Howdy y’all! I just got back from Austin, Texas for Vida Vegan Con and it was absolutely the best experience; meeting fellow bloggers, going to seminars to make my site better for my readers and of course, eating. Eating is my favourite part of most social gatherings so when I discovered Eventbrite’s Food & Drink Trends, I wanted to write my own predictions for this year.
What is Eventbrite? It is a platform that assists you in finding events in your area. I have the app on my phone to search for concerts, seminars or events that I want to attend. Without it, I wouldn’t have discovered The Healthy Maven’s How to Build an E-Book seminar, which was an invaluable learning and community building experience. I purchased my Vida Vegan Con ticket through Eventbrite and did not have to worry about losing my pass since a scan code is loaded right onto your smart phone. They also have free event management tools for those wanting to create their own events, sell tickets and track the numbers. You can check out Eventbrite right here. Now on to the food!
Mangoes are my favorite tropical fruits with bananas as a close second. Waiting for mangoes to ripen can seem like you are waiting forever but patience is rewarded with sweet, juicy, bright orange fruit. Mangoes are the perfect summery fruit and I think is served best raw by itself or in a smoothie however it can be pickled, made into a spicy chutney, in a salsa with seasonal tomatoes or blended with bananas to make a tropical nice cream. This fruit is high in vitamin C and A with loads of fiber and antioxidants to keep you feeling good, since who wants a cold when it is so nice out? Mangoes are great all by themselves but here are some of my favourite ways to use this delicious fruit:
Tropical Green Smoothie from Sprouts & Chocolate (Recipe on Instagram here)
Matcha tea has been this year’s superfood and it is popping up beyond the teacup in lattes, smoothies, ice cream and even cakes. When I first purchased my matcha tea, I thought it would look like regular green tea but I was pleasantly surprised by its powdery texture and bright green colour. Unlike regular tea, matcha tea is made up of pulverized high quality leaves that have never been heated so it is less processed than your usual cup of green tea. With a regular brewed cup of green tea, a fraction of those antioxidants are stepped in your cup and the tea bag thrown away but with matcha, you are consuming the entire leaf with no waste so you are getting a high concentration of all-important antioxidants. Beat it free radicals!
I, an avid coffee drinker, try to change it up a few times a week with matcha replacing my morning brew and I have noticed I don’t get the caffeine crash with matcha like I do with coffee.
Matcha tea is expensive per ounce but you use so little, about half teaspoon to a teaspoon per serving, it does last you a long time before running out. If you are hesitant, try purchasing a small amount at David’s Tea (50 grams) and see if you like it. I fell in love with its grassy notes, creamy texture, bright green colour and antioxidant content that left me feeling charged without the drowsiness afterward.
Here are some of my favourite ways to use matcha tea:
Matcha & Mango Cheesecake from Sprouts & Chocolate, featured in Issue 8 of Fresh View Magazine
Non-dairy ice cream
What is summer without a frozen treat? Thankfully, non-dairy ice cream has made advancements since the days of chalky soy ice cream and vegans couldn’t be happier! Cashews, coconut milk and bananas have replaced the dairy in ice cream but are still wonderfully creamy. Brands like Larry & Luna’s Coconut Bliss and So Delicious are committed to making great tasting non-dairy ice cream. Coconut based ice cream is definitely my favourite! Ice cream made with no dairy is not just for vegans; with the growing number of allergies, this ice cream is great to bring to parties and no one will know the difference. I had my eight year old nephew fooled with my strawberry milkshake made with a coconut-based ice cream. Making these ice creams at home is super simple and do not require an ice cream maker. Here are some of my favourite homemade vegan ice cream recipes:
PB & Banana Nice Cream from Sprouts & Chocolate (recipe here)
Another dairy staple made vegan! I am not a fan of soy yogurt since I find it kind of chalky and astringent tasting but thankfully coconut yogurt is rich, creamy and cool with lots of that yogurt-y tang. Mark had a hard time giving yogurt, his favourite snack, but once he discovered coconut yogurt he found it hard to believe he ever liked its dairy version. Coconut yogurt is a great snack when layered with fresh summer fruit, granola and chia seed pudding. Best part? You can make it at home with a blender and some probiotic capsules. Hello healthy gut! My two favourite recipes for homemade coconut yogurt are from Oh She Glows and Raw.Vegan.Not Gross. They both explain the process clearly so it can be easily done at home and doesn’t not require a lot of time to prepare. In a pinch? So Delicious makes a cultured coconut and almond milk yogurt that tastes awesome and is great addition to your lunchbox.
Coconut Yogurt from Raw. Vegan. Not Gross. (watch the whole video especially if you like vegan adaptions of 90’s R&B)
Up until recently, when I thought of fermented food I automatically associated it with my grandmother making pickles in her basement kitchen. Yes, she really did have two kitchens. Fermented foods go beyond the humble pickle and your tummy will be happier for it. Why are fermented foods so awesome for your digestion? Probiotics, the good live bacteria that are naturally found in your body, helps keep your gut flora in check and helps move food through your digestive tract. Some medications harm the healthy bacteria in your digestive tract so fermented foods and drinks are a great way to replace it. When purchasing these types of foods, make sure it is naturally fermented and not just pickled since it isn’t the same thing. True fermented foods are stored in the refrigerator section of your grocery or health food store. See the word pasteurized on the label? No dice. Fermented foods are not cooked and pasteurization kills all those probiotics. Want to save some moola on your fermented foods? Make them yourself! Fermentation is a long process but totally worth it since most foods costs mere pennies per serving. Good for you and inexpensive? Pass the sauerkraut.
Here are some awesome homemade fermented foods that you can make:
Kombucha (see below)
Brands I Like:
Bubbies has an entire line of fermented foods that taste amazing. Hands down my favourite fermented food’s brand! They also use great jars that you can reuse for your own fermenting! Double win.
Live Organic‘s Vegan Kimchi
Kombucha is the new soda and I couldn’t be happier about it! I love when healthy foods become trendy. Kombucha, which is a fermented tea (woohoo fermentation!), is fresh tasting and slightly fizzy, which helped me wean off chemical filled diet sodas. When I first had it, I thought it was a little weird but the next day I wanted to go to the store and get another. I became hooked to this drink. The bottles sold in stores are pretty expensive to drink everyday so I turned to making my own with the help of fellow blogger, The Healthy Maven, who posted a tutorial on making your own kombucha from scratch. Like fermented foods, fermenting tea does take a little bit of time but the rewards are well worth it. Homemade kombucha is the cheapest route to getting your fizzy fix. The SCOBY, which stands for Symbiotic Colony of Bacteria and Yeast, is the culture of bacteria that turns your sweetened tea to kombucha. The best place you can get a SCOBY is from a friend since it is basically free, perhaps buy your friend a coffee for the SCOBY. Unfortunately, I was the only person I knew that wanted to make homemade kombucha so I purchased my kombucha starter kit from Tonica. The kit included the black tea, sugar, SCOBY and starter culture, now I just needed a big glass jug (purchased from a hardware store) and I was on my way. Your SCOBY will make a new baby SCOBY with every batch of kombucha you make so you can give one away to a friend or store them in a SCOBY Hotel for future use. Kombucha can be flavoured with fresh fruits like blueberries, mango, grapefruit juice or fresh herbs like ginger. Experiment with different flavours and see what you like best. I personally like blueberry.
Kombucha almost has a beer like quality to it, despite its alcohol content to be less than 1%. Instead of kicking back with an ice-cold beer on a patio after work, drink some kombucha instead. Your body will thank you for it!
Any trendy foods I missed? Have predictions of your own? Let me know in the comments below.