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It’s hard to remember a world before chia seeds and almond milk. But before earning a permanent spot in our homes, these products were newbies — food trends to keep an eye on. I’ve been covering food trends for at least a decade and just as these hall-of-famers have stood the test of time, other trends fall off the map. (RIP, Crystal Pepsi and Snackwells.) Here's a look at some more recent trends that make nutritious sense. They also happen to be delicious, which is why I predict they will have a place on people’s plates for years to come.
This is more than a moment. We have entered the cauliflower era! I traded in traditional mashed potatoes for mashed cauliflower quite some time ago, but these days, I’m really digging riced cauliflower, cauliflower pizza, and other cauliflower hacks. What makes cauliflower so versatile is its mild flavor; it takes on the taste of the seasonings it’s prepared with. Plus, depending on how it’s prepared, cauliflower can take on many different textures — from a chewy grain to a crispy crust to a smooth and creamy ingredient or side dish.
If anyone tells you not to eat white foods, consider cauliflower a big exception! With fiber, vitamins, minerals, and cancer-fighting compounds, this is one versatile veggie I can’t get enough of.
If you’re new to the cauliflower craze, riced cauliflower is a good place to start. I like the frozen varieties, such as Bird’s Eye Veggie Made Riced Cauliflower or Trader Joe’s Organic Riced Cauliflower. If you’re not ready to trade your grain for this veggie, you could always go 50/50 for starters.
This pasta was a game-changer in my house. Legumes, like chickpeas, lentils, and peas, are naturally high in fiber and plant-based protein — an ideal hunger-busting combo. I also like that these pastas are gluten free. And while typical gluten-free brown rice pasta can get gummy, the texture of bean-based varieties is a closer match to regular pasta made from semolina and durum wheat flours.
I serve these pastas just as I would ordinary varieties — with pesto sauce; as a pasta salad with broccoli, shelled edamame or peas, and tuna; tossed in a marinara; or simply with a little olive oil, ground black pepper, and Parmesan cheese. I love convenience foods that also provide a nutritious boost and these pastas stand out on both fronts. Be on the lookout for brands, like Banza and Tolerant, both available nationwide at mainstream and natural food stores.
Flavored sparkling water
As I sit here sipping on La Croix, I have to say, I’m glad my favorite drink isn’t going anywhere anytime soon. Drinking a naturally flavored bubbly water in lieu of a sugar-sweetened soda is a good way to cut calories and sugar, and I’d highly recommend giving this a try. I’d also suggest swapping your diet soda for one of these beverages — be it La Croix, Polar Seltzer, Bubly, or another brand on the scene. With two ingredients (carbonated water and natural flavors), these are undeniably better choices. And with flavors ranging from passion fruit and coconut to mango and cherry and more, I bet you’ll find a few you enjoy.