Beyond the Kale: Top food trends
Healthy eating seems to be on the forefront of everyone’s mind. But it’s more than that. It’s also about experimenting with old standards like kimchi and cauliflower and bringing them to the forefront of the American lifestyle, where taste and flavor integrate beautifully with health .
One of the biggest surprises may be cauliflower. It’s low in starch, high in nutrients, and crunchy when roasted and seasoned with herbs and spices. Chefs have discovered a myriad of uses for the sweet, nutty vegetable including fried cauliflower fritters, cauliflower & goat cheese gratin 1, cauliflower chocolate cake, Asian fried cauliflower, and of course, soup. There’s a chance that cauliflower could replace mashed potatoes, but it may just be a rumor.
A long list of fermented foods has officially entered the world of food. From kimchi, sourdough, and sauerkraut to kombucha, kefir, and yogurt, fermented products help improve digestion, strengthen your immune system and help with weight loss. Most fermented foods can also be made at home 2 with a few ingredients and kitchen tools.
Green tea is good for you and boosts metabolism, but matcha takes it one step further. Made from finely-milled high-grade tea leaves grown in the shade, it‘s one of the green teas produced in Japan. Matcha boasts 130 times more antioxidants than other teas. In Japan, it’s used primarily in the Japanese Tea Ceremony, and also on ice cream, cakes 3, and in other sweets.
Touted as the new fountain of youth, traditional bone broth is now getting noticed by mainstream America and the media 4. Made from animal bones and simmered for as long as 24 or 48 hours, real broth is good for fighting colds and boosting your immune system, as well as its anti-inflammatory and detoxifying properties. Broth is full of calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus, and is low in calories and inexpensive, too.
Almonds have been the favored high protein nut for snacking for years. Now, tiger nuts are trying to take over as the snack for jocks and other health nuts. Tiger nuts really aren’t nuts, but are made from tubers of the sedge plant. Until recently they’ve been used as animal feed or a side dish in South America, Africa, and the Middle East. High in healthy fats, protein, and natural sugar 5, tiger nuts may also prevent heart disease and improve circulation.
Alternative flours include almond, hazelnut, banana, coconut, chickpea, rice, fava bean, and more. Great tasting, healthier, and good for baking, these flours are slowly replacing wheat flour 6. As people become allergic to over-processed flours and started using gluten-free alternatives, these flours are becoming an integral part of the American lifestyle.
Image credits: MaxStraeten on morgueFile
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