January 2, 2013

Food Trends for the New Year

Alexis Herman, 
Dietetic Intern
Bay Pines VA Healthcare System

After the New Year’s hoorahs and holiday fests have silenced, many of us think about what we want to change in the new year. Most have their new year’s resolutions to lose an extra five pounds, become more physically active, or eat healthier foods. New food trends for 2013 are in the making and can help us achieve some of those resolutions. Here are some predictions.

In 2013 vegetables are moving to the center of the plate. Look for them to be prepared in new and innovative ways. Vegetables will show up on dessert menus. According to Food Technology magazine, corn, cucumber, celery, beets, and eggplant will be adding substance to sweets. To add healthy fats to the dessert course, avocado will be used to give a creamy texture to ice cream and mousse.

A wider assortment of greens will be in the spotlight in 2013. Beet greens, chard and turnip greens will be more popular. Earthbound Farm, a company that offers organic brands at stores such as Wal-Mart, Target, Whole Foods, and other providers, has predicted a rise in the consumption of komatsuna, a leaf vegetable grown in Japan and Taiwan. It is also known as Japanese Mustard Spinach. Komatsuna is a good source of calcium, providing 65% of your daily recommendations, with 14 calories in approximately 2 cups. This green has a little bite to it like kale and can be eaten raw, sautéed, braised, or added to soups.

Quinoa (keen-wah), a whole-grain that serves as a complete protein, is being added to more snacks and recipes. This grain can be used as a side dish with dried apricots and spinach, or the focus of the meal like in a turkey and quinoa meatloaf. Quinoa and turkey meatloaf recipes can be found at One cup cooked quinoa has 222 calories, with 8 grams of protein, and 5 grams of dietary fiber. The company iheartkeenwah has manufactured four flavors of quinoa clusters (like rice cakes) that will be on shelves this year.

Aside from this high protein grain, other meatless proteins like eggs, nut butters, tofu, beans, and legumes will take the place of chicken and beef due to the 2012 drought, declining supply and increasing price.

Coconut water, a popular beverage for the last several years and chia seeds now come in a powdered form. Mix it the coconut powder for a beverage on the go or add it to smoothies. Chia can be used in baked goods as a flour substitute and sprinkled over oatmeal and yogurt.

Fermented foods like miso, yogurt, and kombucha will be on the rise this year. These foods are a source of complex flavors and are a source of probiotics that will appeal to health conscious consumers.

Bon appétit! Have a healthy and happy 2013!

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