With each New Year comes a host of new healthy food trends vying to both take over your diet and to monopolise your Instagram feed.
In 2016, we went nuts for coconut in every form, sprinkled seaweed liberally, and devoured anything served in a bowl. In 2017 those trends will persist but it seems we’ll also be sipping on blue algae lattes and drinking vinegars, snacking on watermelon seeds and Sacha Inchi, and eating purple foods from mason jars.
Kick off your New Year health buzz by getting to grips with 17 of the hottest health food trends that you will be Instagramming about in 2017.
With its low-carb and high-fat mantra, The Ketogenic Kitchen by Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly, both double cancer survivors, was the most controversial cookbook of 2016. Once the shock factor had died down the book received the praise it deserved, as a vital and practical contribution to a field of study that is making strides towards helping those with diabetes, cancer, and going through treatment. The diet can also be adopted, less strictly, by those looking to lead a healthier lifestyle and banish sugar cravings.
Forget caramel coloured coffee lattes, the buzzy beverages to be seen drinking now come in a spectrum of colours. The OG alt latte is matcha, and second to this pale green goddess is the golden latte, a chai-like combo of fresh or dried turmeric and steamed nut-based milk – they’re both nutritious and satisfying.
Rising up the ranks, and seen in a growing number of uber-hip cafes in Melbourne, are the insta-friendly blue algae latte or ‘Smurf Latte’ (with algae lemon, ginger, agave), beetroot latte (with beetroot, chocolate, and blood orange), and even black lattes, made from a paste of stone-ground black sesame seeds, peanuts and almonds. Unsure if you would give up your regular coffee? Try turmeric or blue algae lattes for yourself at The Cracked Nut on Camden Street. The new Live Blue Latte is the first of its kind in Ireland and contains E3 Live Algae, lemon, ginger, agave and almond milk.
The gut-friendly dairy alternatives of goat’s milk and cheese are already popular, but with twice the iron of chicken, low in saturated fat goat meat is the new meat of 2017. No, we’re not kidding you, in the UK, goat sausages, mince and chops are already available on supermarket shelves.
Here in Ireland, you can take the, eh, goat by the horns and get a taste of cabrito (kid goat) meat from Broughgammon Farm in Co. Antrim. Set up by husband and wife, Charlie and Becky Cole, Broughgammon rears ‘surplus’ male kids, and calves too, from the dairy industry for meat. Drop into their farm shop, order meat boxes online, or keep an eye for them at events where they attract crowds selling unique dishes like goat tacos and goat jalfrezi. The new kid on the block is Goat Ireland, a start up in Galway which is aiming to supply quality goat meat to the UK and Irish markets.
Trying your hand at the ‘Flexitarianism’ trend in 2017 (eating mostly plant-based with the occasional inclusion of meat) but can’t imagine a world without a regular wedge of blue cheese? Nutritional yeast may be the ingredient that will keep you on the straight and narrow. Don’t be put off the name, nutritional yeast (or ‘Nooch’ for short) has long been a vegan store cupboard stable not only because it’s high in protein and is often fortified with vital vitamin B12, but also for its cheesy, savoury flavor.
No longer just a vegan’s tasty little secret Nooch is going mainstream as there is little that doesn’t taste better with a liberal sprinkling of these magical golden flakes. Add to soups, salads, stews, sauces and stir-fries for an instant flavour hit, or to vegan mac ‘n’ cheese, pasta, pesto and even popcorn for that essential cheesy taste.
A vital vessel from everything for overnight oats and layered salads, to trendy kimchis and pickled veg, if your fridge and pantry aren’t wall to wall mason jars by the end of 2017 then you aren’t utilising your meal prep time effectively. A layered lunch in a jar is an inspired idea gives you a ready dressed salad in just a quick shake. To avoid soggy salads, just put the dressing and other “wet” ingredients at the bottom, then add more hearty veg, grains and proteins.
Focusing on the sustainability aspect, new Manhattan restaurant Ancolie serves absolutely everything in mason jars, forgoing all the usual lunchtime paper and plastic. Not your average jars, these have curved edges, so you can easily scoop out every last bite, and are also designed to be stackable and leak-proof.
Those who have undertaken a juice cleanse (and those who have been in their company) will know how it can leave you in a constant state of hanger. The benefits to your digestive system, waistline and skin are undeniable however. Thankfully the liquid lunch principle has been given a winter warming makeover and a soup cleanse revolution has been bubbling away for some time.
