Food fads can quickly come and go. Last year, the Paleo diet and lifestyle made a big splash, along with food trucks and menu delivery services like Blue Apron and Purple Carrot. Fresh pressed juices (similar to the ones in Cork & Kale) and Kombucha—fermented and sweetened black or green teas—filled grocery store shelves, and cauliflower elbowed kale out of the spotlight.
The healthy-eating trend continues to show staying power, as chefs and home cooks try to find ever more creative ways to incorporate into everyday meals all-important veggies, foods that pack in good belly bacteria and new flavors in the dairy category.
Here’s how your kitchen and grocery list is likely to evolve:
Zucchini noodles, or zoodles, along with other types of vegetable noodles, have become a popular alternative to traditional pasta. You can substitute any sort of vegetable noodle, such as zucchini, sweet potato, beets or butternut squash, for regular noodles, and top with your favorite sauce. In doing so, you’ll be packing in more protein and fiber into a single meal. Try out zoodles pre-spiraled at the store, then invest in a spiralizer kitchen gadget for at-home zoodles.
Kombucha and fermented foods—think kimchi and sauerkraut—have become known for their role in promoting healthy gut bacteria. New to this category are wellness tonics, which range from sour-sweet sparking probiotic drinks to apple cider vinegar-based concoctions and tumeric-flavored elixirs. All tout benefits of boosting your gut and immune system.
More restaurants are including compost bins into their trash and recycling efforts, but a few are going one step further by aiming to have zero taste. The topic will get a major platform in Anthony Bourdain’s forthcoming documentary, Waste! The Story of Food Waste. Meanwhile, look for restaurants and recipes using the by-products of other creations (like mushroom stems or broccoli stalks) to make a new dish.
Some yogurt brands are stepping out beyond the standard berry, peach and melon with new flavors that might sound strange to some, but tasty to others. Think savory flavor combinations, such as pear and cardamom, mango sweet chili and coconut curry with cashews.
Rather than always eating gluten-free or vegan, trends are pointing towards a more flexible style of consumption. An 80/20 “flexitarian” diet lets you eat a meat-free or animal-free diet most of the time, while giving you some leeway for “cheat” days. For example, you can go vegan during the week, vegetarian on the weekends, and allow yourself meat once a month, or some combination.