Healthy food is BIG business and you only have to look on Pinterest and Instagram to see just how influential the latest ‘in’ foods can be. We’ve already given you our predictions for the fitness trends of 2017, but now we’ve got something for all you foodies out there.
Top 10 Foods You Need In Your Life In 2017
There’s nothing new about nutritionists and food experts harking back to days of old and encouraging us to eat more like our ancestors. Just take the popular Paleo diet for example, in which it is advised we only eat foods that can either be hunted or gathered, such as meat, vegetables and berries; hence why it is commonly known as the ‘caveman diet’. And it’s great advice, because OK our ancestors may not have lived as long as we do these days; mainly down to advanced medicine, hygiene and improved standards of living, but there’s no question that their diet was organic, free range, sugar free and arguably better than what is consumed in modern society.
Although eating Paleo remains a popular choice among the health conscious, those cavemen need to watch out, because 2017 is likely to see a Viking invasion!
Taking inspiration from the eating habits of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, as well as adopting some of the traditional dishes of the Vikings, the Nordic diet is all about eating seasonal, sustainable and super healthy food. The kind of food you can expect to see cropping up in trendy London restaurants include: wild salmon, salted fish, langoustine, buttermilk, beetroot and even goat. But, don’t worry it’s very unlikely you’ll be served up the Viking speciality of puffin or elk! Food will be predominantly raw or ‘cooked’ by smoking, fermenting or curing and the underlying philosophy is to take traditional ingredients and present them in an interesting and experimental way, without taking away too much of the natural taste or depleting the nutritional benefits. And the best news is that research has shown that eating like a Viking has been linked to lower blood pressure and weight loss. Pass me that puffin!
Plant waters have been everywhere this year and we predict that this trend will continue in 2017 with even more botanical beverages set to quench our thirst. It started off with coconut water, still the main player in the natural water premier league, then there’s been maple water, birch water, cactus water, aloe water, in fact you think of a tree, shrub or plant and chances are someone’s already thought about how to tap into the nutritious liquid within.
The health benefits of drinking plant water are numerous, most are jam packed with antioxidants, natural minerals and most importantly of all are a far better drink option than the sugary, carbonated energy drinks that are rife in our supermarkets.
Tastewise, well they’re not exactly going to blow your taste buds away, we’re talking more a subtle hint of flavour; a pure and clean natural taste. So, what are we likely to see in 2017? Artichoke water, prickly pear and barley water are all contenders looking to claim the crown, although we think they all have a long way to go before they come anywhere close to gaining the same status as coconut water.
If you’re a vegan this won’t be anything new to you, but to the rest of us nooch is set to revolutionise our meals. So what is Nooch? Well, it is far less fancy than the name would suggest. Nooch is in fact nutritional yeast (doesn’t quite have the same ring to it, does it?) and although it doesn’t look like the most appetising thing you’ve ever seen, it holds the key to one of the most powerful tastes in the human palate…umami. Umami is that special taste that no one can really quite put their finger on, but we all love it. It is most similar to the taste, and addictiveness, of MSG (Mono Sodium Glutamate), which is prevalent in so many of our foods these days and is so, so bad for us. Umami on the other hand is just fine. Most commonly found in things like miso, green tea and nooch, umami helps us retain that naughty MSG flavour without all that guilt!
So, back to nooch. Well, resembling something you’d feed your pet goldfish, nooch has a distinct paremsan-esque flavour and can be used as a flavouring in sauces and soups, or as a topping in much the same way you would use parmesan; it tastes particularly good on kale crisps and popcorn!
Nooch is a great source of vitamin B12, which is fab for optimising metabolism and the cellular function of the body. In fact it packs just as much of a nutritional punch as Marmite, and considering Tesco’s recent #Marmitegate situation, which saw them remove Marmite from their shelves in reaction to Brexit, nooch may just become the new thing you love to hate.
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to appreciate good tasting vegetables and 2017 is all about the power of plants. In the past, standard restaurant practice has tended to focus mainly on the meat, with meat taking up a big part of the plate and the vegetables viewed as merely an accompaniment, or worse, as a garnish. However, veggies are getting their own back and now the meat to vegetable ratio is starting to shift. People are realising that perhaps we don’t always need to choose meat and that actually meat is the expensive and not so healthy choice.
‘In’ vegetables to look out for next year include:
Broccoli leaf – Yep you can eat the leaves! Given the trendy name ‘BroccoLeaf’, the leaves taste similar to a sugarsnap pea and contain 100% of your daily vitamin C as well as plenty of vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium and folate.
Daikon – This white, radish-like, root vegetable is widely used in Asian cooking, but is only just coming to the attention of us westerners. Daikon, meaning ‘great root’ in Japanese, is a great source of vitamin B6, vitamin C, potassium and magnesium. But, perhaps the best quality of this vegetable is it’s subtle bitter taste, which helps curb cravings for sweet food and could be the just the thing you need to politely refuse when the waiter asks if you’d like to see the dessert menu.
Dandelions – Not just weeds in your garden, dandelions are fast becoming a fashionable culinary ingredient. Many of us may associate them as one part of the double act from the drink Dandelion and Burdock, but these green leaves offer a whopping 111% of our daily vitamin A requirements. Bung them in a salad, make a dandelion pesto or treat them as you would any herb. And no it’s not true that if you pick dandelions you’ll wet the bed – did anyone else get told that story as a child?!?
