What will be the healthy food trends for 2013? Here are some great new foods I’ve found and look forward to trying in the new year.
Artisan Multigrain Breads-It used to be that you had to seek out a local baker to get high-quality artisan breads. Now, chances are your local market is baking up specialty breads right in the store. Look for breads made with heart-healthy oats, whole-wheat flour, barley, millet and whole-grain rye.
Brussels Sprouts-Once considered cabbage’s “smelly” cousin, the Brussels sprout is gaining in popularity. The veggie is packed with 130% of your daily value of free-radical-fighting vitamin C per 1-cup serving (proof there was a reason your mother tortured you so many years ago). When cooked properly, this veggie tastes great!
Raw local honey-New evidence supporting a tablespoon a day to reduce seasonal allergy symptoms. But don’t simply add honey to your diet, use it in place of refined sweeteners on toast, in oatmeal or coffee.
Flaxmeal-The health community is buzzing about omega-3 fatty acids. Flaxseed and flaxmeal (ground from flaxseed) are rich in alpha-linolenic acid (ALA), a plant-based omega-3. ALA may help to lower inflammation and increase blood flow in the body, reducing the risk of high blood pressure and blood clots. Try sprinkling flaxmeal on your morning cereal or adding it to a smoothie.
Gluten-Free Baking Mixes-Gluten-free products are everywhere now with the growing awareness of celiac disease, gluten intolerance and gluten sensitivity. Eating gluten-free used to mean kissing your love of delicious bread and baked goods goodbye, but no longer: now you can have your (gluten-free) cake and eat it, too, when you use one of the great gluten-free mixes available today.
Greek Yogurt-Thicker and more tangy than traditional yogurt, Greek-style yogurt has become an everyday staple for many cooks. A 6-ounce serving of nonfat Greek yogurt has 15 g of protein, 5 g more than traditional nonfat plain yogurt. (However, if it is calcium you are after, stick with traditional yogurt that hasn’t had the whey drained from it-it has 34 percent of your daily value per 6-ounce serving, three times more than Greek yogurt.) Creamy and delicious, Greek yogurt makes a homemade tzatziki sauce or healthy dessert quick and easy.
Heirloom Tomatoes-Old varieties of tomatoes are making a comeback. Varieties like Gold Nugget, Aunt Ginny’s Purple, Big Ben and Red Zebra are now showing up in your neighborhood market. Like all tomatoes, they are an excellent source of vision and bone-healthy vitamin A.
Chia seeds-Besides being the butt of chia-pet jokes, chia seeds are seriously high in fiber and omega-3 fatty acids. Unlike flaxseed, you needn’t crush them to absorb the nutrients. Use like flaxseed, over hot cereal, in salads and in baking. Throw a handful in muffin or pancake batter for extra nutty crunch.
Kefir-Think yogurt in a glass. This fermented dairy beverage is packed with beneficial probiotics that may help give your immune system a little extra edge. Look for it in your local market; choose plain for less sugar and fewer calories or fresh fruit flavors, such as peach and raspberry, for extra taste. With 29 percent of your daily value of calcium per 8-ounce serving, kefir is the perfect choice for an on-the-go morning.
Multigrain Tortillas-When it comes to tortillas, there are more options for shoppers than ever before. Forget basic flour-now you can find whole-grain tortillas with added heart-healthy flaxseed or B vitamins. You’ll get more fiber when you choose whole-wheat or whole-grain over white-flour tortillas.
What do you think the healthy food trends will be for 2013? What new foods would you like to try?