Yesterday we talked about the #1 trend in the food industry for 2018: mindfulness. But, we didn’t talk about some concrete, actual food fads to keep an eye out for this year. All 10 of these delectable bites are good to your body, as well a your taste buds, and might even be pretty too!
As Filipino foods become mainstream, so is one of its staples: Ube, a vivid violet yam. Its bright purple color is not only beautiful, but also renders it to be filled with more antioxidants than regular yams. One of these antioxidants is anthocyanin, which may be correlated to anti-inflammatory effects, brain health, and decreased risk of heart disease and cancer. Plus: its packed with vitamin A, C, potassium, and close to 0 fat. Ube has a subtlety sweet flavor and can be used in desserts, such as doughnuts, cupcakes, and ice cream, or as a candied twist in entrees. It can have a “difficult to comprehend” flavor, as it’s certainly not your average starch, but is delicious in many dishes. Plus, that gorgeous lavender shade is certainly insta-worthy!
- Edible Flowers
Don’t some flowers look so good, you could just eat them? Now you can! Several restaurants have started gracing us with edible flower dishes, which are as stunning as they are palatable. They can be found in foods such as salads, soups, cupcakes, and jellies. Each species has its own signature look and benefit. For instance, dandelions are rich in vitamin A and C, and elderberry blooms may strengthen the immune system and aid digestion. If a grocery store or restaurant near you doesn’t have any for sale, you can always grow your own (Bonus: you can ensure its organic and non-GMO). Don’t know where to start? here’s 42 flowers you can eat.
Ghee, Hindu for “fat”, is made from only butter and is surprisingly… Healthy? Traditionally used in Indian cooking, Ghee is also known as clarified butter, and is created by heating butter up, skimming the solids off the top, and allowing the water to evaporate. I know, it sounds weird, but it’s teeming with vitamins A, D, and K : which may improve brain function and your immune system. Plus, its completely free of dairy. This is an excellent alternative for butter and is delicious in sautes, quesadillas, or rice. Do be careful to use it in moderation: Ghee is still high in saturated fats.
A rising star in 2017, Poke is predicted to become widespread in 2018. While it is already popular in many areas, such as Seattle, cities like London haven’t been hit yet. For cheese-addicts like me, this Hawaiian-native dish is a delicious non-dairy way to indulge. The big, welcoming bowl presentation delivers a comfort food essence, and feels more filling than sushi. It’s main ingredient, raw tuna, boasts health benefits such as high lean protein and omega-3 fatty acid levels. Additionally, the vegetables Poke is mixed with, such as seaweed and peppers, are usually low-cal and full of different vitamins and minerals.
- Fermented Fruits and Vegetables
With foods like Kimchi and Kombucha becoming popular in 2017, we can expect to see more of our fermented friends in 2018. Why fermented over fresh? It keeps much longer, is a great way to conserve fresh produce that may otherwise go bad, and packs different health advantages. For instance, the bacteria and yeast used in food fermentation boosts the nutritional content of the food. This bacteria also helps to improve your gut health and overall immune system. And you really can’t beat the flavor of fermented foods in a Korean cuisine feast.
- Pea-Based Products
From pea milk to powder, pea-based nutrients are a perfect vegan, vegetarian, soy-free way to get your protein. And, a great way to eat some vegetables! Chock full of protein, fibre, minerals, antioxidants and anti-inflammatories, this vegetable base plays well with other ingredients, due to its neutral taste. Use it in smoothies, soups, pastas, pancakes, muffins, and more for a boost of protein.
- Root to Stem Eating
Nose to tail eating: but with fruits and veggies. An overall trend in 2018 is reducing your garbage-footprint, and that includes food! While your compost pile would love your roots and stems, your stomach will love them more. Not only will it add some variety to your diet, but these usually discarded components have some surprising health benefits: stems, leaves, and peels can be more nutrient dense than the meat itself. Beetroot has high levels of iron, folates, nitrates, betaine, magnesium and other antioxidants; and compared to just 3% for florets, just a one-ounce serving of broccoli leaves contains 90% of your suggested daily intake of vitamin A. They can be prepared similar to spinach, and sautéd with olive oil, garlic cloves, sea salt, and chili flakes. It can be difficult to think of ways to integrate the lesser-used components of produce into your daily routine, but Oprah’s got some tips for us.
This spice has been used for centuries in India, but is just now gaining popularity in the Western world. Besides tasting amazing in rice, chicken, curry, quinoa, and even tea, it delivers a multitude of health benefits, such as anti-inflammatory contents, links to lowered heart disease, as well as correlations to improved brain health. What do I mean by “brain health”? Turmeric actually has the ability to increase the growth hormone “Brain-Derived Neurotrophic Factor”, which can increase neurons in the brain and build connections between them. This could potentially fight in age-related decreases in brain function, as well as improve memory.
- Superfood Mushrooms
Mushrooms are nothing novel, but new varieties, such as Chaga, Lion’s Mane and Reishi are predicted to be up-and-coming superfoods, due to their higher-than-usual level of antioxidants. Mushrooms in general have been hailed for detoxifying effects, anti-inflammation properties, and balancing blood sugar levels. In 2018, thanks to scientific advancements, expect to see extracts from these mushroom superfoods in drinks like lattes, tea, and chocolates.
- Edible Cookie Dough
Ookay, I know this is a stretch to be categorized as healthy, but at least it won’t give you salmonella! Edible cookie dough has taken the stage in many big-city pop ups, yet unfortunately hasn’t become a staple in smaller towns. If you can’t afford to fly to NYC to satisfy your cravings (first world problems, amirite?), you can always make it at home! Simply substitute eggs for our coconut oil: give this chocolate-chip recipe a try. For the most nutrient dense coconut oil, make sure to get pure, unrefined, raw coconut oil.