Last year I reported my discoveries at the annual Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics conference where thousands of registered dietitians gather to attend workshops and lectures, and see what’s new on the food and nutrition scene. I just returned from the 2013 conference and wanted to share what stood out for me in the Expo Hall, where food companies far and wide come to show off their wares.
Sized Just Right — Justin’s Peanut Butter is now making single-serve packets that are a more suitable size for smaller appetites. At 80 calories a pack (versus their original size, which is 180 calories), it’s just the right amount — paired with a crisp apple, stack of carrot sticks, or whole grain crackers — for kids on the go.
More than Just a Snack — I carted home this colorful cookbook from the folks at the California grape booth who are full of fresh ideas to take this antioxidant-rich fruit beyond the snack bar, using it as an ingredient in everything from sandwiches to savory sides. Grape recipes coming your way.
Juicy News — It was last year that I learned Jamba Juice was launching a kid’s size (thank you very much), so I was looking forward to seeing what they’d have to offer this year. Turns out they’re getting on the juicing bandwagon with a whole line-up of made-to-order elixers including a Kale, Apple, Pineapple and Chia Seed Blend and a Cucumber, Orange, Ginger Juice.
Popcorn isn’t the Only One — I had a nice chat with the folks at Bob’s Red Mill, a company I have a bit of a crush on, and learned they’ve come out with a new line of ancient grains including sorghum. Turns out you can pop sorghum just like corn. I’m looking forward to my kids’ reaction when we have our first ”movie and SorghumPop” night.
BPA-Free (Almost) – During a conversation with a representative from Del Monte about the state of affairs with BPAs (Bisphenol A, a chemical traditionally used to line cans and considered by many to be a health hazard), she informed me that 80 percent of their canned tomatoes are now BPA-free. Progress that hopefully will continue.
New Food! — I’ve tinkered with flax seeds and chia seeds but haven’t sunk my teeth into hemp until I sampled some goodies made with hemp hearts. Yum. A real superfood, I hauled a bag from Manitoba Harvest home with me and am looking forward to playing with it in my cooking. Stay tuned.
Sport’s Drink on the Go – We’ve been on a coconut water kick for a few years now. It’s a low-calorie, refreshing, potassium-rich way to hydrate that now has a freeze-dried option. It’s not as tasty as the real deal, but might be the sort of thing to tuck in a backpack for sports events on the run.
The Old Standby – New fangled foodstuffs aside, it was the little packets of nuts the California Walnut folks were handing out that fortified me for the airplane ride home.