Originally posted on Mind Body Green
This year, fervor for food is at a fever pitch, with the world of healthy cuisine expanding, giving wellness-minded consumers a bounty of options to choose from. The influence of social media is strong, with the aesthetics of food sometimes trumping even flavor (we see you, Unicorn Toast!), and labeling a food identity suddenly feeling more confining than empowering. This year, functional food finds itself at the forefront of our conversations and shopping lists, with healing herbs available in tea form at neighborhood supermarkets, and foods you already have in your pantry becoming therapeutic (with a large enough dose!). Read on for 2017’s food trends in full!
1. Breakfast Becomes Magical With Unicorn Everything
Call it a reaction to the chaotic climate we're living in or simply a fanciful hearkening back to childhood, but the unicorn craze is out of control. With Insta-celebs like Taline Gabriel and Vibrant & Pure leading the way and trend-forward cafes like Brooklyn's The End contributing their own creations, lattes, toast, and even smoothies aren't free from the rainbows. "I believe more and more people are becoming interested in fantasy food as it’s an escape from the everyday," Taline told BuzzFeed. "We are bombarded with beautiful images on our screens all day. I believe people want to see something different—something they haven’t seen before. I like to offer them that!"
Made from blending some type of creamy, white base (cashew cream, cream cheese, banana or cauliflower-based smoothies) with natural colorants like beet juice, goji powder, spirulina, chlorella, pomegranate powder, turmeric, blueberries and more, the resulting concoctions are filled with layered pastels and take the health and visual benefits of breakfast to the next level. With social media here to stay, we predict this trend will be too, with people spending more time on the presentation of their food, in addition to making sure it tastes delicious.
2. Would You Like Your Grains Soaked, Sprouted, or Fermented?
Now that the gluten-free everything trend is losing steam, people are looking for new ways to make their grains digestible—and soaking, sprouting and fermentation have stepped in to save the day. The process simply involves submerging a grain or legume in salted water for 12 - 24 hours, before draining and drying or cooking normally. The process has mega-health benefits too. At mbg's most recent cookbook club, My New Roots blogger Sarah Britton explained: "Every seed is dormant until the conditions are in place for it to become a plant. If you take a sunflower seed and just eat it, you're actually eating a locked up plant. When you soak it, you're telling it that it's about to become an entire plant, because all of the nutrients to become that are inside, but they're asleep until you soak it. When you soak it, you're initiating the growing process and awakening the nutrition. Eating a handful of raw almonds isn't going to kill you—it's better than a bag of chips—but you're not getting all of the nutrients."
Not into doing it on your own? Brands like TruRoots, Soul Sprout and Ezekiel bread have stepped up to the plate, with prepackaged foods that handle the process for you.
3. So Long, Earl Grey. Super Healing Herbal Tea Is Taking Over
Once limited to more simple herbs, adaptogens have suddenly hit the local tea aisle—in a big way. While chamomile is still around (see our mega-dosing trend, below), it's hard to find it amid the galangal ginger, baobab and Greek-longevity herbs that now crowd the aisle. Want to balance your blood sugar? Reach for a glass of moringa tea. Want to boost your immune system? Chocolate-flavored reishi mushroom tea has got your back.
Brands like The Republic of Tea are leading the way with their SuperHerb line, where you'll find galangal ginger, milk thistle, sage, fenugreek, nettle and more. Specialty Scandinavian brand Ayla is selling a sea buckthorn tea designed to quell inflammation, and Pukka, now becoming more popular in the US after starting in the UK, sells teas made with ingredients like marshmallow root, holy basil, and lime flower. Argo Tea’s new Wellness Collection has blends called Energized, Empower, Detox, Relax and Renew, while Choice's new wellness teas were formulated in conjunction with an herbalist and professor at a natural health university, with ingredients like burdock root, dandelion, and eleuthero.
Now that people have realized how easy it is for them to use their daily hydration method as a way to boost their health, they've also begun experimenting with creating their own herbal concoctions at home. With the widespread availability of herbs online, it's become easier for people to play around with their own healing tonics, making elixirs to combat anxiety or give themselves more energy.
Read more here.