February 2, 2017

10 Trendy Ingredients That Deserve A Spot On Your Dinner Plate

Food editor Kristen Eppich shares 10 ingredients to look out for in 2017.

Kristen-Eppich-Feature-620x460If our Top 10 Food Trends Of 2017 are any indication, we have a delicious year ahead. From poke bowls to vegan alternatives of our favorite foods, much of it happens to be good for us — and these of-the-moment ingredients follow suit. Here are 10 foods that will be in the spotlight in 2017, and deserve a place on your dinner plate.

1. Nutritional yeast: This is the flaky fish food-like ingredient you’ve seen and wondered about in health food stores. Nutritional yeast is inactive yeast that has been pasteurized, then dried and broken down into little flakes. It’s very high in protein, and most are fortified with B12 which is normally only found in animal products like dairy. Nutritional yeast is commonly used in vegan diets for its savory hit, with an almost cheese-like flavor. It’s great sprinkled on almost anything — I’m a fan of it on popcorn.

2. Seaweed variations like kelp, kombu, kakame, dulse and nori: Get familiar with these as they’ll be gracing the menus of many restaurants. Whether served on a bowl of poke or in a salad or stew, this nutrient-packed, low calorie and potentially detoxifying ingredient is here to stay.

3. Activated charcoal (consumable): Charcoal in all forms can be seen on health food store shelves these days, applauded for its detoxifying properties. There are charcoal powders (pictured, above) and shards that can be stirred into water, and even ones that come in capsule form.

4. Spirulina: This natural algae is harvested from freshwater ponds and lakes then pureed, dried and sold in powder form. It’s commonly use in smoothies as a nutrient-rich ingredient that also creates a vibrant green color. Spirulina is available in most health food stores and is very high in protein, iron and Vitamin B.

5. Skyr: You may have felt a northern wind blowing in your kitchens lately, and that’s the Nordic flavors that are ubiquitous these days. Skyr is an Icelandic strained yogurt. It is even thicker than a greek yogurt, but with a milder flavor. Use it as you would thick yogurt.

6. Alternative proteins: They may seem cringe-worthy, but the environmentally sustainable benefits of eating insects along with their high protein levels means you will be seeing them in 2017. Look out for worm salts (dried worms ground into salt) or small packets of mealworms and other crickets at select specialty stores.

7. Amaro: The Italian digestive known for its bitter, herbal, aromatic qualities is the go-to booze of the year. Walk into any bar and ask for their selection of amaros and it will be substantial. All brands differ based on what was infused into it, so finding one you like may take some sampling. Tough job.

8. Whey: No way. Yes whey! This yogurt byproduct is now a product all on its own. Yogurt companies like White Moustache in NYC are selling the whey that’s produced when making their yogurt as a drinkable, natural energy drink loaded with calcium and protein. It’s available plain or in other flavors like lime and ginger. Whey also makes a great marinade.

9. Hard cider: Hard cider has always been a very popular bevvy in the U.K., but it’s having a major comeback in North America. Made with the fermented juices of apples, this lightly sweet fizzy drink could be riding on the wave of everything craft brew, or it could be gaining popularity for its gluten-free properties. Either way, you’ll have several new brands of hard cider to try this year.

10. Kombucha: You’ve likely become familiar with this fermented tea by now, but 2017 is the year that kombucha goes mainstream. Gut-friendly and probiotic-rich, this brew will not only be available in health food and grocery stores, you’ll now be able to find it on tap at bars and restaurants in a full range of flavors.

Author: Kristen Eppich

Courtesy of CRBN