Kick off 2017 with three or five day juice and soup cleanse from Ranelagh health food store, Urban Health. The first cleanse of this type in Ireland, it provides you with three fresh juices and two soups per day that will leave you feeling nourished and satisfied, as well lessening your sugar cravings, loosening your waist band, and brightening your complexion.
Cold-pressed watermelon juice has been tipped as the new coconut water. The trend has the superstar backing of Beyoncé who recently bought a stake in the WTRMLN WTR brand. Comprising of purely watermelon flesh and rind plus lemon, one bottle provides nearly double the potassium of a single banana, which is vital for heart and kidney functions. Don’t take Queen Bey’s word for it though, try UK brand What a Melon brand for yourself in Holland & Barrett.
Top of the list of foods high in lycopene, watermelon is sprouting up in other forms too. Go Raw’s Sprouted Watermelon Seed Bars made from wholesome ingredients and chief among them are sprouted watermelon seeds. The same brand also offer organic Sprouted Watermelon Seeds in a resealable pouch for easy snacking, that boast an impressive 8 grams of protein per 30g.
As more people are turning to ancient remedies for their modern maladies, hyper-functional, ultra-healthy bottled tonics, elixirs and shots are set to flood the market, and are an easy way to incorporate beneficial spices, roots, and herbs into your daily routine. New York City-based functional beverage brand Dirty Lemon‘s Raw Detox drink (a mere $65), a combination of activated charcoal, cold-pressed lemon juice, ginger, and dandelion root, has become the ‘It’ drink of healthy Instagram feeds as the brand expands into Australia and the UK. Other tonics include ingredients like kava, holy basil, ginger, and other adaptogenic herbs, like maca and ashwagandha.
Drinking vinegars are almost a category of their own, with cult juice brands like Suja launching bottled blends of apple cider vinegar and coconut vinegar in flavours like Hibiscus Ancho Chile and Strawberry Balsamic.
A new year a new healthy buzz word. We’ve seen countless products marketed as vegan, gluten free, and antioxidant-rich in the past, and in 2017 you can expect to see expect new product announcements and the continued research and development of inflammation fighting foods. Turmeric (turmeric lattes in particular), and ginger teas are already popular, and many people have begun to replace inflammatory ingredients like gluten, grains, and dairy with the likes of zucchini noodles, cauliflower rice and plant based milks. Big brands like Starbucks are already beginning to capitalise on the trend, with a new anti-inflammatory drink made with cayenne called the Chile Mocha planned for their menu.
Nuts have been getting a healthy dose of attention recently, with the latest research finding that scoffing a handful of nuts daily ‘cuts heart disease and cancer’ risk by 20%. Though smaller, seeds are just as mighty and are great sources of protein, minerals, zinc and other life-enhancing nutrients. The likes of pumpkin and sunflower seeds are probably already store cupboard staples but in 2017 we will be doing a lot more than just scattering them on porridge; try sprinkling on salads and soups, and folding into scrambled eggs, and try less popular but just as nutritious seeds like nigella, caraway, and cardamom.
Seed butters are the new nut butters too. Tahini, sesame seed butter, when making hummus, in 2017 try sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds, on your toast, or mix it up with the likes of Jake’s Boost SuperBoost Spread, which combines sunflower seeds, linseed, chia seeds and hemp seeds, with almonds, cashews, hazelnuts, brazils, pecans and walnuts.
The majority of our skin and bones is made up of collagen; the glow-giving, fibrous protein also responsible for shiny hair, strong nails, and healthy digestion. After age of 25, however, people are less efficient at producing their own collagen, so your body has to get it elsewhere. The Western diet is decidedly deficient in this beauty booster, but fear not collagen-rich powders, supplements and bone broth are becoming more and more available.
Made popular by healthy blogging sisterS Jasmine and Melissa Hemsley, bone broth, stock made from simmering animal bones for up to two days at a time, is cheap and easy to make. Irish brand Sadie’s Kitchen also produces bone broth is ready to use pouches for cooking, and, if you can stomach it, is also a great post-workout drink.
Medicinal mushrooms (no, not those mushrooms) have long been a part of traditional Eastern medicine in countries like China and India. Varieties like reishi and cordyceps are adaptogens, a group of substances and herbs that when taken regularly are able to heighten the body’s resistance to stress, fatigue, and low immunity, among other things.
