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Top Picks From Portland VegFest 2015

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The 2015 Portland VegFest brought healthy eaters from across the region to the Oregon Convention Center.

The two-day event hosted industry leaders and emerging brands within the vegan and vegetarian food industry, but also showcased local non-profits, environmentally friendly organizations, and notable speakers from the vegan community.

There were lots of amazing products and organizations represented. Here are a few of my top picks from the 2015 Portland VegFest.

Hilary's Eat Well

Hilary's veggie burgers are nothing like the lumpy, brown soy patties most people are used to. They're surprisingly flavorful, and the slight crunch makes them reminiscent of latkes.

"The crispiness is really what we're going for," says the company's President and CFO Lydia Butler. "The millet is what gives it that crunch."

The burgers come in five flavors with three more set to launch next year. Hilary's also makes a gluten-free vegan stuffing for the holidays.

Better Bean Company
Beans aren't my favorite. I almost declined a sample from the company's co-founder Hannah Kullberg, but her take on refried beans was unexpected.

Better Beans come in recyclable plastic tubs instead of cans. They're slightly spicy with a smooth texture and natural seasoning. The entire line is locally sourced, non-GMO, and uses organic ingredients when possible.

Tofuna Fysh
When Zach Grossman isn't moonlighting as a battle rapper, he's promoting Tofuna Fysh, his new brand of faux tuna. The product is completely vegan and made from soy, seaweed, and jackfruit.

Grossman debuted a new fish sauce at Portland VegFest. It's made from "three kinds of organic seaweed, wasabi, and pineapple juice," and can be used on rice, noodles, and as a marinade.

People to People Ministries
People to People Ministries is a Portland non-profit that puts as much emphasis on Christian studies as it does nutritional wellness and education.

Dr. Carl Parker and the rest of the team spoke to every visitor as if they were family, and handed out free copies of their organization's magazine.

Herbivore Clothing
The terms "cool" and "vegan" aren't always synonymous, but the vegans behind Herbivore Clothing are changing that one t-shirt at a time. Their gear is popular among vegans because of the clever designs and quality materials.

Josh Hooten launched the line in 2002 after a career in graphic design. "I was looking around for a vegan t-shirt when I realized--I should just make one."

For more more info on the 2015 Portland Vegfest and a listing of all the vendors, visit the Northwest Veg website.

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