Moringa – The leafy green vegetable, moringa, is looking to give king of the veg, kale, a bit of a run for it’s money in 2017. And it stands a pretty good chance if it can get it’s name out there, as it is more nutritious than kale, yet also has the added bonus of providing a plant protein very similar to quinoa. You can currently buy moringa as a leaf powder supplement in specialist health food stores, however we predict that it won’t be long before we start to see the pods, roots, flowers, seeds and fruits being sold too.
Prosecco has become the Babycham of the 21st century, with women, in particular, listing it as their preferred tipple of choice. And when it comes to making decisions about what to order at the bar, Prosecco is indeed one of the healthiest choices to go for. With roughly just 80 calories per glass in standard glass of Prosecco, it’s hardly the most calorific drink in the world anyway, but Skinny Prosecco manages to shave the calorie content down to just 67. Cynics may argue that it’s barely worth making the switch if it means compromising on taste, however the real gain is from the sugar content. Skinny Prosecco boasts half the amount of sugar than that contained in the same amount of standard Prosecco. Pretty incredible, right!? We have all become a lot more conscious of the levels of sugar in our diets, to the extent that more and more people are choosing to lead a completely sugar free lifestyle. But if you are someone who enjoys the odd cheeky glass or two of something a bit stronger, and let’s face it far more interesting, than sparkling water, then Skinny Prosecco could be just the thing you’re after!
The flavoured yogurts we have become so accustomed to are not as healthy as they seem. If you opt for the diet, fat free versions thinking you’ve chosen the healthier option, then you’d be very much mistaken, as the flavour that is lost through fat is made up by adding lots and lots of sugar. So, when we heard the news that savoury yogurts could be the next big thing we were very interested to find out if these would involve added sugar too. Flavours such as, beetroot, sweet potato and butternut squash are already popular in the US, so it won’t be long before these are bound to cross the pond over to the UK.
And the all important question of whether or not they contain sugar…they don’t!
Yogurt has gone back to its traditional savoury roots, relying on spices and natural vegetable flavourings/purees to give the taste. The Greeks have tsatziki, the Indians have raita, so savoury yogurt really isn’t anything new, but with vegetable yogurts coming into the mix, it’s bound to cause a stir among foodies.
We’re thinking savoury goats cheese waffles drizzled with beetroot yogurt, or eggs benedict with sweet potato yogurt instead of hollandaise sauce, or how about sweet potato toast dipped in avocado yogurt…the possibilities are endless.
No don’t worry, we’re not about to be send you out on a Pokémon Go mission on a quest to hunt a pikachu for your dinner! Poké is the basically the Hawaiian version of sushi, only it’s way, way more on trend. Pronounced ‘poh-kay’, poké is raw cubes of marinated seafood that is usually accompanied by rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado or fish roe. It’s already hugely popular in places like New York and Los Angeles so it’s only a question of time before London jumps on this bandwagon. It’s healthy, it’s tasty and it’s versatile, and we predict it’s going to be massive in 2017.
Make Mine a Mocktail
With the war on sugar raging, the rise of teetotalism and many of us becoming more mindful of our health habits, it’s no surprise that mocktails are set to be the drink to be seen with in 2017. Cocktails without alcohol have traditionally used sweet sugary juices and syrups to make up for this fact, but drinkers are now after something healthier. Demand calls for a drink that look as flashy as a regular cocktail, but also tastes refreshing, light and sophisticated. London mixologists are concocting things from fermented tea, vegetable juices, savoury extracts, herbs, raw vinegar, kombucha and even alcohol free spirits.
First it was olive oil, then came coconut oil and now there’s a new healthy oil on the block. Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp of the fruit rather than the inner stone and tastes like a mild, creamy version of the fruit we know and love. In the last couple of years the popularity of avocado has literally sky rocketed, with every self respecting food Instagrammer featuring it in some shape or form on their feed. It even has it’s own emoji and trending hashtag; this is arguably the most fashionable fruit there’s ever been. Just like the fruit, avocado oil has a high vitamin E content, which is great for the skin and immune system, and has also been shown to reduce glucose levels, fantastic news for diabetics. It can be used raw in salad dressings, or because of its high smoke point (400°F/204°C) it also works really well when baking, frying, roasting and grilling.
Teff is the Ethiopian gluten-free grain that is set to give popular ‘supergrains’ like quinoa, bulgar and barley a run for their money. These seeds may be small (about the size of a poppy seed), but looks are deceptive, as they pack a mean nutritional punch. They’re high in calcium, iron, protein, copper, fibre, manganese, zinc as well as a whole host of vitamins and amino acids. Teff is incredibly versatile and can be used as a flour substitute, meaning it works well in bread, pasta, waffles, pancakes, cakes, pizza bases, anything your baking brain can think of.
Sweet Potato Flour
And whilst we’re on the subject of flour substitutes, have you ever heard of sweet potato flour? That’s right, the orange root vegetable that has become a kitchen staple can also be bought in flour form. It’s gluten free, paleo friendly and is one of the least allergic foods on earth; yes, sweet potato flour is going to feature heavily in the recipes of 2017.
But what does it taste like?
Well, a bit like sweet potato really; sweet, rich and comes complete with the ability to add moisture to a recipe – imagine how great it is in cakes! Just like regular flour, it can be used in any baked good you can think of, as well as a thickening agent and as a coating for fish, meat, vegetables etc. Just be warned, it has a tendency to turn things green (weird, huh?!), is hard to find and is also still incredibly expensive at the moment.
So there you have it, the Art of Healthy Living‘s top 10 predictions of the healthy foods we think will be the ‘in’ foods of 2017.