10 light and healthy food trends
With its vegetable noodles, cauliflower rice, and sweet potato toast, 2016 was quite a healthy year; but 2017 is poised to be even healthier. It’s still about turmeric, maca, acai, low carbs and detox, but there will be some new superfoods in our bowls and bottles that everyone should know about. Here come our top 10 food trends that will give you a healthy glow, inside and out.
1 Plant-based proteins
We’ve seen how popular tofu burgers have become and how close they can get to the texture of meat. As these alternative products continue to grow, there’s still plenty of room for other plant-based replicas to enter the market. From veggie shrimps to vegan cheese and eggs, the market for plant-based protein is still on its meteoric rise and will continue to penetrate stores and restaurants across the world.
2 Everything purple
Purple potatoes, cabbage and carrots were just the beginning: in 2017, purple will be among the most attractive new colors that we want to see on our plates. According to international foodies, radishes, blueberries, purple lettuce, cabbage heads, cauliflower, acai, black rice, and purple corn are gaining in popularity. This isn’t just about fun, it’s because blue-red foods have a higher proportion of antioxidants that make us look younger, feel more vital, and importantly, lower our blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
3 Algae and seaweed
This new superfood comes from the sea. In addition to sushi and maki, algae and seaweed—which have been on Asia’s menu for thousands of years—are now conquering European kitchens. The variety inspires nutritionists not just because you can cook them like pasta, put them on pancakes, mix them in your bowl, or snack on them, but because of their healthiness. They contain a lot of vegetable protein, very little fat, and hardly any calories.
Quinoa, amaranth, chia, buckwheat, and the very new, quinoa-like kaniwa all belong to the so-called pseudocereals group; this means they can be processed in the same way as real grains, but they are not real grains. The seeds provide us with valuable proteins and minerals, and have a well-deserved reputation as a healthy food. Pseudocereals are gluten-free, healthy energy suppliers, and very powerful against hunger. Treat them like any carbohydrate or cereal, use them in sweet breakfasts or savory meals, or top them with salad, nuts, fruits or sauce.
5 Ayurvedic cuisine
Indian food types, such as turmeric latte or chicken madras, don’t need to be explained anymore. In addition to the rise of healing spices, meditation and mindfulness have all been trends in the past years that made people begin to explore Ayurveda, one of the oldest systems of medicine in the world. In the dosha kitchen, recipes that come from Ayurveda’s ancient nutritional teachings have been adapted to suit our modern constitutions and designed to give us vitality and energy. Depending on your dominant dosha (mind-body type) or your combination of doshas, Ayurveda recommends specific foods and behaviors that will give you nutritional balance and optimize your health.
6 Botanical tonics and fermented drinks
Raw shots from vegetables, herbal teas and spices, drinking vinegars, chia water, maca and tonics from vegetable elixirs increasingly displace commercial lemonade and sticky smoothies. In addition, fermented food and beverages such as miso, kimchi and sauerkraut are full of probiotics and beneficial bacteria that help boost the health of the gut. Fermentation creates beneficial by-products such as B vitamins, so why not try a kombucha or kefir instead of soda next lunchtime?
7 New greens
Kale was yesterday! Now other leaves, such as dandelion, chard and carrot tops, which are high in nutrients but bold in flavor, are becoming the choice of restaurant chefs. In the spotlight now is moringa. This East Asian leaf has become famous as a powder supplement, and is also gaining popularity as a superfood for its highly nutritious profile and powerful anti-inflammatory, antioxidant, and tissue-protective properties. Taste-wise, morginga gives vegetarian dishes a strong, spinach-like boost.
8 Aloha, ceviche and poke bowls
In 2016, bowls were a big trend, but they were mainly relegated to the realms of acai, fruits and grains. While Mexican burrito and fancy noodle bowls may not be the healthiest choice, new poke and ceviche bowls do much more. Both mainly contain small-cut raw fish. Peruvian ceviche consists of different varieties marinated in lime juice, served with onions, and often vegetables, too. Poke is a Hawaiian fish salad made from raw tuna marinated in soy sauce on sushi rice, served with avocado, ginger, algae and sesame. Doesn‘t that sound healthy?
9 More than pasta
Forget about hard wheat-based semolina—but not about pasta. There are far healthier noodles to enjoy without a bad conscience. Recently, pasta made from vegetables became the hot new trend and fits perfectly into the gluten-free diet zone. Thanks to a few ingenious kitchen tools like the spiralizer, everything from zucchini to carrots and beets is being turned into noodles that pack a greater nutritional punch and boast far fewer carbs. Gluten-free consumers have also become accustomed to an increasing variety of pastas made from corn, rice or chickpeas. But 2017 will be big for lentil and quinoa pasta, famous for being high in protein and fiber, and unlike zucchini noodles, you don’t even need a spiralizer to make them. So look out for lentil spaghetti, chickpea fusilli, edamame elbows, and black bean rotini at your local supermarket.
10 The coco craze
We already love coconut oil, coconut water, and coconut milk, but this health-food favorite comes in many other forms, and so its popularity will continue. Its high protein and vitamin content means that hardly any other plant is so healthy and so versatile. The latest thing is coconut flour: it’s a great gluten-free option, more easily digestible than regular white flour, and high in both protein and fiber.