Happy new year! 2013 was recognized as the International Year of the Quinoa by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. What will 2014 be? To kick of the start of a new year, we’ve picked out five foods that we think are worth trying in the next 365 days. We picked these items because of similar foods that rose to popularity in 2013 and because of the versatility of each of these healthy food items.
With so many ways that you can prepare this versatile vegetable, the cauliflower’s popularity is only going to grow. Beyond just steaming and sautéing this cruciferous veggie, it has become a go-to when creating vegan pasta sauces and gluten free pizza crusts. You can even cut them to create cauliflower steaks. Try getting creative with your cauliflower and cook it with different sauces and preparations. For some additional color, you can try purple, green or orange cauliflower as well.
Gochujang is a savory and spicy fermented bean paste typically used in Korean cooking. It is made from red chili, glutinous rice, fermented soybeans and salt. Just a little teaspoon of this condiment can give your dishes some heat and flavour. You can use it in bibimbop (Korean rice bowls), or try it in fusion dishes like spaghetti or salmon. Move over Sriracha, there’s a new kid on the block.
If you’re looking for gluten free noodle options then Japanese soba noodles may be your answer. Soba noodles are made from buckwheat flour (but sometimes they can sneak in wheat – check the ingredients!). They can sometimes be flavored with green tea, seaweed, and yam. The noodles can be served cold with a dipping sauce, or in a bowl of hot noodle soup making it a perfect dish for all year long. Plus, in many Asian cultures, long noodles symbolize long life so slurp it up for good luck!
Instead of reaching for quinoa, try Freekeh (also known as farik or frik) as your go to whole grain. Freekeh is unripe durum wheat that is harvested when still green and burned to remove the husk, giving it a slight smoky flavour. The grain is high in protein and fiber and can be cooked like rice. You can use it in burgers, soups and salads. If you can do it with rice, you can probably do it with freekeh.
People have been fermenting foods for ages, but now it is going mainstream. From sauerkraut to kimchi to sourdough bread, there are a variety of foods that you can ferment for a delicious addition to your meals. You can try making these at home, or go with healthy ready-made varieties. Either way, adding some fermented foods, and the healthy bacteria that comes with it, to your diet is good for you.
What foods are you going to try this year?