From activated charcoal to the ever-growing list of superfoods, various food trends have come and gone over the years as foodies have attempted to keep up with the latest fads. Although black ice cream may (or may not?) be a thing of the past, there’s one trend that’s here to stay: eating healthy.
For those keen on health and natural living, the Natural Products Expo West 2018 trade show was *the* place to be this weekend as numerous wellness brands showcased their newest products and set the standard for healthy lifestyles. If you weren’t able to make it to this year’s trade show, you may be wondering what some of this year’s healthy food trends are. From nut-free, vegan milks to foods that promote a healthy gut, here are ten of the most popular vegan food trends you should watch out for this year.
1. Dairy-Free Cheese
Finding vegan cheeses (that actually taste good!) at your neighborhood grocery store can be tricky. Rest assured, 2018 will give way to more non-dairy cheese alternatives as big names like Miyoko’s Kitchen and Violife release countless new flavors. From feta (yes, Miyoko’s Kitchen just debuted a new feta-style cheese perfect for a delicious Greek salad!!) to parmesan, and nacho dips to delectable cheese spreads, it’s safe to say you’ll be hosting your very own “wine and cheese” night very soon.
A staple in tacos and pulled “pork” sandwiches, jackfruit is quickly taking over as *the* plant-based “meat” alternative of choice thanks to its immense versatility. Since last year, jackfruit has risen in popularity by 131 percent, so don’t be surprised if you see this year’s latest food trend on the menu the next time you dine out! If you’re looking to try out jackfruit for the first time, there are a plethora of quick and easy frozen dinners to choose from (e.g., Trader Joe’s Yellow Jackfruit Curry with Jasmine Rice and The Jackfruit Company’s new Teriyaki Jackfruit Bowl), or you can try your hand at making your very own Asian BBQ Jackfruit Tacos!
3. Nut-Free Milks
If you’ve got a nut allergy (or perhaps you just want to try something new), you may be on the hunt for vegan milks that aren’t made from almonds or cashews. Luckily, 2018 will see a rise in nut-free milks from brands like Oatly!, Suja, and Ripple.
4. Vegan Cold Brew
Move aside Starbucks! Although their new iced Hazelnut Mocha Coconutmilk Macchiato was very enticing, there are now countless bottled (and totally affordable!), vegan iced coffees hitting store shelves this year for those needing an extra boost in the morning. Be on the lookout for vegan cold brews by brands like Califia Farms, and Bhakti.
5. Protein To Go
Snacking on the go has never been easier thanks to brands like GoMacro, Vega, Garden of Life, Sunwarrior Tribe, and LUNA bar (just to name a few!) who are all serving up delicious protein bars perfect for appeasing your grumbling belly when you’re on the go. Some of these brands have new protein bars coming out this year, so be on the lookout for their exciting new flavors!
6. CBD-Infused Foods
CBD-infused foods are rapidly growing in popularity, especially because of their many health benefits like pain, insomnia, and anxiety relief. Although CBD-infused foods typically revolve around desserts and candies, companies are now creating healthier products to meet the growing demand. Buddha Teas is one such company that was featured this weekend at Expo West and their current offerings include CBD Matcha Green Tea, CBD Mint Tea, CBD Chamomile Blend Tea, and CBD Turmeric & Ginger Tea. Keep an eye out for their new line of twist-and-shake CBD bottled teas, which are set for release later this year.
7. Gut-Friendly Foods
As of late, probiotic– and prebiotic-rich foods have been all the rage due to their numerous health benefits, especially in relation to overall gut health. Probiotics help ease digestive issues, boost energy, improve the immune system, clear skin conditions like acne, and can help ease symptoms of depression. Since some of the most probiotic-rich foods happen to be yogurt and other dairy products, the fact that more vegan, gut-friendly foods are popping up this year is great news for those looking to keep up with this trend! Here are two of the newest gut-healthy picks of this year:
8. Root-to-Stem Eating
Zero-waste living is becoming more and more mainstream as people around the world are realizing the impact their trash is having on the planet. Similarly, many adhere to root-to-stem eating habits in order to minimize the amount of food waste they generate. Peels, leaves, stems, you name it! Practice mindful cooking this year and try making your meals by using every bit of the fresh produce you purchased (you may just save some money in the process!).
9. Science-Based Foods
By now, you’ve probably heard about the controversial topic of lab-grown meat. Whether you’re all for these technological advances or not, it seems science-based foods are quickly becoming the new norm! Beyond Meat is one such company that’s producing innovative meat-free (no lab-grown meat here!) products. Adding to their successful line of Beyond Burgers and other 100% plant-based products, Beyond Meat recently debuted their new plant-based Italian sausage at Expo West.
10. Super Powders
Although superfoods like blueberries and kale will always be in, super powders are becoming increasingly popular due to their many health benefits and because of how easy they are to incorporate into diets. From smoothies to protein bars, coffees and even soups — you can easily supercharge any dish or beverage with super powders like cacao, matcha, moringa, and spirulina.
What new vegan foods are you most excited about?
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