While you won’t find them next to the creminis and portobellos at your local grocery store, they have been making their way onto cafe menus and health store shelves in variety of fungi forms like dried mushroom teas/coffee, powders, tonics, and even ‘shroom-spiked hot chocolates. You can pick Mushroom Coffee from Finnish brand Four Sigma Foods in Chaga & Cordyceps, or Lion’s Mane & Chaga varieties at The Hopsack, online or in-store.
Not some sort of quirky cartology related diet, a low FODMAP diet was created by researchers at Monash University in Australia for those who suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and other gut-related issues. Those following the diet must rexclude high FODMAP foods that ferment in the gut causing bloating and GI distress, including wheat, onion, garlic and apples, from their diets to give their guts time to heal. Following this step you can then reintrode them in small amounts to work out which ones are causing the problems. It can be a really tricky diet to follow, and is especially tough if you’re eating out.
However, with a growing number of people being diagnosed with IBS awareness is growing. Healthy Dublin city eatery Cocu include a low FODMAP symbol on their menu, and in Australia there are already a number of Low FODMAP certified food products. Stateside, Nestle is also unveiling a range called ProNourish, the first of several low FODMAP food products the company has in the pipeline.
Teff is the gluten-free grain that is set to give current popular ‘supergrains’ like quinoa, buckwheat and amaranth a run for their money – and the verb run may be particularly relevant in teff’s case. Teff has long been a dietary staple for Ethiopia’s legendary distance runners, and Olympic gold medalist and world record holder Haile Gebrselassie even went as far to champion it as the secret to the success of Ethiopian runners. The tiny seeds, only the size of a poppy seed, are high in iron and provide a slow release of energy making it them the new go-to pre-race grain. It is also high in calcium, iron, protein, copper, fibre, manganese, zinc as well as a whole host of vitamins and amino acids.
Looking for a way to incorporate this mighty seed into your diet? In her latest book, Honestly Healthy in a Hurry, Natasha Corrett the first person to have a bestselling health book and to pioneer clean eating in the UK, includes recipes to get you up an running, literally: African teff stew, teff soda bread, and teff and rhubarb porridge.
Just like the art of fermentation itself, this trend is one that gets better with age. In 2016 gut health became sexy (well, as sexy as that part of your anatomy can ever be), and pickles, fermented vegetables and kimchis added a bit of tangy jazz to dreary dishes. In 2017, fermentation will no longer just a bit (of sauerkraut) on the side, and the kombuchas, kefirs and leftover pickling juice that have been bubbling away for the past year will be incorporated into dishes in more imaginative ways.
Take inspiration from the must-have Dearbhla Reynold’s The Cultured Club cookbook, which explores the frontiers of fermentation with fabulously funky recipes like breads, veggie burgers, and bakes like Milk Kefir Brownies,
The future is purple – or so says US-based health food retailer Wholefoods, who predicts that purple foods will be one of 2017’s fastest growing trends. Much more than adding a bit of colour to your meals, purple ingredients like purple asparagus, cauliflower, kale and sweet potatoes can pack a powerful disease-prevention punch. It’s the very nutrients and antioxidants responsible for their purple hue that are the key to their disease-fighting properties too.
Purple plants can soothe inflammation, boost immune function and are all amazingly rich in anthocyanins, which have also been shown to improve memory and brain function. With other purple picks like black rice, elderberries, acai, and purple corn and cereals also on the menu, purple is set to be the new black – or the new green, probably more fitting title if we’re talking health foods.
Sacha Inchi could be mistaken as a contender for the latest wacky high society baby name, but it is in fact an Incan seed that’s tipped as the the next big superfood. Grown in the highlands of the Peruvian rainforest, the star shaped fruit itself is inedible, but inside lies a nut-like seed that have some of the highest levels of plant-based omega-3s out there, 17 times the omega-3 oil content of salmon, as well as all eight essential amino acids.
The raw seeds can be tossed on top of salads, used in trail mixes, or just eaten by the handful. In the States they are already being marketed as a nut ― some salted and some flavored. We can also expect to see sacha inchi oils and protein powders enter the market soon.
Erica grew up with a baker and confectioner for a father, and a mother with an instinct and love for good food. It is little wonder then that, after completing a law degree, she went on to do a Masters in Food Business at UCC. With a consuming passion for all things food, nutrition and wellness, working with TheTaste is a perfect fit for Erica; allowing her to learn and experience every aspect of the food world meeting its characters and influencers along the way.