When spring is in the air (or wishful thinking on my part), increasing numbers of Montreal and Quebec City foodies rush the Healthy Eating and Green Living Salon. Not surprising since visitors are treated to an impressive array of exhibitors presenting leading-edge green products and a vast program of activities for every taste:
• cooking demos from anti-inflammation cooking to making kombucha at home, the rituals of tea, raw foods, spices, Thermomix (boy do I dream of owning one!), etc.;
• expert conferences from nutritionists to chefs and local celibrities who care about healthy eating like Sylvie Fréchette, Bob le Chef, Gabrielle Destroimaisons, Laure Waridel and Joël Legendre;
• live healthy cooking amateur competition and taste education workshops for kids by Jeunes pousses;
• and much, much more!
What I also like about Expo Manger Santé is that, every year, manufacturers use the opportunity to launch new products before they hit supermarkets or fine boutiques. This year, for example, Première Moisson bakery will introduce its new organic emmer wheat bread. Emmer wheat, which I’d never even heard about, is an ancient grain that was recently rediscovered and that will be cultivated in Quebec for the first time in 2014. The 100% Ancestral Emmer bread will be sold in all Première Moisson bakeries starting March 22nd, for a limited time only. Better not delay.
In the last few months, several of the Expo’s exhibitors have sent me product samples to try. Some were convincing, others less so, to each his own. Here’s three I really liked, that you will find both at the Expo and your favourite supermarket with any luck (note that Sol Cuisine has withdrawn from the Salon since). Good eats and happy visit!
Made from natural ingredients and 11% m.f. buttermilk, Krema yoghurt was an instant favourite with my family. Yep, it’s rich, but it fills and satisfies so you don’t have to eat a lot of it at a time. Perfect for making parfaits, with yoghurt, granola and fruit layers. The vanilla yoghurt proved the most popular with everyone, although it usually isn’t my personal choice of flavour.
Product: Krema Regular or Organic
Where: Healthfood stores for the organic line, supermarkets for the regular
Price: $3.99 for the 500 g regular yoghurt
Plain and simple, I’ve never tasted such a rich, convincing hot chocolate “powder”! With its dark, intense cocoa taste, this organic fair-trade product uses brown sugar cane and skim milk. It had everyone pretty much swooning. Let’s just say I know many neighouring kids who dived into a rich cuppa after a winter afternoon spent igloo-building.
Product: Fair-trade Camino Hot Chocolate Powder
Where: Healthfood stores, supermarkets and through Camino’s website
Price: $7.99 for 300 g
These vegan burgers made with grains and vegetables provide a quick healthy lunch on the run. They’re not trying to micmic meat like faux-meat does (a concept I personally hate, either you eat real meat or don’t, please stand by your choice); their burgers taste like vegetables, grains and spices, with no apology needed. In a bread bun topped with crunchy veggies, they provide a tasty, filling, healthy meal. I’m in.
Product: Sol Cuisine Vegan Organic Burgers
Where: In supermarkets (you’ll find a store locator on the website)
Price: $5.77 for a package of 4 burgers
* Photographs courtesy of featured manufacturers