Every so often, new sections of snacks pop up in supermarkets and food stores that swear to improve your diet. The Summer Fancy Food Festival by the Specialty Food Association features nearly 3,000 brands and 45,000 specialty food professionals from around the globe that exhibit the up and coming trends in the food market. Our experience at the festival was cluttered by countless stands of brands showing off the newest crazes in good-for-you eats. Nonetheless, here are a few trends that caught our eye.
While fermented foods have been around for centuries, the profound health benefits have not surfaced until recently. The bacteria content in these prepared foods can aid the digestive system by breaking down components that are difficult for the body to digest such as carbohydrates and lactose. Yogurt and pickles are the more familiar fermented foods that can be incorporated in your everyday diet. Tempeh, kimchi, natto, kefir and kombucha are some of the other nutrient rich options that will boost your overall health.
Meat lovers, rejoice. This once artificially infused snack has kicked out the seemingly foreign ingredients and is on the rise as a healthy on the go snack. Hormone free, grass fed jerky is protein packed and a viable alternative to the typical protein-bar after the gym. Brands like Bakkwa offer a variety of flavors and seasonings of their gluten-free jerky as featured at the show.
Cheese without the reaping consequences of dairy is here. This food is good news for dairy-sensitive eaters who have had to put this tasty sandwich topper to the side. Vegan cheese uses plant-based protein like soy or vegetable oil and says goodbye to casein, a type of milk protein. However, just because it’s vegan does not mean it’s healthy. Beware of processed products that are high in fat and chemical content. You can even make it on your own using just olive oil and nutritional yeast as a base.
Ethnic Spice Blends
Following a healthy lifestyle does not mean taste must be sacrificed. Often, healthy recipes are given a bad rap for being bland and unexciting. However, seasoning with the right ingredients can add immense flavor to your home cooked meal. Taking simple spices such as cumin, coriander, turmeric and cardamom and blending them together can give a simple meal a curry-flavored flair. Just adding lemon to salt and pepper can create a tangy twist. Experimenting with simple spice combinations will lead you to forget about excess fats and oils and put a little more fun in cooking.