Flavor Forecast: What’s Hot and Healthy for 2015
With 2015 just days away, , celebrated registered holistic nutritionist and bestselling author of Kitchen Cures, shares her flavor forecast for the upcoming year:
New Wave of Exotic Waters
Move over coconut water… you’re in for some stiff competition with all the other exotic waters hitting the marketplace! Everything from maple water to watermelon water, aloe water to birch water, cactus water to barley water to even artichoke water!
With proper hydration being a top health priority, and good ‘ole traditional, plain water being too boring for some, we will have more picks of naturally flavored waters with additional health benefits. Just check the ingredients to make sure it doesn’t contain added sugar!
All Things Fermented
Gut health and probiotics have been trends in recent years. And rightly so, since roughly 80 percent of our immune system resides in our gut. While it’s good to take a probiotic every day, fermented foods contain naturally occurring probiotics that aid in digestion and gut health.
The Japanese have it all right by drinking miso soup before a meal. Fermented foods, such as miso, kimchi, kefir, kombucha, tempeh, raw sauerkraut, and even yogurts made out of almond and coconut milk are becoming increasingly popular.
I’m not exactly talking the variety of whole foods (such as apples and spinach) you find when you walk in your grocery store to eat or prepare on their own, although these are of course fantastic for you. But rather, whole food ingredients found in things like supplements and bars.
As consumers become more educated about what they are putting in their bodies, and full transparency is required for nutrition labels, companies are starting to use whole food ingredients to make up their vitamin and mineral requirements.
For example, the vitamin and mineral blend in new Vega One is made from whole fruits and vegetables including, spinach, broccoli, tomatoes, apples, beets, and carrots It’s not just the vitamin and mineral blend that is made from real foods; every ingredient in Vega One is made from whole food ingredients! Ingredients you’d choose to put in your smoothie yourself if you had the time.
Increased disclosure and education in the food scene has upped the ante for food manufactures to become non-GMO certified. GMOs, or genetically modified organisms, are species or foods genetically engineered through artificial procedures that crossbreed and/or manipulate its genetic makeup. There is still a lot of research to be done on the long-term health effects, and many countries require GMO labeling on foods.
Since there is no law the enforces labeling of GMO foods in the United States or Canada, many manufactures are taking it upon themselves to get non-GMO verified by a third party organization that ensures the foods and ingredients used are not GMO so consumers can make an informed choice. Look for the Non-GMO Project logo, since this organization is the industry standard for third-part verification.
Ancient Grains (not just quinoa!)
While, for the past few years, we’ve had our run with quinoa, other ancient grains, such as teff and kaniwa, are stepping up to make their mark. Both of these grains are gluten-free and high in protein, contributing to their popularity. Teff, originated in East Africa, is a teeny-tiny little grain (similar in size to poppy seeds) making it easy to cook and use as an ingredient. Pasta manufacturers are now creating teff pasta as a gluten-free and high protein alternative. In addition, teff is super high in calcium, in fact it’s one of the highest grain sources. Kaniwa is a close relative to quinoa is also from South America and is just a smaller, deep red version. It exhibits a very similar nutritional profile and is becoming increasingly popular in uses for soups, salads, side dishes and as a breakfast cereal.
What healthy foods do you think will be hot in 2015?
Peggy Kotsopoulos is a registered holistic nutritionist and culinary consultant focused on teaching real health through lifestyle and dietary choices that are easy and delicious. She obtained her RHN designation from the Canadian School of Natural Nutrition, completed her health educator certification from Hippocrates Health Institute in West Palm Beach Florida, graduated from Living Light Culinary Arts Institute in California, and founded beVibrant – a food-based wellness consultancy. For more information, visit http://www.peggyk.com/ and follow Peggy K on Twitter @BeVibranthHealth.