This year, Mario and I decided to cycle down to the Vegetarian Food Festival. It is located at the Toronto Harbour Front and takes place every year on the second week of September. My favourite thing about this festival is that it is free!!! Anyone can exhibit the different booths that are set up and sample new products. Many of the booths were raw vegan friendly and gluten-free. There were also many free workshops, cooking classes and music of many cultural genres to enjoy. Marni Wasserman, who owns a food studio and lifestyle shop in Toronto, had a booth where she was giving discounts on her cooking classes. She has excellent recipes on her website as well.
I was so glad that I went to the fair, because I sampled a few products that I feel are worthy of a positive review.
1. Jbars were absolutely delicious. They contain the correct ratio of Carbohydrates to Fat to Protein and they come in delicious flavours such as Lemon with Coconut, Goji Berries, Millet Puffs and Cocoa with toasted Quinoa, Coconut, as well as Cocoa with Goji berries, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. The Lemon with Coconut was my favourite. It tasted like a lemon poppyseed cake flavour. Justyna told us that we can find her bars in the freezer section in a variety of health food stores. I am going to buy some for sure!!!
2. Nature’s Qu makes raw vegan Quinoa Granola Cereal and Energy Bars. A complete meal replacement; these bars were absolutely satiating! The bars and cereal are protein rich and have no preservatives and no artificial flavours. They are made with gluten-free whole grains, raw nuts and seeds, and are sweetened with agave, and dried fruit. The bars were small enough to take with me on my long cycles and would definitley give me the energy and great taste that I need on the long trails!!
3. When I tried Styrian Gold Pumpkin Seed oil I thought I absolutely died and went to pumpkin seed heaven, which would be absolutely amazing indeed. If you have ever tried raw pumpkin seed butter it is pretty comparable to the taste of this oil. The pumpkin seeds for this oil comes from pumpkins that grow in Austria. The seeds have no shell and were a dark green colour, and bigger than the ones that we see here in Canada. The owners of his product have their own store in Alliston, however I was able to find the oil at Tutti Fruiti in Kensington Market. The large 500 ml bottle retails for $26 in the store, but worth every penny!! The taste of the pumpkin seeds were also much more rich than the ones here. I loved it so much that I bought a bottle and substituted it for flax seed oil in one of my recipes for kale salad. What makes this product worth the purchase is the nutrient value. Every tablespoon has 23 % iron, 48 % magnesium which is essential for cardiovascular health, as well as 85 % vitamin E among other vitamins and minerals. To top it all off it is non-GMO and Gluten Free. I’m hooked!
We left the fair just as it was ending and we realized that we had a new source of energy for our cycle back. I don’t know if we could attribute the energy to the food that we sampled or to excitement of the new food we discovered.
Variety is the spice of life. Be adventurous, try something new, and you may be surprised by the little pleasurable tastes of heaven that you will find on this planet! Stay hungry my fellow raw foodies!!