New year, new food trend(s). I’m looking forward to seeing what 2017 has in (the grocery) store. It only gets more and more interesting! As 2016 comes to a close, here’s a look back at eight of the hottest food fads I’ve rounded up. Luckily, it seems like they’re here to stay. Let me know if you have any to add!
- Cricket flour. This new sustainable protein is making its way to the mainstream. Food companies like Entomo Farms, Bitty, Chapul and Chirps are creating flour, cookies, bars, chips and pet treats with flour made from crickets. These little buggers pack a big nutritional punch; eating 200 calories of crickets will provide you with 31 grams of protein and 8 grams of fat, versus beef’s 22 grams of protein and 15 grams of fat for the same amount of calories. Plus, it takes just 1 gallon of water to yield one pound of cricket meat, compared to 2,000 gallons for the same amount of beef. Not convinced? The yum factor counteracts the yuck factor.
- Cauliflower everything: Rice, pizza crust and mashed potato alternatives. You can rice your own cauliflower or save time and buy frozen done-for-you versions at Trader Joe’s or through Boulder Canyon, located in the freezer section of some Whole Foods. Many Whole Foods stores also sell paleo bowls that combine riced cauliflower with other vegetables and herbs; all you have to do is add your protein, and you have an easy and healthy ready-to-go meal. Cauliflower is also showing up in packaged foods, like Simple Mills’ pizza dough mix. I also like to combine cauliflower with potato for a lighter mash; you can also use cauliflower on its own for a creamy side dish.
- Bone broth. I often freeze my rotisserie chicken carcasses and veggie scraps; when I have enough, I combine them into a chicken broth that I simmer for 24 hours. In a pinch, there are pre-made options like Epic, Bonafide and Kettle and Fire to help you increase your broth intake. The benefits of consuming this age-old staple includes gut healing, immune boosting, joint soothing and skin clearing. Shops have even opened up in some cities to offer a fresh to-go option that replaces a morning cup of java. You can even find bone broth powder to put in your morning smoothie—it contains about 20 grams of protein per scoop!
- Collagen and gelatin. Nose to tail eating has come full circle. Collagen and gelatin have long been a part of traditional diets, but Americans are typically lacking. Now, it’s easy to incorporate into your diet via powders, which offer many of the same benefits as bone broth—they’re great for the gut, skin and joints. You can buy different types—some gel up and others dissolve in liquid, so there are different ways to add either to your diet. I like to add collagen powder to my smoothies, and I have a recipe for gummies that are a great treat in addition to containing all the benefits of gelatin.
- Tonics and elixirs. Drinks made with apple cider vinegar, holy basil, probiotics, hibiscus and much more…these are lining the shelves of gourmet stores and markets. They can help with digestion, colds and flus, hydration and offer a little pick-me-up during the day. Want to make your own? Visit http://www.bonappetit.com/drinks/non-alcoholic/slideshow/tonic-recipes for ideas.
- Smaller fish. Sardines and mackerel are cheap, small, sustainable and rich in healthy fats—a winning combination for increasing omega-3s in your diet. They’re a bit of an acquired taste and fishier than some milder fish, but if you like tuna and salmon, you might be ready to graduate to these smaller catches. You can buy both canned, which makes them ideal to have on hand for a salad or to add some protein to a cooked veggie meal. Check seafoodwatch.org for the safest and most earth-friendly varieties.
- Mushroom coffee and turmeric tea. I wrote about these in a recent blog post, but wanted to include these warming drinks again here because they’ve been everywhere on social media and on the internet. Both can provide doses of illness-fighting goodness and antioxidants to ward off winter blues and bugs, and they are sure to keep you toastier on frigid winter days.
- More milk alternatives: Cashew, macadamia and camel. Americans are avoiding dairy more and more, and plant-based milk options abound. I recommend varying your milks to diversify your nutrient intake. I’ve recently tried cashew and macadamia nut milks to vary my almond and hemp milk routine. It’s hard to avoid the gums in plant-based milks, so making your own is ideal. That’s another reason I decided to try camel milk, an appealing alternative to cow’s milk, though saltier and gamier tasting. Although it’s expensive (a pint is $18—there are so few camels compared to cows in the US, and they’re raised sustainably, which takes time and care), there are many benefits to drinking milk from a one-humped mammal: it’s lower in fat and saturated fat than cow’s milk and it’s a natural probiotic. It also contains potassium, phosphorous and calcium, and packs 5 grams of protein per serving. Camel’s milk is easier to digest than cow’s milk, and is often tolerated by those who are lactose-intolerant. Because the proteins are different, there is a low incidence of allergies as well. It’s available in some states like California and Ohio, but Desert Farms ships all over the country. They sell raw and pasteurized forms of the milk, kefir, colostrum, face cream and more. desertfarms.com