What do kale, quinoa and coconut water have in common? They were all huge food and health trends in 2014.
So what can we look forward to this year? The topic always fascinates me.
When it comes to food trends, experts have some interesting predictions.
How do you feel about insects? Most of us are not big fans. How about seeing them on the menu at a favorite restaurant or on a protein bar ingredient list?
Regardless of how bizarre this food trend may sound, crickets are coming. Apparently, insects are high in protein and lack gluten.
Speaking of which, the gluten-free craze likely will continue. Look for crickets and other creepy crawlers to be ground up in flour and added to protein bars. They are also being made into candy and, of course, dipped in chocolate.
If coconut water was the drink of 2014, then coconut sugar is going to be the sweetener for 2015. I can tell you it is more like brown sugar, but seems to work well as a replacement. It is definitely better for you than white sugar, although its price tag may deter some.
Fermented foods, which have been around for centuries, are definitely trendy. Be ready to hear a lot about “leaky gut syndrome,” and how fermented foods can help with that condition as well as just help all of us digest our foods better.
I love pickles, kimchi (another trend), and sauerkraut, so this is a food trend I am thrilled to support.
Green tea, which has been pretty trendy for years, is getting new buzz with Matcha. The Japanese have been drinking Matcha, a type of green tea, for centuries, and it has now caught on big time in the culinary world. Expect to see Matcha ice cream, drinks, and more.
Animal fats are also creating a stir. French fries cooked in duck fat, chicken cooked in pork fat, and various beef fats (tallow) and chicken fats (schmaltz) used even in high-end restaurants.
Kale was the “it” vegetable in 2014, and this year it seems it had a baby. Kalettes are the first new vegetable in 16 years.
Remember broccolini? Kalletes are a hybrid and a cross between kale and Brussels sprouts. I have yet to see this vegetable, but when it shows up in Cumming, I will be sure to let you all know how it tastes and what to do with it.
Are you familiar with bone broths? These are clear soups made from various animal bones. Sounds gross, right?
Think of a stock. The appeal of these broths is that they are loaded with minerals and other healthful properties.
There are even food trucks touting the broths are a health elixir for sipping to help restore your body after a night on the town. Other health experts say they are delicious and a good way to consume vitamins and minerals as well as hydrate your body.
Green juices are also trending, as they have for a while, but are expected to really become mainstream in 2015.
I love green juices, but you really have to be careful when buying them over the counter or even at a juice bar. Not all green juice is created equally. Many are loaded with sugar, preservatives, and other additives.
Seek out a juice bar that uses organic produce and fruit, but expect to pay a hefty price. Juicing at home is not cheap either, but it does allow you to control the ingredients.
Health trends for 2015 can be summed up with one word: Digital.
The technical world is busy creating all sorts of devices to help us be healthier. There is even a device that goes into the ear and monitors things such as how fast we eat food.
The device monitors this and then downloads the data and analyzes it and then suggests ways to be healthier.
I can save you some money and say right now we should all probably chew our food more slowly.
Another device will analyze sweat and tell you if you are hydrated enough, among other things.
Here is more free advice: You probably need to drink more water. There will also be other devices, many of which may be prescribed by a doctor, to monitor heart rate, blood pressure, etc. I’m pretty sure that would make me a nervous wreck.
Trends in the food and health world are always interesting. Many come and go, but others become an integral part of our lives.
I remember as a little girl when you couldn’t even get extra-virgin olive oil at the grocery store. My mother used to go to an Italian market for it.
Now you can get grape seed, sesame and even truffle oils right next to the myriad of olive oils lining the shelves.
I’m looking forward to seeing what other trends will come to light in 2015. Please let me know what you’re seeing.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.