The year 2013 is all about new food trends and new trends in health in general. The idea of eating more vegetables and going gluten-free is now surpassed by ideas that are far more exotic and expand upon the simplistic ideas of years past, such as eating whole grains, vegetables and protein at every meal. In a world where trends set the tone from everything to clothes, hairstyles, diets, to nail color polish in a woman's life, why not follow a few healthy food trends as well. Read up on these new food trends so you can be in the loop about what to put on your plate.
1. Ancient Gluten-Free Grains
While we've been used to the idea of going gluten-free for awhile by substituting brown rice and quinoa for other gluten-grains, it is now time to turn our attention to new food trends in the grains department. Quinoa is still pretty popular due to the fact it is actually a grain-free seed that cooks like a grain. It is also rich in amino acids and protein, along with magnesium and fiber. Quinoa isn't the only grain-free seed that cooks like a grain though, and food trends are turning towards others such as amaranth, chia seeds, buckwheat and millet. Amaranth also cooks like a grain and is rich in vitamins and minerals along with protein and fiber. Other popular grains popping up in the gluten-free world are teff and sorghum. Enhance your menu with some of these new gluten-free ancient foods which are extremely healthy for you and contain absolutely zero gluten. With allergens and celiac disease on the rise, more and more people are discovering how gluten is negatively impacting their health. While you may not be allergic yourself, there's no reason to give all the wonderful gluten-free options a try, which are much higher in nutrients than gluten containing ones.
2. More than Coconut Oil
While coconut oil has been popular for several years now, there is no an expansion on this popular food trend. Coconuts are widely used by many people for different reasons, from chefs to raw foodists, to the everyday family. I'm a huge fan of coconut products myself and was happy to learn how trendy this awesome food is. Coconut flour, coconut butter and homemade coconut milk are becoming extremely popular in 2013. With grain-free baking on the rise, coconut flour is definitely making a statement by being a top ingredient in grain-free baking. Coconut oil is still popular for its popular benefits on the thyroid and metabolism, however coconut butter is becoming the new spread for toast and coconut cream is the new base for ice creams. With all the wonderful coconut options to choose from, there's no reason not to add this wonderful food to your plate. The fats in coconut oil are your best friend and you need them for a healthy metabolism and to banish blood sugar cravings. I personally love using coconut flour in all my baked muffins and pancakes. I also enjoy coconut butter spread on an ounce of dark chocolate for a real satisfying treat.
3. Vegan Wines
With veganism being a popular way of eating for many years now, the new food trend of vegan wines has taken over. There is a huge awareness that most wines available in the United States are not vegan as once thought. This is causing some alarm due to traditional wines using ingredients like animal blood, bone marrow, casein from milk protein, chitin fiber from crustaceans and egg albumen from egg whites, along with fish oil, gelatin from fish bladder membranes and more, which are used as "fining agents." These ingredients are used during the wine-making process when liquid is filtered through these substances to remove protein, yeast, cloudiness and "off" flavors and colors to produce a more pure tasting wine. Though it sounds like these ingredients are far from "pure," don't you think? With a variety of vegan wines available, this new food trend is taking storm upon restaurants and wineries across the U.S. To find a list of vegan wines you can visit this website. All other wines not listed are not vegan. I was bummed to see my favorite red not on the list myself!
4. Greens Are Considered Sexy
Yes, that's right. Your spinach and kale aren't just keeping you beautiful and slim: greens are now considered a sexy food. In fact, beyond spinach and kale are new greens such as komatsuna, which is an Asian mustard green, and mizuna, which is similar to arugula. Both of these greens will start popping up in salad blends across the United States from brands like Earthbound Farms. Both komatsuna and mizuna are said to have a pungent, yet sweet bite much like kale and are loaded with "sexy" nutrients such as iron, B vitamins, magnesium, and fiber. So why are greens so sexy? Due to their nutritional makeup, they help combat fatigue, weight gain, blemishes and increase blood flow. They also help promote a lean belly mass and overall heart health. What could be more sexy than that?
5. Get Your Fermentation on
Relying on yogurt for healthy belly-nourishing probiotics is so outdated. The new trend? Getting those healthy sources of probiotics from other foods like pickles, dark chocolate, kombucha and kimchi (Asian sauerkraut). These foods are loaded with B vitamins, magnesium, fiber and help keep sickness away. Their amazing nutritional benefit is the unique bacteria they contain, which is only derived from fermentation processes. The bacteria work for your body to ease digestion, increase energy and combat disease. Get your fermentation on by making your own versions of these foods, or picking up a few during your next grocery trip.
6. Herbal Tea as Alternative Medicine
With the alarming rate of prescription drugs being used for everyday ailments such as heartburn to IBS, people are now searching for a natural answer. This search has turned to herbal teas for a large part of the solution. Herbal teas such as chamomile, peppermint and ginger are being used to treat IBS, while green tea and kava tea is a popular remedy for high anxiety and stress. Other herbal varieties that are said to offer relief are citrus teas and licorice teas for weight loss and low thyroid; dandelion, fennel, and milk thistle for bloating and constipation; lavender and chamomile for insomnia, and black tea for cancer prevention. Lemon balm, hibiscus, and rooibos are also popular herbal teas that are high in demand on the market. I must admit, I'm pretty obsessed with herbal tea myself and my cabinet is literally overflowing with them. In fact, tea is so popular, it's being called the new coffee. While they don't replace a love for coffee, they certainly do work wonders for mild anxiety, an upset tummy and sleep issues from my experience.
