Healthy Food Trends of 2014

Breakfast is the new dinner, cauliflower is the new kale, and kaniwa is the new quinoa! Here are some of the new food trends expected to appear in 2014 that you won’t want to miss!

Pancakes for dinner – Um, yes please. This is a food trend I really hope takes off. Breakfast is my favorite meal of the day, so to enjoy it twice in one day is a dream. But this idea of pancakes for dinner goes above and beyond fluffy discs coated in butter and maple syrup. We’re talking savory gourmet pancakes – think ham and leek, bacon and cheddar, or even pecorino and sauerkraut!

Clean eating – Every year a new way of eating healthy becomes trendy, and this year I’m thrilled to hear that it’s clean eating! Clean eating is all about eating more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains, nuts and seeds and less processed foods, sugar, salt and alcohol. This has been my eating philosophy for years, so here’s hoping it sticks around beyond 2014! Say hello to kale and quinoa and goodbye to burgers and fries!

Unfamiliar sustainable seafood – Local chefs are finding creative ways to support sustainable seafood on their menus. On restaurant menus in 2014, look for invasive species such as Asian carp, or species that often show up as bycatch (fish caught unintentionally) in fishing nets, like wolf eel and sea robin. Expand your palate and support sustainable this year by trying something new!

Cauliflower boom continues – The cauliflower boom is expected to carry on into 2014! Whether it’s a savory cauliflower steak with butter, seasoned spicy cauliflower rice or a creamy soup, this low-calorie, vitamin C-rich veggie is making a comeback!

Fermentation is in – Using microbes in your own kitchen to create delicious fermented foods is becoming more and more familiar. Home fermentation is going beyond creating homemade yogurt. Think sauerkraut, kombucha and kefir. Expect to see more people experimenting in the kitchen to reap all the benefits these healthy-living foods have to offer.

Kaniwa is the new superfood – Step aside quinoa, kaniwa (ka-nyi-wa) is the new guy in town! This South American quinoa-like pseudo-grain is gluten-free, high in protein and a great source of iron. Kaniwa looks similar to red quinoa, but is about half the size. Use kaniwa as a breakfast porridge, a simple addition to soups or salads, or to make a tasty nutty pilaf! Look for it in your local natural-food store or purchase it online.

What do you hope becomes trendy this year in the food world?

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Amari Thomsen
Amari Thomsen, MS, RD, LDN, is a freelance food and nutrition writer, recipe developer and author of "Idiot’s Guides: Autoimmune Cookbook." She is a recognized nutrition communications expert with FoodMinds and a health influencer herself as owner of a Chicago-based private practice, Eat Chic Chicago.