Last weekend I exhibited with ChicP hummus at The Balance Festival in the Old Truman’s Brewery. I had the most amazing time and I received quite a few questions about it on social media, so I thought I’d share my Balance Festival review with you guys!
What is The Balance Festival?
The Balance Festival is a 3-day event in Brick Lane that embraces everything under the wellness scene from healthy eating, intense fitness, to calming meditation. There were multiple different rooms and these were ram packed with a huge range of different brands giving out healthy food samples, elite exercise and meditation classes, and even cooking tutorials and talks by high-profile bloggers.
I was exhibiting with ChicP Hummus so I was based at their stand but I did get loads of opportunities to really explore everything the event had to offer, not to mention some extra freebies from being an exhibitor!
What is ChicP hummus?
ChicP is an innovative hummus brand that uses surplus ‘wonky’ vegetables as a way of reducing food waste. They contain 30% vegetables so not only are they more sustainable than other hummus brands, they’re healthier too! The owner, Hannah McCollum makes all the hummus herself and her range includes a variety of different flavour combinations such as Turmeric, Ginger and Carrot (my personal favourite!).
I’ve featured ChicP on my blog before, so you can visit my Chiswick Fes-tea-val experience blog post, where I outlined the full range of flavour offerings/more info on the brand.
If you want to get your hands on this amazing hummus, you can visit their website for the full list of suppliers.
My highlights of the weekend
- Getting to try a huge range of new healthy foods
When I first arrived at the venue I was completely overwhelmed at the sight of all the healthy snacks and drink stalls- I couldn’t wait to get stuck in and try them!
There were loads of coconut based products this year from milk and yogurt alternatives, protein drinks and bars, to even raw coconut doughnuts! I absolutely fell in love with Raw Press’ raw ‘pronut’ which as the name suggests, was a protein doughnut made with dried fruit, nuts, plant protein and coconut- the rose flavoured one was amazing!
My top 10 favourite brands/products (links included):
- LOVE RAW TURMERIC CHAI LATTE DRINK – as a self proclaimed lover of chai lattes, it’s no surprise that I was obsessed with this on-the-go drink, it was packed with flavour and had a perfect balance of flavours. It also has 5 times more almonds than regular almond drinks!
- APE CRUNCHY COCONUT BITES WITH CHIA SEEDS– For me, these were everything a healthy snack should be; high in fibre, low in sugar (only 3g per serving!) and most importantly- satisfying. What’s more is that these only contain 4 simple ingredients!
- BAILEYS ALMANDE ALMOND LIQUOR (continue reading for more info!)
- FREE* SOUL STRAWBERRY PROTEIN POWDER-. What really makes this brand stand out is that they formulated their products with expert nutritionists and also fortify their powders with vitamins that their target market (young vegan women) are most at risk of being deficient in (such as iron, calcium and vitamin B12). This strawberry flavour also took me straight back to my childhood as it reminded me so much of the Angel Delight dessert my mum used to make me as a kid!
- JF RABBIT GINGER AND LIME DRINK– Who knew something so simple could taste so good. This no-nonsense drink is bursting with flavour and makes you feel re-energised instantly but has zero sugars or sweeteners making it it genuinely good for you! One serving also provides 100% of your daily vitamin C and zinc requirements (both great for the immune system)
- NUSH BANOFEE ALMOND YOGURT– The flavour and creamy texture of this yogurt was so dreamy- it wasn’t sour at all (unlike a lot of other vegan yogurts). Banoffee pie is one of my fave desserts as well so absolutely loved the flavour in a yogurt form!
- RUDE HEALTH TIGER NUT MILK– I thought I’d seen it all after Alpro brought out cashew milk, but I was wrong! Tigernut milk is perfectly sweet and creamy so I can imagine it would taste amazing in porridge! Also tigernuts aren’t actually nuts so this drink is suitable for those with nut allergies
- NATURYA SUPERSEED BAR– I can’t get enough of this Naturya bar; it’s packed with such high quality natural ingredients making it a great source of over 7 different minerals and vitamins. All their bars are so much lower in sugar than others available on the market, making it a great on-the-go snack option. I ‘ve featured Naturya bars before in a previous post so follow the link for more info about their bars.
- STRONG ROOTS GARLIC ROASTED SWEET POTATO– I came across this brand in the supermarkets in Dublin and was so happy to see that they’re now available in England! This frozen food company makes Veganism easy and convenient; the sweet potatoes were so crispy yet soft on the inside- I couldn’t believe these were from frozen! They also do frozen avocado halves, meaning that you can defrost them as and when you need them making brown avocados a thing of the past!
- CHICP HERBY HUMMUS- This list would not be complete without ChicP featuring! This hummus flavour is so different to any other brands that I’ve tasted before (and trust me that’s a lot!). The look and taste of it kind of reminds me of pesto which is great because it would taste great in a pasta sauce (which is an easy way to add some plant based protein to your meal!)
- Putting my fitness level to the test with intense HIIT fitness classes!
On the rare occasions when I wasn’t eating, I ventured out to try out some new exercise classes run by professional trainers. I tried out both UNIT1 and Barry’s Bootcamp and these were so intense but felt SO GOOD afterwards.
As I was exhibiting at the Balance Festival with ChicP, I managed to do these classes for free, but even still these were only around £6 for the general public which is a bargain anyway considering these classes are usually over £25 a session!
- Meeting other people who love food and fitness as much as I do!
The whole festival was buzzing with energy due to it being packed with fitness fanatics and enthusiastic foodies. It was so lovely talking to people at the ChicP stall who were passionate about great tasting food from an ethical and sustainable source too.
I also managed to bump into blogger and dietitian Nichola Ludlam-Raine (Nic’s Nutrition) who I have been following on social media since I was about 15! She also held a cooking session too where she shared her favourite snack recipes using walnuts.
- Tasting Baileys Almande Vegan Chocolate Shop
I never really liked Baileys so I was a bit skeptical before trying Baileys Almond Milk edition, but this completely blew me away- this vegan version is so much better than the original!
Baileys had a really cute set up for their stall as they decorated their wall with pretty flowers and leaves. They were also selling vegan treats and cocktails/milkshakes using Baileys Almande which looked amazing! I was so tempted to get one but decided it probably wasn’t the best idea to have a cocktail just before my next exercise class!
This was such an amazing day as it was so insightful in terms of what the future holds for healthy snacking! I definitely recommend grabbing a ticket for The Balance Festival next year- you won’t be disappointed!
Hope you guys enjoyed reading my Balance Festival review, if you have any questions about the festival or any of the products/brands that I featured leave them in the comments section below!