Today, my mom and I traveled to Nashville, Tennessee for a Gluten and Allergen Free Wellness Event. My mom was there to blog about the event, and I was there to consume as many free samples as possible. With over twenty vendors and sponsors, there was something everyone could enjoy. I loved that most vendors not only offered gluten free options, but many of them were vegan, low-sodium (which is not a perk for me but I’m sure it’s good for someone), and free of all “priority” allergens.
The best part of the day was Roots Hummus, which is locally made in small batches in Asheville, North Carolina. Marketing themselves as “the microbrew of hummus,” they have inventive flavors and are both gluten free and vegan. My favorite flavor of the day was “Thai Coconut Curry,” which I was skeptical about but wound up loving. The spinach hummus and the black bean hummus are both solid options, as is the original and oil-free original. Roots brings out the spice in their Chipotle flavor, and surprised me with a Lima Bean hummus that even I, an ardent hater of lima beans, enjoyed. Roots can be found in your local Whole Foods or Earthfare if you live in the south, and can be found in some local markets, such as Enzo’s in Chattanooga, TN.
Other highlights were Bumbalooza’s baking mixes (my mom has seriously not stopped talking about their Cookies and Cream Cake), Enjoy Life’s Plentils chips, and an awesome kale salad snack that turned me into a kale fan despite my previous ambivalence towards the green.
There were several presentations throughout the day. I attended a beginner’s guide to gluten free living by Pam from imaceliac.com. Pam was awesome! I got some great tips on what to stock in my pantry, what brands of pasta to use for different things, and where in Atlanta to buy my gluten-free wedding cake. She also recommended some seasonings to spice up bland gluten free food- let’s admit it, gluten free can get pretty boring sometimes- and sympathized with me about my mourning of decent, cheap pizza. I took notes during her presentation and can’t wait to try out some of her recipes. I’m not an excellent cook, unlike my mom, so Pam is someone whose cooking style I can get behind. She has twin two year olds, so she has neither the time nor the money to buy eight flours and two gums to make a single recipe. I’m disabled, so I love simple and delicious gluten-free recipes. Obviously, our cooking styles meshed.
I also picked up this awesome “Gluten Makes Me Sick” tee shirt. I will be wearing this for future celiac events, because seriously, how cool is that?