Get ready for your healthiest year on record!
Every year new food trends come, and sometimes they go. The kale rage was quickly followed by cauliflower rice (which even Trader Joes now offers). In 2017 we saw the rise of aquafaba (the liquid left behind from cooked chickpeas), and the introduction of new grain-free pastas including our fave—Banza (also made from chickpeas!)
So what could possibly be on the horizon for 2018? We turned to natural food giant, Whole Foods for answers. Ready to rethink your shopping cart? Here are their 10 food trends for 2018:
Floral Flavors. Chefs have been utilizing flowers for years, but now you’ll be able to recreate the floral effect at home. Think floral drinks and snacks, including lavender lattes and as Whole Foods states, “rose-flavored everything.” This year you’ll find hibiscus teas, elderflower cocktails, and dark chocolate infused with violets.
Super Powders. Instagram gurus like Lee from America and Shut the Kale Up have been espousing some of these super powders for quite some time. As has the founder of Moon Juice, Amanda Chantal Bacon. Now you can add these energy boosting powders to your smoothie, or use them in place of coffee. Look for matcha, maca and cacao for a coffee-free energy boost, or turmeric or spirulina powder for an immune-enhancing beverage. Other powders that are gaining traction with the health crowd include collagen and protein blends made without whey and sugar (utilizing pea protein for instance) as well as energy bars infused with powdered egg-whites, like those from RX Bars. Try this Spirulina Chia Pudding, using Organic Burst chia and spirulina powder for some inspiration.
Mushrooms have been used for centuries in Eastern medicine and are now gaining ground in the West. “Functional mushrooms” are used to support wellness and include reishi, cordyceps, and chaga and can be found in everything from mushroom broths to bubbly drinks.
Middle Eastern Flavors. It’s time to move beyond the hummus and baba ganoush. If you’re looking for real Middle Eastern flavor, look for harissa and za’atar in the spice section, or try one of our favorite appetizers—grilled halloumi.
Transparency. It seems we could use a bit more of this across the board. But hopefully the food industry will lead the way. Consumers want to know not only what’s in their food but where it came from, how it was produced, and how the workers were treated. They wanted to know if the animals were raised humanely, and how far the food had to travel before it reached your plate. Whole Foods announced that starting in January 2018, all canned tuna will come from sustainable one-by-one catch methods, and by the fall of 2018, there will be GMO transparency on all items in their stores.
Plant-forward Food Options. Vegetarians and vegans who are looking for new choices will be bombarded with options in 2018. Everything from the Beyond Meat Burger (that really resembles ground beef, yet is free of soy and gluten) to cold-pressed nut milks and even avocado ice cream will hit the shelves, making it easier and tastier to shun animal products. A new favorite at HL&S- Mooala Banana Milk! Here’s a delicious fall-inspired smoothie, using their Banana Milk.
Puffed and Popped Snacks. Oh, we love our snacks and Whole Foods doesn’t see that changing. But now instead of having your snack feel like an indulgence, you can snack on sticky rice chips, seaweed fava chips, popped cassava chips and even Brussels sprout crisps.
Tacos Come Out of their Shell. The taco trend is here to stay, but now you can find everything from dessert tacos to seaweed tacos with poke filling. Plus paleo fans will enjoy Siete’s new grain-free tortillas made with cassava.
Root-to-Stem. We have a food waste problem in America. Studies show that nearly 30 percent of all food we bring into our homes ends up in the trash. Beyond meal planning, Whole Foods is pushing consumers to use more of their produce offering recipes that use beet greens, broccoli stems and watermelon rinds. Or check out this cookbook on the subject for more inspiration.
The Other Bubbly. Whether you’re wanting an alternative soda option, or an alternative cocktail, there is an entirely new category of sparkling beverages made with everything from coffee to maple and birch sap.
With her love of health and writing, Melissa has written for such publications as Shape, Natural Solutions, Yoga Journal, Self and Pilates Style, and has created recipes and food-oriented stories for such publications as Delicious Living and Cooking Light.