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Top Health Food Trends to Try in 2023

24 January 2023

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If you’ve ever mindlessly scrolled through Facebook, TikTok or Instagram and stumbled upon a food video that looked interesting, there’s a good chance it’s there for a reason – as one of the latest food trends. Each year, interests change and evolve. Check out our list of 13 health food trends in 2023 to keep an eye out for.

Butter boards: The advent of social media made charcuterie boards a hit for parties, games and family gatherings. As social media has blossomed, so have various “board” trends. Butter boards are the latest to hit the party scene. Instead of using meats, cheeses, crackers and fruit for a charcuterie board, butter boards use softened butter as a base followed by toppings of your choice. Savory butter boards can include nuts, seeds, garlic spreads or vegetables, while sweet butter boards may include honey, chocolate, jellies or jams. A loaf of crusty bread accompanies the spread to scoop up the toppings.

International flavors: Each year, certain international flavors rise up the trend charts. This year, many are predicting ube and tamarind to be the latest flavor sensations in recipes. Ube is a purple yam from the Philippines that you can typically find in the frozen section as an ingredient in ice cream. However, ube is much more versatile than that and can be used in pies, as a side dish, in pancakes or as a soup. Tamarind is a tropical fruit grown in pods that contain a dark, sticky pulp. Once processed, tamarind is usually sold as a paste and offers a sweet and sour profile to any dish you add it to. 

Upcycling: Upcycling is a food term that describes using leftover waste products to turn them into snacks or other foods. Some examples include repurposing fruit scraps to make dried fruit snacks or leftover grains from beer to make flour. One of the newer trends includes using the pulp from plant-based milks, such as oat milk, in baked goods instead of traditional flour.

New plant-based pastas: It seems every year a new plant-based pasta hits the market. Most grocery stores now carry chickpea pasta or a blend of quinoa and brown rice pasta. This year, you may also be able to find pasta made from hearts of palm or even green bananas. The goal for all these products is the same: to offer healthier alternatives to refined grains.

Avocado oil: For years, avocados have evolved from trendy food to a staple in everyone’s pantry. The love for avocados is now in liquid form as a versatile cooking oil. Most of the talk about avocado oil is how it has a high smoke point and is ideal for cooking at high temperatures, but it also has health benefits. Avocados are high in oleic acid, a type of unsaturated fat that has a positive effect on cardiovascular health. Avocado oil isn’t just for a weeknight dinner, either. Many snacks and packaged goods are now cooked in avocado oil as an alternative to canola, sunflower or soybean oil.

Hybrid meats: Just as a hybrid car takes the best of gas and electric vehicles and combines it into one, food manufacturers are attempting to do the same with meat and plant-based protein. The goal is twofold: combining meat and plants can improve taste and is better for the environment. While recipes vary by the producer, the breakdown is usually 60 percent meat and 40 percent vegetables – for example, combining ground beef with mushrooms, black beans, onions and garlic to make a hybrid hamburger. 

Seaweed: Food sourced from the oceans continues to grow in popularity, but not all the interest surrounds seafood. Instead, edible seaweed in the form of nori, kelp, wakame and sea lettuce has expanded its presence. Kelp, a type of brown seaweed found on the Pacific coast, is a featured ingredient in burgers, popcorn, plant jerky and pickles.

Cooking with flowers: The COVID-19 pandemic made baking with sourdough more popular than ever. The latest trend is baking with flowers, more specifically wild flowers. Edible flowers have always been a part of food, most notably as a garnish on a main course or a visual aid on cakes. But now home bakers are creating daisy cupcakes, floral cakes and other tasty desserts. Flowers with neutral flavors are easiest to start with if you’re new to baking with flowers. Examples include violets, pansies, daisies and lilacs. 

The year of the pickle: The briny crunch of a pickle is one of the more unique food trends to watch in 2023. Searches for pickle-based recipes are up across the internet after the mainstream introduction of items such as pickle-flavored popcorn and chips. While pickles – which are cucumbers fermented in a brine or vinegar – contain vitamin K, they are hardly a superfood. 

New tea variations: It seems like yesterday since matcha tea became a thing. Now, trendy items such as yaupon tea and hojicha tea are taking its place. Yaupon is native to the Southeast United States and bears the name as the only caffeinated plant in the country. Hojicha tea, on the other hand, is from Japan. The notable difference in hojicha tea and other variants is the preparation method. The hojicha leaves are first steamed then roasted to produce a smoky flavor.

Tinned fish: Canned tuna has a boring reputation as a cheap option for a sandwich. The next time you’re in a store, though, you may notice more high-end, complex canned seafood options that have earned the name “tinned fish.” These cans, which include fish, oysters, mussels and other types of seafood, are meant to be served with crusty bread or as part of a charcuterie board. For example, one brand sells mussels in broth and olive oil. Others feature tuna filets in chimichurri, an Argentinian sauce made from herbs, garlic, olive oil and an acid.

Alternative sweeteners: Sugar can be addicting, which is why many Americans turn to alternatives to sweeten their coffee or substitute in their favorite cookies or cake. Of late, coconut sugar and maple sugar are two trendy options marketed for people following keto or paleo diets – both options are minimally processed. Even dates, which have become a staple to sweeten smoothies and baked goods, are being sold in syrup form as a substitute for honey or agave. While these natural options are minimally processed, all sugar eventually converts to glucose and will raise your blood sugar.

Yuzu fruit: In the U.S., oranges, limes and lemons line the produce aisles as the most common citrus fruits. In other parts of the world, such as China, Japan and Korea, the yuzu fruit is a staple. Yuzu is a tart, sour fruit that is a cross between a lemon, a lime and a grapefruit. Several years ago, Americans were introduced to yuzu as a sauce in Asian dishes. Now you can find it in teas, drinks, dressings and marinades. Like other types of citrus, yuzu is high in vitamin C and antioxidants.


For more news on trending health topics, nutrition and wellness, visit the INTEGRIS Health For You blog.


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