It seems that everyone is interested in healthy eating these days. Maintaining a healthy diet is not only a way to manage or lose weight, but healthy foods provide energy and nutrients that keep the body youthful. During 2013, there were several healthy food movements that will carry over into 2014 as people make their resolutions to lose weight and gain healthier lifestyles.
Some stars in the healthy food movement during 2013 included leafy greens blended with other foods to create green drinks. Blending leafy greens with foods like cilantro, fresh ginger, granny smith apples and a little water yields a drink that is said to cleanse the liver and help it work more effectively. Kale is one of the dark leafy greens that is often added to these smoothies. Kale provides vitamins K, A, and C as well as calcium, iron and other beneficial nutrients and minerals. Don’t expect the green drink revolution to go away anytime soon. More and more people are discovering the antioxidant benefits of smoothies containing kale and other dark leafy greens.
Another popular food trend during 2013 was the “gluten-free” movement. Those with celiac disease experience difficulty when consuming wheat foods containing gluten, a protein that gives dough elasticity. Many people have chosen to eat gluten-free even though the protein does not affect them.
One of the grains that has been popular with those on gluten-free diets is quinoa, pronounce “keen-wa.” Quinoa has a nutty flavor and can be cooked and eaten like rice. Quinoa is very nutritious as it is a complete protein and is low in sodium, high in fiber and loaded with minerals. As with rice, quinoa can be used in various dishes.
Color and flavor round out the food trends of 2013. Adding color to dishes by using various fruits and vegetables is a way to increase the amounts of healthy antioxidants in foods. Another way to add color and flavor is to use various condiments that add interesting flavor–some mild and some bold and spicy. One of those condiments that has been very popular in food preparation is sriracha, a spicy sauce made of chili pepper paste, vinegar, salt, sugar and garlic. Popular in Thai food and other spicy dishes, sriracha has become a household name is some circles.
The great thing about sriracha is that it can be added to numerous dishes to add a little or a lot of heat. Mixed with low-fat mayo, it makes alternative to tartar sauce when served with shrimp or fish. It can also be added to chili and marinades for a bolder flavor. Sriracha is a good addition to a healthy diet when the aim is to add bold flavor without adding fat or calories.
Another trend during 2013 was the love of artisan breads. Most supermarket chains carry a variety of these rustic breads, including whole wheat, sour dough, ciabatta and multi-grain breads that appear as though they were baked in a country oven. Unlike the mass baked off-the-shelf varieties, artisan breads tend to be denser, with crisp crusts and flavorful insides.
Many grocery store delis baked artisan breads fresh at least once a day, so it is easy to get it fresh. Artisan bread goes will with a bowl of soup or chili on a cold day. Serving it is a way to add a bit of rustic culinary sophistication to a meal. Having a piece of artisan bread with a healthy bowl of soup is a way to enjoy something fulfilling and delicious without adding tons of calories to the meal.
2014 is a good year to discover some of these food trends. A great resolution would be to give a few of these a healthy try.
About the Author: Ryan Ayers is an informative writer who creates articles in relation to education and health. In this article, he discusses healthy trends that have arisen in the past year, and what it means for our future. He aims to encourage further study through OU athletic administration degrees.