We asked Sara Siskind, certified nutritional health counselor and founder of Hands on Healthy, cooking classes for adults, families and teens based in New York, for her top food trends, as we move into 2016. And in case you haven't heard, the United Nations just declared 2016 as the International Year of Pulses (legumes). In other words, grains and legumes will be getting a lot of well-deserved attention this year. Here are the 2016 food trends from Sara Siskind.
Increased focus on plant based nutrition. This signifies a move to increase the amount of fruits and vegetables, legumes, nuts and seeds in your daily diet while limiting animal protein. These foods are higher in fiber and fewer in calories than meat; leaving you fuller for a longer period of time. In addition, they are nutrient-rich, providing you with nourishment to keep your body in balance.
A move away from anything “artificial." Artificial flavors and additives offer no nutritional value. They are mostly found in heavily processed foods such as breads, cereals, flavored yogurt and soups; just to name a few. All artificial flavors in the food industry have some detrimental health effects. Watch for food chains eliminating all artificial ingredients in 2016.
Protein snacks. Physical activity has been the mainstream now for people of all ages and size. With that said, you will notice more “on the go” protein snacks and drinks to help people sustain their physical activities. Try Setton Farms Pistachio Chewy Bites, packed with healthy ingredients to keep your energy up. They are perfectly portioned and individually wrapped, making it easy to toss in your gym bag or purse.
Reduce food waste. Not only does waste affect your wallet, it also has a negative effect on sustaining the earth’s resources. Most food waste occurs in consumers’ homes because they think if the food looks bad, it tastes bad. Proper storage of foods can make it taste better and last longer, which equals less waste.
Store potatoes in a cool, dark place to keep them from losing their flavor. Fresh greens that seem sandy or dirty should be rinsed and dried well, then wrapped in a paper towel. Fruits such as apples, bananas, pears and avocadoes should be stored at room temperature without any packaging. You can even prolong the browning of the bananas if you separate them from the bunch and keep them individually.
Add more probiotics to your diet. Probiotics, also known as “good” bacteria, are live bacteria and yeast that are good for your health, especially your digestive system. When your gut is healthy, you feel better and your immune system becomes stronger. Probiotics can be found in fermented foods such as yogurt, kombucha, miso, sourdough bread, kefir and unpasteurized sauerkraut; just to name a few. I’ve been hooked on Organic Raw Kombucha. The sour bubbly taste helps to curb your cravings while giving you the added enzymes and probiotics that help your body thrive.
Source locally. Not only are people interested in how their food tastes, but more importantly where their Local produce, meat and seafood comes from, and how it is grown. Restaurants and markets are using local farmers more than ever. Although some may not be labeled USDA Organic, most farmers practice organic methods of growing. Also, the food available is fresher and in season which is overall better for the body.