The Top 10 Healthy Food Trends for 2016
You've already tried swapping olive oil for coconut oil, but it may be time to upgrade that cooking oil again. Avocado oil has entered the market and is popping up in more and more recipes—and for good reason. Its healthy fats can help your body absorb more nutrients from fruits and veggies, according to research in The Journal of Nutrition
. It also has a very high smoke point, so it's great for high-heat cooking. Use it to sauté veggies or fish, use it in salad dressing, or even drizzle it over popcorn. (You can also try these 8 New Healthy Oils to Cook With.)
DYOB: Distill Your Own Booze
Before you shake your head, know that you don't necessarily have to go all-in and buy fancy equipment to try this trend. Distilling kits take some of the guesswork out while still giving you the satisfaction that comes with completing a fun weekend DIY distilling project. Order a box from The Homemade Gin Kit, and you'll be sipping a gin and tonic in just 36 hours.
DIY Infused Olive Oils
Ditch expensive artisanal oils, and make your own using fresh herbs from your garden or local farmer's market. Wash herbs and let dry overnight, crush slightly to release their flavor, and submerge in olive oil. Cover in a tightly sealed container and infuse for about a week. The infusion should keep for up to a month. The oil adds a healthy dose of flavor to dressings and sauces without the need for much more, ultimately saving you calories.
Sweet + Savory Combo
This crave-worthy combo goes well beyond the likes of salted caramel. Pinterest says it's all about making creative and healthy dishes that will satisfy your sweet tooth and your quest for something salty. Think carrot pancakes, savory oatmeal, sweet beet hummus, and healthy popcorn recipes with tricked-out toppings. (You'll also love these 20 Sweet and Salty Snacks Under 200 Calories.)
If you're not already a coffee addict, err drinker, pour-over coffee might just change your mind. Not only do pour-over coffee contraptions look sleek and minimalistic, they also leave you with a cleaner, brighter tasting brew. And you won't get that acidic taste that comes from not cleaning your coffee pot. (Which, ahem, you really should do. Here's How to Clean Your Keurig Coffee Maker.) We bet you'll even enjoy the taste of black coffee, so you'll be less likely to load up on added sugars and cream. The best part of becoming a pour-over lover? Coffee can help you stick to your long-term fitness goals. We'll take two, please!
Adorable bento box lunches aren't just for kids. The individually sectioned containers traditional in Japanese cuisine are also the perfect way to provide variety and portion control in grown-up lunches. The small compartments in a bento box leave room for everything you need in a balanced lunch: a protein, veggie or fruit, and even a treat! (Find inspiration with these 10 Bento Box Lunches We're Craving Right Now.)
Gourmet Heritage Cuisine
As new generations take on old family recipes, creative genius ensues! Take these 10 Matzo Recipes That Make Passover More Exciting for example. All it takes to master this trend is crafting your gourmet take on traditional cultural cuisine, so turn a favorite family recipe into a healthier modern dish you'll be proud to serve guests
Get crafty by creating your own beer! The brewing process can be a fun way to learn about how fermentation works, and it gives gluten-free drinkers more flexibility in finding their perfect draft. (That is if you haven't already fallen for one of these 12 Gluten-Free Beers That Really Do Taste Great.)
If you think you're not a fan of beer, prepare to be surprised. Serve up beer cocktails at your next party—combine a light beer with lemonade, or a darker beer with fresh orange juice for the simplest of beertails. The combo will cut down on some of the carbs that can make beer feel heavy in your stomach. Bonus: Moderate beer consumption (the key here being moderate: beertails still have calories.) also reduces blood pressure and improves heart health, according to recent research. We'll cheers to that!
Thanks to creative chefs and bloggers, subbing in veggies for other not-so-healthy foods is bigger than ever! There are spiralized veggies, vegetable steaks, veggie chips, and even cauliflower recipes that mimic comfort food favorites. It's a winning year for veggies everywhere! These simple swaps help you work more vegetables onto your plate, cut back on processed foods, and add more fiber and nutrients to your diet.