the nation’s top vegan & gluten-free fruit snacks. Consumers can find these fruit snacks commonly at most Costco warehouses.

We now get to try the biggest bag from Sahale Snacks (above the jar). Founded ten years ago based on a backpack, the founders created these gluten-free products with a focus on fresh flavors. Unique to this product, they store the seasoning in a small jar attached to the main bag. The bag contained pecans, walnuts, and cherries, while a pouch attached to the bag contained cinnamon.

Bumblebar presented their JunoBar snack next (middle row, right). I rolled the lucky bad and received my favorite flavor, Peanut Butter. This gluten-free and dairy-free fiber bar makes for a great between-meal snack, and it also does not taste as dry as other conventional fiber bars.

Brookside Chocolate brought their Dark Chocolate-covered Açaí & Blueberries (top left). They combine dark chocolate with unique fruits to create wonderful pairings. Due to the nature of their factory, these may contain gluten, so this did not get gluten-free certification.

Navitas Naturals brings superfoods from around the world together to create tasty vegan gluten-free organic snacks, such as the Dragon Fruit snacks (magenta bag). These fruit slices simply get sliced and dried with no added ingredients other than what already comes on the fruit.

Manuka Doctor delivered a dosage of a Bio Active 10+ Manuka Honey. This jar of honey from New Zealand contains antioxidants and other natural healthy minerals, like peroxide. Starting off thick and crystallized, this honey goes great as a sugar or syrup substitute, such as in coffee or french toast.

Moving on, Happy Family presented their Happy Squeeze Fruit & Veggie Twist (bottom right). This all-organic company started on Mother’s Day in 2006 making baby foods. Since then, they have expanded to include products for adults as well, delivering optimal nutrition to everyone. These gluten-free juice twists contain a half cup of fruit, providing 150% of your daily Vitamin C. It also makes a decent topping, as it comes out like applesauce.

Following Happy Family, we heard a presentation from YumEarth Organics Fruit Snacks (top right). The fruit snacks have almost every healthy label: organic, gluten-free, fat free, soy free, dairy free, peanut free, vegan, and no artificial dyes.

Found in the mid-90’s, Scharffen Berger, now owned by Hershey’s, uses certified cacao to craft gourmet dark chocolate bars. This single-origin bar uses ingredients from San Juan De Cheni in Peru to create a bold dark chocolate bar with hints of fruits like pineapple, citrus, banana, and cherry.

Moving on to the drinks, Zico Coconut Water delivered refreshment to us in the forms of natural, chocolate, or latté coconut water. With zero fat, zero added sugar, zero gluten, and kosher-certified, coconut water makes for a terrific hydration alternative to water, providing essential vitamins and minerals vital to the active lifestyle. The chocolate flavor tastes like chocolate milk, while the latté tasted slightly watered down.

Drink Chia presented their background prior to us opening the bottle to drink it. This company originated after a running event, where a need arose for drinks without all the added sugar. This drink contains organic chia seeds and contains plenty of omega 3s, vitamins, and minerals, all without gluten.

Fever Tree presented a glass bottle of Ginger Beer. Using three natural types of ginger from India, Africa, and the Ivory Coast combined with lemons from Sicily, this ginger beer comes with a light spicy and works extremely well as a mixer in cocktails.

Juice drink manufacturer Bai served us their Bai5 superfruit-infused beverage. Using the shell of standard coffee beans, this antioxidant-heavy drink comes with intense nutrients without added sugar, soy, or gluten. It contains only 5 calories and 1 gram of sugar, but tastes very sweet thanks to the stevia used to sweeten this drink. It has 35mg of caffeine, so keep that in mind when consuming this drink.

Our last presenter came from Suja Juice, serving us a bottle of their 3-day Cleanse. Certified organic, non-GMO, gluten-free, dairy-free, soy-free, and kosher-ready, this green juice starts off tasting like typical greens, but finishes with a fruity aftertaste.

This session barely scratches the surface of this year’s conference. Expect to see more coverage in the next few days!