7. Spicy and Sweet Unite
Just when you thought a chocolate truffle couldn't be beat, the new trend of adding spice to desserts has taken over. Many chefs and bakeries nationwide are now adding spices like cayenne, ginger, turmeric and more to their desserts such as truffles and cupcakes. Other popular trends are making roasted nuts and seeds such as pumpkin seeds and almonds with a variety of sweet and spicy blends, such as cayenne, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and turmeric. With a wide range of nutritional benefits, why not get the best of spicy and sweet into your foods?
8. Fruit and Seed Oils
Olive oil, move over! While the olive fruit's oil is high in nutritional benefits most of us are aware of and using, there are a multitude of benefits from other fruit or seed oils, such as pumpkin seed oil, avocado oil, grapeseed oil, and hazelnut oil. Many of these have large amounts of Vitamin E, healthy monounsaturated fats, skin-boosting properties and heart health properties. They also are delicious alternatives to traditional oils. Quality oils are important in your nutrition and weight goals. They help your body absorb nutrients, help you to stay full, lower your body mass index (BMI) and ward off sugar cravings and heart disease. Try using one of these oils drizzled over vegetables, a salad, or even whole grain popcorn, but don't use them to cook with. The nutrients in these oils are delicate and don't hold up in high temperature cooking. Save coconut oil to use for high temperature cooking since it is the most stable oil for high heat.
9. Food on Your Face
Yep, that's right, the new trend is to use many popular foods for your beauty regimen. Coconut oil has been a popular beauty remedy for many issues like dry hair, dry skin, wrinkles and rashes for good reason. Expanding on that trend is the idea of using apple cider vinegar and sea salt for a detox bath, coconut oil and baking soda for homemade toothpaste, along with coffee grounds and sugar as a natural exfoliant for your face and body. I have found coconut oil to be a wonderful replacement for store lotions and have found sea salt to be a great shower scrub. With beauty products costing an arm and a leg these days, jump on this food trend to save yourself from chemicals and a hefty price tag from your typical store-bought options.
10. Matcha Green Tea
Just when you thought green tea was only used for drinking, think again! Matcha green tea is a very low-processed tea that is not heated and is higher in antioxidants than traditional green tea. It isn't only being used for drinking, but instead used in smoothies, baked into muffins, added to salad dressings and even tossed into stir-frys. Give your smoothie or muffin a trendy twist to boost your antioxidant intake from this green tea powerhouse. While some varieties can be expensive, there are many organic matcha teas that are actually quite affordable.
11. Everyday Superfoods
While superfoods like acai, maca, spirulina and nori are certainly still very popular and beneficial, everyday superfoods like salmon, avocados spinach, and lemons are also being called "everyday superfoods." These foods are common foods in most kitchens today and aren't hard to find or access. The idea behind this trend is to simplify the term "superfood" to a food that contains a host of nutritional benefits while also being readily available.
12. Gochujang is the New Sriracha
Yes, the popular Sriracha sauce from Asia, also known as "rooster sauce," is now being kicked to the curb for the latest Korean sauce known as gochujang sauce. It is said to taste like a spicy blend of miso and "rooster sauce" and is being used in place of Sriracha sauce in many restaurants world-wide. Both sauces are used in everything from eggs to salad dressings, to dips to even chicken and fish dishes. While I haven't seen this new condiment in stores yet, I'll definitely be keeping my eye out for this new condiment. I love a good spice with my foods, don't you?
Yes, you read that correctly - seaweed is high on the food trend radar for 2013. Certain algae like spirulina and chlorella have been popular for awhile in the superfood world realm due to their potent sources of B12, iron and protein. Now, other seaweeds like kombu, wakame and dulse are being common ingredients used in soups, noodle entrees, and even smoothies and salads. Seaweed is high in vitamins, minerals, Omega 3 fatty acids, protein, potassium and iodine. Since fish feed on seaweed, this is one reason fish are so high in the same nutrients. Why not cut directly to the source and try seaweed? When used right, this salty earthy food is not only cheap, but widely available in dried forms. The flakes make a really zesty addition to salads and soups while spirulina powder is best for smoothies. Nori is commonly used as a sushi wrap while kombu aids in digestion and is commonly found in many organic varieties of beans to help the digestion process. Keep your eye out for these seaweeds and try one to see if you like it. Your skin, weight and energy levels will mostly likely benefit from seaweed since it is known as an excellent detox food.
Have you spotted one of these new food trends or tried one? While you don't have to eat these foods to be trendy, you can at least be aware of them when you see these foods popping up in stores this year. They not only make great conversation starters but fun additions to meals to change up your routine! If you've tried any of these trends, comment and tell us how! We love getting new recipe ideas!