The relationship we have with food and drink is now personal, thoughtful and connected to overall health, leaning into the idea of “what’s right for me.” Enter plant-based foods and flavorful functional ingredients. Trends like Alternative Pulse Proteins, Blends with Benefits and Umami Veggies all answer the call for this empowered approach to health and eating.
Alternative Pulse Proteins
Vegetarians and flexitarians have been obsessed with high-protein legumes since before we can remember. They’re packed with protein and nutrients and are easily elevated when paired with delicious ingredients. Some of our favorite flavorful blends for pulses include cumin and coconut paired with pigeon peas, sage and Albariño wine enhanced cranberry beans, and black beluga lentils uniquely enjoyed with peach and mustard.
Blends with Benefits
Look to flavorful herbs and spices to bring everyday versatility to meals, drinks and snacks when paired with better-for-you ingredients.
- Matcha’s slightly bitter notes are balanced by ginger and citrus in rubs for chicken and seafood or in beverages, smoothies, breakfast baked goods and sweet desserts.
- Chia seed becomes zesty when paired with citrus, chile and garlic. Coarse blends are ideal for crusting meats and seafood or whisked into vinaigrettes.
- Turmeric blended with cocoa, cinnamon and nutmeg offers up sweet possibilities in smoothies, drinks and baked goods.
- Flaxseed enhances savory dishes when combined with Mediterranean herbs – enjoy as an all-purpose seasoning for veggies, salads, soups/stews, grains and lean meats.
For a fresh way to savor the tempting “fifth taste,” look no further than naturally umami-rich veggies like mushrooms, tomatoes, sweet potatoes and nori. Umami, or the “fifth taste,” literally translates from Japanese as “a pleasant, savory taste.” This flavor will continue to gain attention in the culinary world as restaurant menus and new products featuring umami-forward snacks, desserts, beverages and dips pop up all over.