One of my favorite events of the year was on Saturday - VegFest! It takes place every March in Seattle, but I'm sure every state has one of their own (at least I hope so!). Ours is put on by Vegetarians of Washington, and is basically heaven by way of samples.
I briefly wrote about it for my weekend recap, but I wanted to write a separate post reviewing some products that are brand new to me! While this was only my second year (of many) attending, it's easy to see that there will be different trends each year. You can count on trying dozens (seriously, 12 upon 12 upon 12) of faux meats, cheeses (I tried a macadamia nut one - and it was good) and new chips or protein bars, but you never know what will fill in the cracks as the new up and coming hot items.
Last year it was healthified gluten-free options, sweet items (such as bars, cookie, etc.) made with beans, and chia seeds. Oh, and Kombucha! There was a lot of that.
This year, it was juices (for going on a juice diet), probiotic drinks and savory teas. The popular BluePrint cleanse was there, in addition to a couple other companies. There were also two juicer demonstrations, which unfortunately I didn't want to take advantage of because it would have taken me 3 years to get to the front of the line. I have pounds of soy to eat, crazy wait-in-liners.
I was really surprised to see how many Probiotic drinks there were; I would say three tables, which was three more than last year. I tried all of them, and have to say that I would not choose to drink one unless I was on anti-biotics. They were pretty flat tasting, even the one that was carbonated. However, I should also mention here that it reminded me of Kombucha, which I am not a raging fan of either. Both are fermented and have that sour taste, so if that's your bag then pro-biotics might be as well. Kevita was one of the companies, so if you feel like you need some biotics in your life, check them out.
Lastly, SAVORY TEAS. Oh my gosh. They are basically like veggie broth, but have different veggies mixed in that can get pretty strong and pretty fabulous tasting. When I first saw Millie's sign for "tomato basil tea" it threw me for a loop (literally, I walked straight away from it to find more fakey cheesy) but luckily my curious sister pulled me back.
It is really good stuff, and I guarantee you would like it if you're a fan of pho. It's just like drinking that last bit of broth, after all the noodles and veggies and flavors have hung out together in that hot bath and it has that amazing taste that is never the same as any other "last pho taste" you've ever had because all the ingredients and portions are different.
The tomato basil is killer, which I had after breakfast this morning and it soothed my slightly queezy stomach (thanks, 21 runs). I also had the broccoli cilantro flavor after lunch, which had a strong cilantro and spicy kick to it. The tomato basil won in flavor, because of both the ingredients and because the teabag lasted longer and produced a stronger taste.
I got a coupon for both Numi and Millie's Savory Teas and will have to keep you posted on what flavor I end up getting.
Oddly enough, I was all about the beverages this time around. That's not to mean that there wasn't incredible food there, but there wasn't anything that I hadn't already seen before. I've been majorly into Chai tea lately, and was hooked the second I tried this stuff:
This is the best chai I've tried in a long time, and it has way less sugar than many other brands. My stomach doesn't like the chai tea bags, so I was really happy to find a powdered version that is a quality morning beverage instead of dessert. (Quality morning beverage = not too sweet and caffeinated. BINGO.) My sister and I both got a box for $5, which I thought was a great deal.
Oh, there also were these amazing sunflower seed spreads by a company called viana. Not only were the spreads amazing, but their veggie gyros and cowgirl steaks were to die for. I'm pretty sure their table was 50% to blame for the intense full belly I had when we finally rolled to the ferry.
And that's why I gained 8 pounds this weekend. I'm sure celebrating two birthdays on Sunday had nothing to do with it. ;)
Have you tried a savory tea? What brand, and what did you think?
Are you a fake meat eater?