Top Health Food Trends of 2018: Plant-based Eating!
By: Jessica Christensen
2017 saw the rise of health food trends such as kombucha, golden lattes, and everything avocado. What can we expect to see for the rest of 2018? RD and Nutrition Director of Good Housekeeping, Jaclyn London, joined with TODAY and gave a clear forecast: PLANT-BASED EATING!
“We are looking to make shifts towards healthier eating habits and that all starts with incorporating more fruits, veggies, nuts, legumes, and all that good stuff.”
Veganism is on the rise, and so is a population that is becoming more health-conscious. That could explain why some of these classics are making a well-timed comeback as more people are exploring the world of plant-based eating.
As part of the legume family, pulses are packed with high amounts of protein and fiber and are staples in most vegan pantries. The most common include chickpeas, lentils, dry peas, and dry beans. They are incredibly versatile and a healthier alternative to refined carbohydrates.
Bonus: pulses make for great meat substitutes!
Fruit and Vegetable Based Snacks
Grocery store shelves are stocked full of overly processed and super sugary fruit and vegetable snacks. Instead, consumers are looking for alternatives with pure ingredients and minimal-to-no additives. Fruits and vegetables in chip, bar, and dried form for easy snacking but without the added sodium, sugar, and chemicals.
Cauliflower rice has championed this category for many years, but now many other vegetables are taking their turn in the spotlight such as butternut squash, carrots, beets, and broccoli. Not only does substituting veggie rice for real rice add a fresh level of flavor, but it also cuts 85% of the calories.
Bonus: these are simple and quick to make at home!
Plant-based Dairy Desserts
With so many tasty plant-based milk alternatives, 2018 will continue to see the decline of the dairy industry. It used to be that coconut was the only creamy dessert-worthy option, but now cashew, oat, and flax milk help share the load. We are seeing an increase in aquafaba (chickpea water), banana, and avocado based desserts that rival their diary equivalent in taste, and blow them out of the water in nutrition, sustainability, and ethics.
Jackfruit is everywhere right now. Shredded BBQ, buffalo dip, tacos, “tuna” melts… there is literally nothing that this shreddable fruit can’t transform into. As plant-based recipe sharing continues to have a sharp influx, influence from around the globe is set to have a big impact by providing new and exciting foods and flavors to try.
As with any food trends, there will be pre-made products you can purchase for convenience. While the packaging might look promising, it is always important to check the label and do research on the company.
Have a delicious jackfruit or chickpea recipe to share? Let us know on our Facebook or Instagram post!