Top Food Trends of 2015
Kalette is the new Brussels Sprout. Kalette is actually a combination of both Kale and Brussels Sprouts. This young vegetable retains the nutritional genes from both superfood parents and thus gives you plenty of nutrition and fiber by just eating the one vegetable. This nutty and sweet hybrid vegetable also goes by a few other names: BrusselKale, Lollipop Kale and Flower Sprout. If you can find these little gems at your produce stand (they’re fairly new), then check out these recipes for different ways to enjoy them.
Cauliflower is the new Carb. Yes, this vegetable is able to take the place of a carbohydrate on your plate without drawing too much attention to the fact that your plate is even missing a carb! This vegetable, although certainly not new to the produce section, is showing up in all kinds of non-vegetable recipes. More and more people are re-thinking this staple white vegetable. It’s quickly becoming a substitute for traditional comfort foods such as a replacement for starches like potatoes, rice and breads. We’ve even tried cauliflower pizza crust! It’s getting an extra boost in popularity by replacing wheat for gluten-free consumers.
Swiss Chard is the new Kale. Kale was the “in” vegetable of 2014, being consumed daily by many because of it’s rich vitamin content. But, it lost some popularity when studies showed that excessive amounts were shown to interfere with normal thyroid functioning. So, eat some Kale, but switch it up with other vegetables. Swiss Chard is also a leafy green vegetable full of both potassium and magnesium. It’s a pretty vegetable that’s fairly inexpensive. It’s probably the largest and most vibrant colored leafy vegetable that you can find, check out the rainbow swiss chard for even more color. Swiss Chard can be easily and flavorfully sauteed for a warm accompaniment or chopped up raw into salads for an added crunch.
Chili Peppers are the new Salt. Salt, although some is needed to keep the body functioning, can be harmful if taken in excess. These colorful little peppers are being used instead of salt, sugar and even fat to add a flavor punch in a wide variety of recipes. They are more of a sweet spice than an on fire hot spice. Appearing in red, green and yellow they also add a burst of color to dishes as well as flavor.
Matcha is the new Coconut Water. Coconut water has been reaching domination in the grocery drink isles the past few years, but make way for Matcha. Matcha is a strong powdered green tea that has been popular in Japan for ages. It is made using the entire leaf of tea and thus is very rich in vitamins and flavonoids, which many believe help ward off diseases.
Kaniwa is the new Quinoa. Also called Baby Quinoa, Kaniwa shares many qualities with Quinoa. It is smaller and somewhat easier to use than quinoa because it does not have saponins (natural protective coatings). It’s gluten-free and high in fiber and iron. It has a crunchy texture and a dark red color. Kaniwa is easy to add to salads and makes an interesting accompaniment to main dishes. It’s also a gluten free choice.
Flavored Vinegar is the new Balsamic. Although Balsamic Vinegar will always have a place in your pantry, it is now having to share the stage with vinegars which have been infused with a burst of natural flavors from different fruits and herbs. These can be made at home or purchased. Flavored vinegars can be used alone yet taste like a vinegarette, minus the added fat from oils. We’ve seen all sorts of interesting flavor infusions, for instance the now trending fruits like pomegranate and fig are popular in this product segment. These vinegars, because of the additions of other foods, may not last forever like regular white vinegar.
Nutrition Snacks are the new Junk Food. Although “junk food” has been on its way out for years, you can find many healthier alternatives appearing in this packaged space. Nourish Snacks are one line that is producing many different varieties of nut, fruit and vegetable based snacks that are low in calories but satisfy similar to a bag of chips. Other snack companies are also introducing chips made with such foods as lentils, chickpeas and risotto. Read the ingredient labels on these products to be sure that they are indeed what their names suggest.
Part of the Problem
Most producers of food now put some sort of a date on their products. These dates, although put there to guide us into using their products can be deceiving. Be sure to read the label to ensure you are getting what the names suggest. For general help reading labels, check out post on food labels.
What You Can Do
As we mentioned earlier, some of these products might not be available yet at your local store, here are the online links to find them.