8 Healthy Food Trends to Watch Out For

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This year’s Food & Nutrition Conference & Expo took place in Boston, where I got a firsthand view of the latest foods that you’ll be seeing at your local market. Here’s the inside scoop on eight of these trends.

Healthier Vending Machines

PepsiCo showcased its new innovative vending machine at the conference. Hello Goodness (pictured above) is a temperature-controlled vending machine that offers healthier on-the-go snack foods like Smartfood Delight Popcorn, Sabra Ready-to-Eat Hummus Cups and Quaker Real Medley Bars. On the machine is a touchscreen that allows customers to find product nutrition info, food and beverage pairing suggestions, and an Apple Pay option. Several thousand of these machines have been placed in select health care, recreational, transportation, governmental, workplace and educational facilities.

Pea Protein

The hottest trend in protein comes from pea powder. Bob’s Red Mill sells Pea Protein Powder to add to smoothies, shakes and baked goods. It contains 21 grams of protein per serving and is gluten-free. Earth Balance has also released a Protein Peanut Blend, which is a combo of peanuts and pea protein. It provides 180 calories and 9 grams of protein per 2 tablespoon serving.

FODMAP Foods

The FODMAP diet trend, though created for those with irritable bowel syndrome, has grown in mainstream popularity. Fody is a company that has created FODMAP-approved products, including marinara sauce, salsa and BBQ sauce.

Packaged Greens

Forget buying lots of separate vegetables. Eat Smart packages exactly what you need for a healthy salad in a simple kit. Eat Smart has salad kits (which include greens or vegetables and dressing) and salad blends (which include a blend of greens without dressing). Sweet Kale, a salad kit, contains kale, green cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, chicory, roasted pumpkin seeds and dried cranberries. Add your lean protein for a meal, or eat the salad as a starter during a busy weeknight.

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Fermented Vegetables

Fermented foods are all the rage, and Farmhouse Culture is releasing a line of delicious fermented veggies, including Curry Cauliflower, Ginger Beets, Orange Ginger Carrots and Taqueria Mix (a combo of jalapenos, carrots, daikon radishes, jicama and onion), all available in 12-ounce pouches. These fermented veggies are certified organic and Non-GMO Project Verified.

Half-and-Half Sweeteners

Love the taste of honey but want half the calories? Truvia has come out with Truvia Nectar, which is a blend of stevia leaf extract and honey, to help balance sugar intake and reduce calories. Mix it into hot and cold beverages, drizzle it on yogurt or oatmeal, or use it in baked goods.

Watermelon Seeds

Watermelon seeds were trending last year at the Natural Foods Expo West in Anaheim, Calif., but now you can find these delicious seeds in bars. Go Raw just released protein bars in which the protein comes from the watermelon seeds. They are available in Dark Chocolate, Cinnamon Spice, Zesty Lemon and Mint Chocolate.

Squeeze Hummus

Sabra has taken hummus to a new level by packaging it in squeeze bottles as a spread. The idea is that hummus isn’t just for dipping, but rather it’s perfect as a condiment for eggs, chicken and grilled vegetable sandwiches. Flavors are Sea Salt and Cracked Pepper, Honey Mustard, and Garlic Herb.

Toby Amidor, MS, RD, CDN, is a registered dietitian and consultant who specializes in food safety and culinary nutrition. She is the author of The Greek Yogurt Kitchen: More Than 130 Delicious, Healthy Recipes for Every Meal of the Day.