Health Food Trends to be on the Lookout for in 2019

As with fashion and diets, health food trends come and go. Some, like yogurt, are still around but have evolved over time. Following are a few trends you’ll be seeing more of in 2019:

  • Middle Eastern mania. Falafel and hummus have already gone mainstream, so this cuisine is now growing in popularity. Tahini, made from hulled sesame seeds that are toasted and ground, is poised to be the next almond butter. Spices such as harissa, sumac, and za’atar are finding their way into flatbreads, meatballs, and even pastries. So the next time your chef rolls out that pastry dough, think savory, not sweet. Chickpeas have graduated from salad toppings to sweet and savory snacks. You’ll even see hummus take a starring role in ice cream. 
  • Oat milk and more. Yes, it’s what you think it is – milk made from oats. While you can purchase it by the carton, it’s much easier (and less expensive) to make it yourself. Simply soak and rinse the oats — or not, if you’re time-crunched — then put in a blender with water, 3-4 cups per one cup of oats. If you soak the oats, blend for 10 seconds; otherwise, blend for a minute. Steel-cut oats are preferable, but regular oatmeal works just as well. Strain the mixture and, voila, you’ve got oat milk. It’s perfect for those avoiding dairy and fat. One cup of oat milk has approximately 4gof protein, 130 calories, 5g fat, 110g sodium, 19g sugar, 2g fiber, and 24g of carbohydrates. It’s the perfect alternative for your lactose-intolerant guests. Serve it with macarons or other desserts, alongside a variety of berries, and as a dairy-free alternative to cream for coffee. Other milks you’ll see popping up include banana, pecan, walnut, hemp (more on that next), hazelnut and flaxseed.
  • Plant-based foods. Whether from the land or the sea, plants will be growing in popularity. Examples include chia seed oil, pumpkin seed butter, cauliflower mac and cheese, popped chickpeas, beet tortillas and banana puree-based “ice cream.” Algae oil will make its way to store shelves, and kelp, water lentils, and algae will be found in everything from snacks to sausages. Try adding algae oil when cooking grains for an added health boost.
  • Meat alternatives. Vegetarian options are nothing new, but we’ll see more innovative products this year. Lentils will be cropping up (pun intended) everywhere. Mushrooms will make their way into pork-free rinds and baconless bits. Those who eschew (no pun intended) meat for humanitarian reasons may be interested in cell-based meat, which is meat and protein extracted from cells without killing the animal.