Every year it seems that there’s a few new food trends —when something just catapults itself into popularity and it seems like you’re the last person on earth to discover it.
Whether it was that year when everyone seemed to go mad for kale overnight or that time when coconut oil became the best thing (Who am I kidding? Coconut oil still IS the best thing I’ve ever discovered) every year it seems that something new becomes the it food.
Well, what should we be looking out for in the second half of 2017? I have found five of the biggest trends that you’ll be seeing this side of 2017. There’s a variety of food trends from rainbow foods to fermented foods … and there’s not a chia seed in sight, trust me. So go grab your notepad and write down these fab five ingredients to make 2017 your healthiest year to date!
1. Purple Foods
Foods such as açaí and beets have been popular for some time, not only for their health properties, but because of that bright vibrant color they bring to dishes. But it seems that purple may be the it color that you’ll want to add to your diet this year. In fact, health professionals are urging us to eat anything purple (I checked and Smarties don’t count).
Not only are purple foods super pretty to look at, but the color itself indicates that the food is both nutrient dense and packed full of antioxidants. Anthocyanins, the pigments that appear in red, blue and purple foods, have been linked to fighting cancer, aging and obesity. And now purple foods are also being credited for such health benefits as fighting disease, reducing inflammation, keeping a healthy heart, and a little more vain, keep you looking younger for longer. Another study showed that individuals that ate purple fruit and vegetables on a regular basis had a reduced risk of high blood pressure and had lower cholesterol levels.
So what foods are purple? How about starting off with some purple corn? If corn is not your thing then there’s purple cauliflower, black rice, purple asparagus, purple tomatoes, purple carrots, elderberries, açaí and purple sweet potatoes to be chowing down on, and don’t forget beets! Anyone else feeling a purple salad coming on?!
Purple Sweet Potato & Cauliflower Soup
Not only does this soup look the part, it’s brimming with so much goodness, too. And it’s super thick and creamy. The purple sweet potatoes are cooked with purple cauliflower, which works to balance the sweetness of the soup and also adds a creaminess without needing to add dairy. The addition of lemon adds a refreshing tone to this dish.
Get the recipe here.
Seaweed is set to secure a place on your plate this year. As it turns out, seaweed is super good for us, and you’re probably already accustomed to it if you’ve ever enjoyed sushi. But it’s about to get a whole lot more exciting than just sushi, with seaweed being used in such dishes as pasta and even sweet treats. And with 3,500 types of seaweed, I’m thinking the possibilities may seem a little endless.
But why is seaweed so good for us? Not only does seaweed offer a valuable source of vitamin K, it’s also rich in both calcium and iron. Calcium is an essential mineral that we need to maintain healthy bones and teeth. Our bodies also need iron to produce energy ,which helps us be able to power through the day. Low levels of iron have been known to cause not only anemia, but will in turn decrease energy levels, give a pale complexion and cause shortness of breath. Both kelp and wakame seaweed are a great sources of both calcium and iron.
Seaweed is also a great way to detoxify the body, and it can also be used to help you recover after a bout of illness. For years, in such places as Ireland and the Caribbean they have been consuming seaweed based drinks and soups as a pick-me-up. It has also been used as a hangover cure. Much better than hair of the dog, right?
If you’re unsure of how to incorporate seaweed into your diet, you may want to start with something easy like dulse flakes. You can simply crush the dulse and add it to salads or soups for a quick and easy seaweed fix. Nori is a popular form of seaweed and has been used as the foundation for sushi for years. You can even buy sheets of seasoned nori to eat as a snack.
Using seaweed in a salad is a really easy way to get those sea veggies onto your plate. This is a delightfully fresh recipe that you can either enjoy alone or with some type of fish or seafood. P.S. Most Japanese restaurants have seaweed salad on the menu, too.
Get the recipe here.
3. Fermented Foods
So, 2017 is officially the year to heal your gut. If you’re unfamiliar with gut-healing foods such as sauerkraut and kimchi, then you soon will be, as fermented foods are set to become a huge deal.
