Celebrating food and fitness is always accompanied by an element of fun and surprises. Like fashion, it seems to be going in circles, with old foods making a comeback and new foods hitting the charts.
Here’s a round-up of what’s on the front burner in fitness foods this season.
The best way to get more vegetables onto your plate is to spiralise your veggies and supercharge your meals with a plethora of phytonutrients. In fact, you can even mix spiralised veggies with EatWater Slim noodles, to get a delicious mix of raw and crunchy, plus cooked and savory noodles. The best veggies to spiralise are ones that are long or round and harder in texture, so they hold up, such as zucchini, beets, sweet potatoes, carrots, kohlrabi, cucumbers, broccoli stems, and butternut squash.
If you fell head over heels for kale, get ready to go flat out for brussels sprouts. This is one of those comeback veggies, that’s stirring up the palates of food fit aficionados everywhere. Springing from the same cruciferous family as cauliflower, broccoli, cabbage, and bok choy, brussels sprouts deliver a mega dose of antioxidants and anticancer compounds.
While they’re great roasted or transformed into chips, the best way to enjoy them right now is in shredded brussels sprouts salads. If you find the leaves a bit too firm, tenderise them by lightly blanching before tossing in salads. Or let a light dressing soften them. Mix them with shredded cabbage or carrots, chopped kale, cubed apple or pear, walnuts or almonds, sunflower seeds, and cranberries.
Brinner is a coined word used to describe enjoying regular breakfast foods for dinner. You can get as creative as you want here, supplementing your breakfast ideas with anything that you would normally have for dinner. So breakfast cereal, oats, juice, yogurt, and berries can be transformed into great dinner eats as well.
Crunchy-sweet cauliflower is everything that steak is not: it’s low-calorie, fat-free, and contains compounds known to fight inflammation and cancer. What makes it so steak-like, is the cut. To prep cauliflower steaks, cut them into steak-like slabs, coat each in olive oil and add the seasonings of your choice. Then sear each slab for around two minutes on each side in a skillet, roast on a baking sheet until golden brown and caramelize for around 15 minutes in a 400-degree oven.
While tortillas, crackers and other foods gaining fame for their “empty carbs”, the use of sprouted grains seems to be making a comeback for their promise of heightened nutritional value, great taste and decreased guilt. Many are turning to sprouted grain products not just for their nutritional superiority, but also because they’re minimally processed. It’s time now, however, to learn how to pronounce quinoa, the latest from a family of new super grains that’s being introduced, including hitherto unheard-of names like farro, amaranth, and Kamut.
The next new superfood, maca, a member of the radish family, is known for its ability to improve general health, balance mood and increase energy. With a mild taste and subtle earthy flavour, maca can boost nutrient density in a variety of foods, from baked goods to soups. Add maca to your next dish and let it do its magic.
As funny as its look and name sounds, this versatile brassica is poised to take over the reins as the next king of veggies.
Kohlrabi (German turnip or turnip cabbage) is an annual vegetable and is a low, stout variant of cabbage. Kohlrabi can be eaten raw as well as cooked. Edible preparations are made with both the stem and the leaves.
The taste and texture of kohlrabi are similar to those of a broccoli stem or cabbage heart, but milder and sweeter, with a higher ratio of flesh to skin. With only 27 calories per 100 grams, kohlrabi offers a subtle, sweet flavour its young stem can be as crisp and juicy as an apple.
Kombucha (pronounced kom-boo-ka), a sparkling drink made by fermenting black or green tea with bacteria and yeast, seems to be fast displacing coconut water. Fermented foods are the big news of 2016, as it seems like an increase in our gut bacteria could be the key to health. Joining the line up behind Kombucha are other fermented foods like sauerkraut, kefir (fermented milk) and miso paste.
Soups seem to be set to replace caffeine as the new beverage of choice, that’s lifted up to everyone’s lips. This year, green juice fasts and detoxes are poised to be replaced with cleanses and diets that use healthy soups: thick, runny, chunky or smooth, as a weight-loss tool.
Books are already beginning to appear on one-, three- and five-day soup detoxes on which you can lose weight and feel nourished and satisfied. Of special mention is a book that brings you 80 delicious soup recipes, each under 300 calories (and most between 150 and 200).