It is just about the new year, and what better time then now to predict the hottest trends for 2013. As ShopRite of Timonium's dietitian, my mind is definitely on the latest and greatest food trends. Over the past year, industry experts complied their predicion and I've picked a few of my favorites:
1. Popcorn. This whole-grain snack will be "popping" up just about everywhere. With Americans snacking more than ever, this healthy, high-fiber sanck will be all the rage. Keep calories in check by choosing a reduced fat version or opt for the 100 calorie mini bags to control portions. Look out for more flavors and varieties. You can even try air popping your own kernels, spray with ShopRite butter cooking spray, and sprinkle with your favorite no-salt seasonings.
2. Greens. While you may already know that dark, leafy greens are a nutrient powerhouse packed with vitamins A, C, and K, folate, iron, and calcium, you may not be as familiar with all the delicious varieties. Greens like baby kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and beet greens are on the rise. Not only will you find them on more restaurant menus, you can also purchase them for your own culinary masterpieces. Try Earthbound Farms Baby Kale or Olivia's Baby Kale in salads or sauteed as a side dish.
3. Cauliflower. Part of the cabbage family, cauliflower is usually runner up to its green cousin, broccoli. Not this year! Roasted cauliflower is a hot food trend. Roasting seems to bring out the best flavor of most vegetables, and cauliflower is no exception. Just toss trimmed cauliflower florets with olive oil, salt, and pepper and roast until browned and tender. Try topping butternut squash soup with a few roasted cauliflower florets for a tasty lunch option.
4. Tart and Sour Foods. If you don't have a sweet tooth, you might prefer the taste of tart and sour foods. This new flavor combination is becoming more popular among foodies. Tart cherries, grapefruit, plain yogurt, and sauerkraut are just a few healthy choices.
5. Freekah. Freekah, like quinoa, is an ancient grain that is gaining popularity because of its nutrient profile and unique taste. Freekah is made from young "green" wheat, so it not gluten free, but it contains plenty of fiber and protein. Use freekah in place of rice or couscous or try adding it to soups and stews for an added nutritional punch.
Be on the lookout for even more foods trends in 2013: higher protein content of foods, packaged foods with less total ingredients and no artificial additives, increase in allergens claims especially gluten-free, and more whole grains in kid-friendly products.