6 Under-the-Radar Healthy Food Trends of 2014

Dinner pancake

photo: Bon Appetit

This is a guest post by Amari Thomsen MS, RD, LDN.

Happy New Year! Hope you had a memorable 2013! Now it’s out with the old and in with the new! Here are some of the new food trends expected to appear in 2014.

1. 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 be able to enjoy it twice in one day would be 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!

2. 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 to hoping it sticks around beyond 2014! Say hello kale and quinoa and goodbye to burgers and fries!

3. Unfamiliar Sustainable Seafood – Local chefs are finding creative ways to support sustainable seafood on their menus. Look for invasive species like Asian carp or species that often show up as bycatch in fishing nets like wolf eel, and sea robin on restaurant menus during 2014. Expand your palate and support sustainable this year by trying something new!

4. 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!

5. 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!

6. 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?
Amari ThomsenAmari Thomsen is a registered dietitian, blogger and owner of Chicago-based nutrition consulting practice, Eat Chic Chicago. With a Master’s degree in Nutrition, Amari is focused on promoting real food nutrition. She also works as a freelance writer/blogger to spread the word about healthy living. Read her nutrition blog and find her on Twitter, Facebook and Pinterest.