As those of you who follow me on Instagram know, last week I went to Austin, Tx to attend Paleof(x)—a conference covering all things health, nutrition, fitness, and wellness. One of my favorite things about the conference is checking out the yummy, unique healthy food products at the Expo. I am always excited to find cooking and snack options from smaller producers—hard working individuals, friends, and families—that make my life easier and get their flavor from high quality ingredients, not additives I can’t pronounce and which leave me feeling meh.
The following are my totally not sponsored fave healthy food finds. Why should you trust my recs when there are thousands of people in the blogosphere hawking all sorts of stuff? Because, when it comes to food, having grown up in NYC, I have good taste. Really good taste. Many of my friends ask me for restaurant recs and will often order the exact same thing as me because I usually hit it on the head. Over the past two years I’ve made several product suggestions to a local major grocery store chain and it has added the products to their inventory and kept them. As a five year old, I refused to eat grocery store cookies because I preferred freshly baked ones from the Italian bakery a mere 20 blocks walk away (my parents loved that (not really)). So trust—I’m not recommending “paleo good” or “healthy good” food, I’m recommending #legitgood food (yes, I’ve decided to hashtag it).
Picnik Bottled Butter Coffee (cappuccino (pictured), mocha latte, and dirty chai flavors): This bottled option from one of the first restaurants in the US to serve butter coffee (in fact, a whole menu of them) was number one on my list of things to try and it didn’t disappoint. Have always wanted a bottled coffee I can keep in the fridge and down before an early morning workout, but the popular ones are way too heavy and sugary for my taste, as someone who generally drinks plain coffee with almond milk, no sweetener added. All three flavors in Picnik’s line are delicious and each contain 10g of whey, but the unsweetened cappuccino flavor is my favorite. It doesn’t taste buttery at all, but like an iced cappuccino with just the right amount of creaminess. Purchase online at www.picnikaustin.com .
Jilz Crackers (Tuscan and Mediterranean flavors): The original Cracked Pepper and Sea Salt flavor of these airy, crisp, seasoned but not salty crackers (made with almond flour, chia, flax seed, sesame seed, and tapioca flour) are perfect for topping with tuna salad, avocado, cheese, whatever, and these two zestier newer flavors are no different. Or you could eat a bunch as is, which is what I may or may not have done when my connecting flight home to NYC from Paleof(x) was delayed… It’s hard to describe how different these crackers are in texture and taste from anything on the market, but, as the ingredients indicate, they are way more thoughtfully seasoned than your average cracker (Mediterranean—sea salt, garlic, lemon, lavender, herbs, rosemary and basil oils; Tuscan—sea salt, Italian herbs, tomato flecks, lemon peel, rosemary oil). Purchase online or find retail locations at www.jilzglutenfree.com .
Hunter Gatherer Turmeric and Black Pepper Pili Nuts: Tried the original Coconut Oil & Himalayan Salt and Spicy Chili flavors of these light but fatty nuts for the first time over a year ago and was hooked. They are seriously so creamy they make macadamia nuts seem hard by comparison. The brand new turmeric and black pepper flavor is perfect for somebody who wants a nut to snack on that is filling but has a more complex spicy flavor profile than all the super salty dry roasted options out there. Purchase online or find retail locations at www.eatpilinuts.com .
Bonafide Provisions Drinkable Veggies: I can see this line of bone broth-based drinkable veggie soups becoming my go-to afternoon snack. The inclusion of the broth gives it a whole lot more heft than your average V8 juice, and the gourmet-like mix of veggies and seasonings makes it a whole lot more appetizing. I could not get enough of the Revitalize (spring pea, spinach, asparagus, lemon juice, fresh mint, Celtic sea salt, bone broth) (pictured above) and Revive (roasted carrots, roasted onion, fennel, lemon, Celtic sea salt, and bone broth) flavors in particular. Available starting in July 2017. Find retail locations and online purchasing options at www.bonafideprovisions.com .
Paleo Powder: This isn’t a new find per se, but one I wanted to mention again since I first posted about it on Instagram ages ago, and I learned more about this product at the Expo. This line of all-purpose seasonings I refer to as “Mrs. Dash without the junk, but with a kick,” is my secret for quickly making healthy meals during the week that I’m more than happy to eat instead of take-out. At least 3-4 times a week I just sauté whatever veggies and protein I have in the fridge in some coconut oil for a few minutes, throw some Paleo Powder Pink (a blend of Himalayan pink salt, chili powder, garlic powder, black pepper, onion powder, white pepper, cumin, cayenne pepper) on, and sauté a little longer. I do something similar 3-4 times a week for breakfast with ghee-fried eggs over some sort of veggie and I swear neither meal ever gets old. I tried the other blends at the Expo for the first time (original, the salt-free version of the original, salt-free herbed, and an autoimmune protocol compliant one) and enjoyed them all, but decided to get a supersized bottle of my tried and true. Purchase online at www.paleopowderseasoning.com .
ATX Homemade Jerky: I am not a jerky fan because they are usually too gummy, sugary sweet, and preservative packed for me. I was actually going to skip this stand at the Expo, until the owner called me over to sample their products and I ended up purchasing two large bags of the original and spicy turkey flavors because they are THAT good. Just dried, seasoned meat you can snack on or even crumble on a salad. Even my best friend, who grew up in Texas snacking on real homemade jerky and also has an aversion to the highly processed ones on the market, loved these. Full disclosure—I did not sample the beef options (original, peppered, spicy peppered, teriyaki, KC BBQ, sweet n’ spicy, plain ol’ (just salt)), but if they are anything like the turkey jerky (and they probably are), they are definitely worth a try. Purchase online at www.atxjerky.com .
Gold Nugget Ghee (plain and chocolate honey flavors): Ghee is one of my favorite cooking fats, and I’ve found that the best ghees are super yellow and so buttery sweet that you almost want to eat them straight out of the jar and skip the cooking part. This plain ghee definitely falls into that category, and I could eat ten jars worth of the chocolate honey ghee (made with wild harvested cacao from Ecuador, clover honey, and cardamom). You could use the latter for a chocolatey spin on butter coffee or for baking. Purchase online at www.goldnuggetghee.com (use discount code SLICE10 for 10% off).