It’s a new year, which means it’s time to welcome new foods and ingredients that are taking center stage in your kitchens and restaurants. Take a look at some ingredients growing in popularity, how they can impact your health, and how to use them at home.
Aloe (a.k.a. Aloe Vera)
Aloe has been a popular ingredient in skin care products, and its popularity is now translating into food and wellness.
For your health: Aloe has been known as a key ingredient in many beauty products to boost skin health because it is high in antioxidants, is hydrating, and may help accelerate healing of minor wounds and scars. Aloe is also being consumed for its antioxidants, vitamin C, and potential gut health benefits. However, most of this research has been done only on animals, and some research suggests high daily consumption of aloe vera may create gut discomfort such as diarrhea.
In the kitchen: Aloe is becoming easier to find in grocery stores, though some may need to venture to stores that specialize in international ingredients. When buying from a store, it’s most commonly purchased in bottled beverages that could be used to mix into smoothies or other drinks. Some companies are also beginning to expand their product lines and offer dried aloe vera snacks.
Cannabidiol, or CBD, is a component of cannabis with no psychoactive effects. As consumers become more interested in CBD, many food establishments are including it in their menus and more options are available in stores.
For your health: CBD has been commonly used for those that struggle with anxiety, sleep, and general stress. Some evidence shows that CBD can help with focus. Finally, CBD can be found in certain products that can be applied topically to help with joint pain and some products enhance skin health. However, because of the production process, CBD is one of the more expensive items available for purchase.
In the kitchen: CBD is most commonly purchased in the form of oil. While you can easily consume a few drops straight from the bottle, it has a bitter and earthy flavor. To mitigate this, it’s recommended to incorporate CBD in beverages: coffee, juices, smoothies, and more. With its growing popularity, more recipes with CBD are being developed so it can also be included in baked goods, sauces and marinades, too.
Almond and oat flour have become staples for those following a gluten-free diet. Chickpea flour is now entering people’s kitchens too, though it has been used globally in many traditional recipes such as France’s savory pancake, socca, and India’s thin spiced crepes, pudla.
For your health: Made from a legume, chickpea flour has higher amounts of protein and fiber per serving, when compared to other flour alternatives: about 5 grams of protein and about 5 grams of fiber per 1/4 cup.
In the kitchen: Chickpea flour is a great ingredient for savory dishes and can easily be used as a binder for homemade patties, gluten-free pizza crusts, bread, and baked goods. Compared to other flours, chickpea flour creates more density in foods, which can mean that a small amount can go a long way in feeling full and satisfied.
Download the printable handout: Food Trend Watch
Datassential Trendspotting, Vol 10