How are your New Years resolutions going? Fun fact: ‘Lose weight’, ‘exercise more’ and ‘eat more healthily’ are in the top ten list of most popular New Years resolutions – but they aren’t all that easy to keep to!
At the moment, the current trend is all about eating well to help your body work as best it can – and it’s not all about teeny tiny portions, which is even better! These are some of the top healthy food ideas for 2019, and a lot of them are really easy to incorporate into your daily diet.
- Cauli-mania: The previously humble, and now-super popular cauliflower, is everywhere nowadays. While it’s still pretty tasty when smeared in white sauce like your Nan used to make, this blonde brassica is being used as a healthy substitute for everything from rice and potato to pasta and pizza crust. Sales for packaged cauliflower products grew 71 per cent last year, according to Nielsen market research reports.
Try my simple Cauliflower Rice recipe here
- Marine morsels: We are so lucky to have a fantastic range of seafood in New Zealand, and it’s worth remembering that you can get some amazing vitamins, minerals and omegas from marine plants as well as fish and seafood. Kelp is huge right now; from kelp noodles to kelp jerky and everything in between, as are seaweed butters, plant-based tuna alternatives made from algae, and crispy salmon skins.
- Phat Fat: Yep, this one’s going to keep on running. After decades of being told fat is bad, fat is now good. You just have to pick your fat. Avocado? Good fat. KFC? Bad fat. The fat phenomenon is based on the growing popularity of keto (see below), paleo, grain-free and even ‘pegan’ (paleo + vegan) eating. According to Forbes magazine, 2019 will see a growing demand for higher-protein and lower-carb diets, with products like nutrition bars, vegan coffee, coconut butter bliss balls and even ice cream with artisnal cheeses swirled through. (Not Mr Whippy then…)
- Probiotics: Not exactly new to the market as a concept, but until recently we’ve really only seen them in the fridge section. Watch out for probiotics in shelf foods too; I particularly like the probiotic muesli from Something To Crow About. I have a handful with some probiotic yoghurt and fresh fruit on top – perfect way to start the day, and only takes 5 minutes!
- Japanese flavours: If you don’t already have miso in the fridge, you probably will by the end of this year. Poaching chicken and fish in miso will become as common as roasting beef or lamb in the oven, as Japanese ingredients such as miso, Japanese yams, yuzu, sansho pepper and ponzu steal the limelight.
This Venison Yakitori with Miso Dressing is particularly delicious – nothing not to love here!
- Vegan and faux meat: The ‘plant-based’ goods industry in Australia alone is now expected to be worth $4.2 billion after growing 18 per cent in the last year or so. Unsurprisingly, the same thing is happening in New Zealand, and there are plenty of plant-based products hitting the shelves if you’re keen to give them a try. Personally I’m struggling a little bit with the ‘meat-free meat’ idea – to me, they don’t really taste the same, and there’s nothing wrong with calling something what it actually is, not what it actually isn’t! But pea proteins, pumpkins and maize plant-based options that are becoming increasingly popular.
- Keto: I’m actually a big fan of the idea of keto. The low-cabohydrate, high-fat ketogenic, or ‘keto diet’ continues to rise in popularity with loads of new snack ideas hitting the shelves. The idea is that you eat to get your body into a state of ‘ketosis’ – basically, when the body doesn’t have enough glucose for energy, it burns fat instead. There are loads of delicious keto recipes available; I’m particularly fond of Australian My Kitchen Rules finalist Luke Hines‘ recipes, as they are easy to follow and don’t taste even remotely like diet food!
Even if you can’t quite get your head around the logistics of a ‘diet’, keto is pretty easy to start. Put simply – cut down your carbs as much as possible, and avoid all sugar.
- Hemp and cannabinoids: Hemp is leading the health and wellness world as a fantastic source of nutrition. With high amounts of protein, and rich in omega 3 and omega 6, it’s quickly becoming the salad, cereal and smoothie starter of choice. Cannabinoids (CBD) will be another huge topic on the food and health radar, as there is growing research and discussions around calming anxiety and reducing stress and inflammation in the body with the help of CBD.