This weekend I went along to the Allergy and Free From Show at London’s Olympia. Since I’m really passionate about avoiding Gluten and Dairy in my diet, I was was really excited about the opportunity to taste all the products on offer, and boy there were a LOT of products. I don’t think I have ever tried so many treats in the space of the 2 hours I was there. Bit greedy really – Gemma (my wheat-free friend I went along with) and me felt a bit sick afterwards! Gluten free they may have been, but erm sugar free they weren’t – I was buzzing when we left…
It was brilliant to see so many up and coming small companies with an entrepreneurial spirit working hard to crack this ever expanding ‘free-from’ industry, and some of their products are really rather good. However it was also surprising to see the big companies, and supermarkets taking a stab at this corner of the industry. If I’m perfectly honest I’d always recommend backing the smaller companies, better tasting products by miles!
I managed to reign in my spending and just bought a couple of bits –Kara Coconut Milk , which was on offer (I also tried their chocolate flavour – yum, but containing sugar so not something I would have regularly), and my current absolute favourite dessert in the world – Camden’s Inspiral Lounge’s Raw Banoffee Creme Tart. I can hardly believe how something with such a natural ingredients list can taste so good. I’ll save it for when my appetite returns…
Other treats I tried and enjoyed were; Booja-Booja truffles and ice-cream (I’ve been a HUGE fan of these for a long time), RAW crackers and energy balls, Nakd bars (rather like mine) and Pudology dairy free puds including a rather intriguing chocolate mouse made from coconut milk. Plus a whole host of other things that in a sugar daze can’t remember now! There was also plenty of gluten free bread, which I’m not personally a fan of. In my opinion it just doesn’t compare to real bread, so I’d rather not bother since it is usually filled with so much processed rubbish to get the right texture it kind of avoids the point of being healthy.
It was also great to see some of the recipes I’d submitted on the recipe exchange wall!
I hadn’t realised before hand that there would be beauty products there too – bonus!. Since I’ve recently moved towards using SLS (Sodium Laureth Sulfate) and Paraben free products it was great to have the opportunity to try out some more at the show. For the last few months I’ve been using a great facial cleanser by SUKIN which I randomly found in a heath food shop and bought because I like the packaging, it run out about 2 days ago, and I was well chuffed to stumble across their stall at the fair. I stocked up and also treated myself to an exfoliating cleanser – Amazing! A great Australian brand which I hope to see more of in UK shops soon. I also bought a tingly new tea-tree lip balm from Heavenly Organics Skin Care – luscious lips for me 🙂
As there was so much to take in I went a bit leaflet mad (clearly all that chocolate cake had got to my brain) so I could look things up when I got home….
I’d definitely go again next year, and want to thank the lovely people that run the show for the free tickets!