So, what are fermented foods? The act of fermentation, otherwise known a culturing, is a food preparation technique in which food is exposed to bacteria and yeasts, either via inoculation or naturally through the air, that naturally preserves the food. Foods that have been fermented food are full of beneficial enzymes, B-vitamins, omega-3 fatty acids and are rich in probiotics. While this may sound a little gross, eating food that is neither fresh nor rotten, the fermentation process creates a food bold in flavor, and one that is really good for our health.
If you’ve never really considered the heath of your gut before now, you might want to start. There is an abundance of evidence that proves there is a strong connection between the state of our gut and our mental, physical and emotional health. In fact, the simple act of taking antibiotics has been found to lower the amount of beneficial bacteria inside your gut. Fermented foods help increase the beneficial bacteria in your gut, restoring balance.
The most popular fermented foods are sauerkraut and kimchi. Sauerkraut is made from shredded cabbage whereas kimchi can be made from a whole host of ingredients from cabbage to cucumber and is fermented in a range of spices. Not quite on board with the idea of eating fermented food? Why not start off with a drink instead? Kombucha is a fermented and lightly sweetened black or green tea drink and can be found in various flavors.
Sichuan Pepper Cabbage Kimchi
Kimchi is such a great food to have on hand, simply because once fermented and ready to go, you can throw it with any dish you fancy. Whether you have an omelette, some nachos, or an otherwise bland sandwich – kimchi is your new spicy friend. This kimchi recipe is spicy and a little pungent, perfect for a variety of dishes.
Get the recipe here.
Charcoal is taking the world by storm. Its in beauty products, skincare, and now we’re telling you to add it to your diet.
Why should you consume charcoal? Mainly it’s hailed for its ability to draw out toxins from the body. Activated charcoal has been shown to help detoxify from such things as heavy metals and chemicals.
You can add charcoal to quite a lot of things, from smoothies to ice cream and even cake!
Vegan Pineapple & Coconut Black Ice Cream
Are you as in awe with this ice cream as I am? It looks so Goth and wonderful I just want to grab a spoon and dive right in. The black tone may remind you of licorice, but the dark shade comes from the addition of charcoal, and the flavor of this ice cream is actually pineapple. In fact, this recipe is incredibly rich and creamy from the cashews, coconut milk, almond milk and vanilla, probably not what you expect, right? But it’ll be fun to make and surprise any guests you have over this summer.
Get the recipe here.
5. Avocado Oil
I’ve been keeping my eye on avocado oil for some time now, because I never really knew whether it was just a trend or truly beneficial to my health. Well, it turns out not only is it delicious, its super healthy, too.
Avocado oil is made from the natural oil that is released when the pulp of an avocado is squeezed. It helps increase the good cholesterol in the body and is helpful for reducing blood pressure. Avocado oil is also a source of lutein, a pigment that is naturally found in our eyes. Eating foods rich in lutein is thought to keep keep eye related diseases at bay. And as our bodies don’t produce lutein itself, we need to find a way to pack it into our diet.
I think the most vital benefit of using avocado oil is its ability to ability to help your body absorb nutrients. Essentially, while some fruits and vegetables are healthy, they are also low in fat, and you need the fat content of something like avocado oil to increase the absorption of their nutrients.
Avocado oil is super easy to introduce to your diet. You can use it to cook. Spray it over some veggies and then roast them. You can even add a little avocado oil directly into a smoothie, or drizzle it over a salad. It’s great in cold dishes and it can also be used when cooking or grilling.
Guacamole with Avocado Oil
Who doesn’t love guacamole? It’s creamy with a stunning freshness from the lime and onions. If you’re someone that usually considers guacamole just smashed up avocado, then make this recipe and you’ll never go back. It’s brimming with an array of flavors and the avocado oil lends some healthy fats.
Get the recipe here.