Our 8 Favorite Healthy Food Trends for 2018
These healthy foods are on our radar—and we expect to see a lot of them this year.
Kalettes, matcha, the Instant Pot—we love them, but what's next? Here are the foods you need to stay on the cutting edge of healthy in 2018, the tools you need to cook them, and how you can use them in some of our favorite recipes.
Kohlrabi delivers more vitamin C per serving than an orange. Mild and lightly sweet, this brassica's time in the sun has arrived. The green and purple varieties taste the same, but you should look for bulbs that feel heavy for their size with verdant leaves that haven't yet wilted or discolored. Find them online at Melissa’s.
To cook kohlrabi, pare away the tough outer bulb layer to get to the crisp, juicy white meat inside. Trim off discolored portions of leaves. Treat the bulb like a root veggie—slice or cube peeled bulb to roast or sauté, or stir into stews and soups. Shave thinly or cut into matchsticks to use raw in salads. Use leaves as you would hardy turnip greens or kale—sauté, or chop up for salad.
Job's tears are a gluten-free ancient whole grain you'll see more and more this year. The large grains have versatile corn-rice flavor. Find it at health-food stores and Asian markets or on Amazon ($12).
Cooking Sous Vide
This bluetooth-enabled precision cooker will get you hooked on sous vide, a super-simple, foolproof, and hands-off method: Food sealed in heat-safe bags poaches slowly to the perfect degree of doneness while preserving most of its nutrients. ($132, Amazon)
Related: Why You Should Try Sous Vide at Home
New Year. New Food. Healthy eating starts here, with the Cooking Light Diet.
You'll find seaweed in more than just sushi or a poke bowl this year. A great source of omega-3 fats, fiber, and vitamins A and C, it's also sustainable: It doesn't need fertilizers or land and (obviously) doesn't require freshwater to grow.
"Sustainability is an essential seasoning in modern cuisine, and few ingredients deliver as high a dose of feel-good flavor," says Barton Seaver, a sustainable food expert at Harvard University. "And as sea greens are loaded with umami, they provide a perfect platform for other ingredients to shine."
Blue Algae (Spirulina)
This vibrant teal powder takes the reins from last year's matcha as the nutrient-dense stir-in for beverages and baking. It's protein-rich, contains antioxidants and B vitamins, and may even boost your immune system. ($14, Amazon)
Get the Recipe: Blue Banana Smoothie Bowl
This stuff is the latest and greatest in two enduring trends: It's fermented, and it's an umami bomb. A centuries-old Japanese ingredient made of malted rice, shio koji looks a little like porridge and offers whopping meaty-salty flavor with a touch of sweetness. Use as a meat marinade, or work it into pickling liquid, salad dressings, sauces, soups, and stews. ($10, Amazon)
Grass-Fed Cultured Butter
Just like grass-fed beef, pastured butter has more healthy omega-3 fat and nutrients like vitamin A than its conventional counterparts—plus live cultures to boost your gut health.
Sparkling apple cider vinegar will be your new fizzy beverage obsession. Crisp and tangy, it may help regulate blood sugar and allow good belly bacteria to flourish. Brands like KeVita also add probiotics for good measure. This drink is loaded with win. ($3/15.2-oz. bottle, kevita.com)