‘Try a gluten-free treat!’ the man at the market stall called out to a woman with flowers in her arms. She smiled tightly, ‘No thanks.’
‘You shouldn’t say that!’ I teased him. ‘If you had said that to me I would have said no too.’
The man behind the trestle table smiled. ‘You’d be surprised how many people that attracts.’
He’s probably right. Here in Vancouver, the gluten-free kick is huge, however much it turns me off. My mother-in-law had handed me a little dark brown nugget, covered in coconut, only minutes before. I had popped it in my mouth before hearing the dreaded ‘gluten-free’ words, but by then, I was already intrigued.
Lifebites are chunks of dehydrated banana coated in dark chocolate, and then rolled in either unsweetened coconut or hemp hearts. They are chewy, nicely sweet and moreish. They sound worthy (dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan), but don’t taste like it. In fact, at 13g of sugar, 120 calories and 6g of fibre (!) for 9-10 pieces, they are down right saintly. It’s worth saying that 9-10 pieces is quite a lot, as the dark chocolate and the chewiness go a long way to satisfying a sweet tooth. I felt fine handing over a few to Elliot as well, who shoved them in his mouth and held out his hands for more. Success there, then.
Made locally in North Vancouver, Lifebites come in little brown paper bags – at the market stall they were 2 for $12. So in the price range of most other healthfood store treats. This one has the locally made aspect going for it, as well as the challenge factor. I’m confident I can whip up most little oatmeal-raisin bite things you can get in a bag, but I’m not so sure I can re-create the dehydrated banana-chocolate thing. It’s a bit Heston Blumenthal.
At the moment, they’re available at a few health food shops in North Vancouver and Vancouver, and a few of the markets. Check out their site for details.