If you’re a super foodie like us and your taste buds crave adventure, then we know you’ll want to be on top of the very latest food trends for 2018. You may not have heard of them, they may sound strange, but they’re on their way – from all over the world. So, read on if you want a head start on the eight most interesting healthy eating trends of 2018.
1. Experimenting with medical mushrooms
The 2017 trend of mushroom-infused everything is still going strong, with varieties like reishi, chaga, and cordyceps taking the lead. These so-called ‘medical mushrooms’ are known for their immune boosting and antioxidant properties and they’re getting more popular by the day.
You can now get medical mushrooms in broths, bottled beverages, teas and even skin care products. The latest trend, however, is mushroom-infused coffee. The combo is said to boost your productivity and metabolism. While health and fitness fanatics seem to think that mushroom-infused coffee is the next super-beverage, the jury is still out on whether this can be proven scientifically. What do you think? Would you take a fungi-ccino over a cappuccino? All we know is this trend has legs, so it might be around for a while. Expect to see a cup of it in a hipster cafe near you soon.
2. A new way to season your savoury dishes
Consuming too much salt (sodium chloride) can put strain on your heart, stomach and kidneys. Luckily a new kind of savoury sprinkle is trending. It’s cheap, easy to make and deliciously salty: cue seaweed.
Seaweed strains like Nori (the much-loved sushi wrapping) and Dulse (a nutritious red seaweed that looks a bit like miniature kale) are making headlines as a healthy substitute for salt. All strains of seaweed have a naturally salty taste without the high levels of sodium. Although researchers say it is not a complete substitute for salt it can definitely help take some of the pressure off if you think you’re consuming too much salt in your diet, and offers some added benefits too.
Nori contains a lot of vitamins and minerals, including ten times more calcium than milk. Dulse has three times the nutritional value of kale and, get this, it tastes like bacon! Restricting your salt intake has never been this easy, if you’d like to ease yourself into this trend gently, just order some sushi the next time you’re at CTFM – especially the maki rolls, which are wrapped in Nori. And keep an eye out for other seaweed sprinkles and snacks in stores in 2018.
3. Super(food) powders
Superfood powders like matcha, spirulina and acai were all the rage in 2017 and the trend looks set to continue with an even broader range of jam-packed powders.
In 2018, our favourite nighttime drink, Turmeric Golden Milk, will be getting supercharged with newcomer, ashwagandha, a close relative of the gooseberry. With benefits in anti-ageing, stress relief, immunity and fertility this addition is a no-brainer. This is also the year that super green moringa – one of the most nutrient-rich plants in the world – will take over from kale, matcha and green tea as the super green must-have. Usually added to foods and drinks as a powder, moringa comes from the dried and crushed seeds of the fern-like moringa tree. It is loaded with antioxidants, anti-inflammatory agents, iron, calcium, protein and vitamin C. Expect this green powder to quickly rise through the ranks as a smoothie booster.
If the idea of adding powders to your food makes you cringe, don’t worry! There are other tried and tested (not to mention delicious) ways to get more superfoods in your diet. Come on down to your nearest CTFM and enjoy our seared Teriyaki Salmon, rich in Omega 3s, or a bowl of mussels, one of our most popular seafood superfoods.
4. Going vegan is easier than ever
Vegans have had a tough time in South Africa. We are a nation of meat eaters with an entire day dedicated to braaivleis and boerewors, but veganism is part of the culinary rainbow, and more people are opening up to the amazing things you can do with veggies.
Artisanal vegan restaurants and shops are popping up all over the country, with delicious vegan options that everyone can enjoy. At CTFM our menu includes tasty vegan options like vegan sushi, delicious salads, and more.
As the sun sets on ‘Braai Pies’ and rises on plant-based boerewors, we’re finally at a stage where we can say ‘braai’ and ‘vegan’ in the same sentence without getting (too many) funny looks.
5. Keto is still going strong
The effectiveness of Ketogenic diets in weight-loss and diabetes management has gained a lot of attention over the last couple of years thanks to the popularity of banting, and is now more popular than ever. Keto diets are built around foods that are low in carbohydrates and high in fats. This includes cheeses, superfoods like avocado, low-carb vegetables, and many types of seafood.
Mussels, oysters, and certain kinds of fish are becoming particularly popular among Keto eaters because of their low-carb, high-fat and – in many cases – superfood status. As people get more educated about the nutritional value of seafood, it’s becoming easier and more cost-effective than ever to switch to Keto. This trend is here to stay.
6. Eating local is getting closer to home
Global movements like farm-to-table and root-to-stem are flourishing – and with good reason. The foods grown and cultivated near you are usually the freshest, most nutritious, and most flavourful foods you can eat.
South Africans are embracing food localism with an increasing number of foraging restaurants like Foliage in Franschhoek and Wolfgat in Paternoster. Grocery stores also now give preference to locally-sourced, sustainably-farmed ingredients and they are clearly marked for us to see. If you’re interested in finding out about locally-sourced seafood in South Africa, read our article on how easy it is to eat local when seafood is the main course.
7. Avocado oil: The all-rounder of 2018
Avocado oil has been named one of the five healthiest oils on the planet and when we say ‘healthy’ we don’t just mean it’s okay to pour it over your salad. This oil, made from the thin layer of pulp around the avocado pit, is a lot more versatile than you might think.
Avocado oil has a higher smoke temperature than most oils (including olive oil), which means it’s less likely to lose any nutritional value during cooking – even at very high temperatures. It’s the perfect oil for searing juicy pieces of salmon and locking in those flavours.
It is also used as a natural remedy for all kinds of ailments across the world and its proven ability to reduce negative effects of arthritis has given it prescription drug status in France. In addition to this, many stylists and beauticians are now starting to recommend Avocado oil to nourish skin and hair.
Bottom line: In 2018, you can expect to see this all-rounder in restaurants, grocery stores, pharmacies, and possibly even on your hairdresser’s shelf.
8. Need a little break from Kombucha? Switchel it up in 2018
Switchel is back! That’s right, this refreshing drink has been around for centuries and thanks to the similarities between today’s hipsters and the 17th-century American farmers, it’s making a comeback.
Switchel is a fermented drink made from apple cider vinegar, fresh ginger, and a variable sweetener (traditionally maple syrup). It is said to ease inflammation, boost your immune system, balance your body’s ph levels and of course, quench your thirst.
Because of its great taste and health benefits, people have started experimenting with adding alcohol to it, to create a healthy happy-hour drink. The ‘Dirty Switchel’ has already made its way into cocktail bars and restaurants across the world and with so many local apple farms, South Africa is definitely not far behind.