We chatted with holistic health coach Emily Nachazel to get her insider predictions for what’ll be the hottest (and coolest) dishes this summer, along with the skinny on why you should be clamoring to get them. We’re extra excited about ground cacao “espresso” and ceviche everywhere, but read on for the other nourishing, delicious goodies the food world has in store.
The new juice cleanse: soup cleanses
Did you hear all the hype around the “juice detox high” actually just being the result of a huge influx of fruit sugar? While we’re not entirely sure that’s true, there is a growing interest in savory, easy-to-digest meals that are higher in veggies, plant-based proteins and fiber and lower in sugar.
There are endless combinations for soup cleansing, the logic being that a meal already broken down into liquid will be easier to digest and leave nutrients more available to the body. (This is especially great if you’re dealing with stubborn, stuck digestion and need a little reset.)
Soup is easy to make at home, in one-, two- or three-day batches, using vegetable stock, legumes, root veggies and greens. (For best results, cook and blend these together). Not into cooking? Why not explore soup cleanse delivery services like Soupure? We’re already salivating over the Pumpkin Miso, Lentil Chickpea and Spicy Asparagus offerings.
The new sushi: poke
Poke [poh-kay], a traditional Hawaiian dish similar to ceviche, is raw fish cubed and marinated in endless combinations of sauces (tuna in soy sauce and sesame oil is a popular combo). Depending on the venue, it’s served with veggies, rice or other inventive accoutrements. Nachazel predicts this trend will continue to grow as raw(ish) fish makes for a refreshing, high-protein summertime meal. Plus, the variety of proteins and pairings means you won’t find yourself in the I’ll-just-have-a-California-roll-again doldrums.
The new zoodles: cauliflower rice
It’s been fun, zucchini pasta, but we need a new veggie alternative to put our tempeh meatballs and cashew cheese sauce atop. Cauliflower rice is popping up on Instagram feeds and restaurant menus of all varieties, from steakhouses to organic seasonal eateries, and is a great substitute for pasta, potatoes or rice. Made by steaming and pulsing a head of cauliflower, this high-fiber side packs a punch of Vitamins B6, C and K. It can help smooth out digestion, thanks to its high water content, and with a neutral flavor, it can take on whatever spices you throw at it. Garlic, anyone?
The new kale: microgreens
A staple at any spring and summer farmers market, Nachazel predicts microgreens will continue to rise in popularity this year. You may have noticed micro-arugula popping up in seasonal salads or sunflower sprouts magically appearing on the counter at your favorite smoothie place. These tiny greens—the first shoots to appear as leaves are forming on a new plant—are picked in their infancy and have been shown to have up to six times more nutrients than their adult counterparts. Shoots can also be tremendously detoxifying for the body; think of them as little nutrient-dense microscrubbers for your GI tract. Explore the many varieties to see which flavors you like most. Some of our favorites include micro beet greens, chard, arugula and mustard greens.
The new energy bar: jerky
Forget high-sugar candy masquerading as health food. Simple, nitrate-free, free-range, paleo-friendly jerky is making real strides in the convenience energy food world. Brands like Epic, Krave and New Primal offer dehydrated doses of protein and iron from sources like turkey, beef and bison, marinated and spiced to appeal to all kinds of taste preferences. Look for options with less than 250mg of sodium per serving and consider swapping out high-sugar products for these simpler, energizing sticks. Not into eating meat? No worries: Primal Strips offers inventive vegan versions made from soy, seitan and shiitake mushrooms (nom!).
The new espresso: crio bru
Haven’t heard of it? That’s okay: Nachazel totally blew our minds with this one. This ground cacao drink is essentially grown-up hot chocolate. Sugar-free, caffeine-free and packed with antioxidants, this rich beverage is easy to make at home any time of day. Its boost comes from theobromine, a plant-based source of energy that is about 10 times weaker than caffeine but provides a nice tingly stimulant effect to get you moving. It can be enjoyed hot or iced, with or without sweetener or creamer. We have a feeling this one will last long into the autumn… and beyond.
The new almond milk: pea milk
With all of the controversy surrounding the environmental impact of producing almond milk (1.1 gallons of water to grow one almond?!), it might be time to switch up our non-dairy milk to something with a little lower carbon footprint. Good news: Pea milk, made from yellow peas, is on the up in the eat-clean foodie world. Ripple is a particularly yummy brand, with many flavors and sweetened/unsweetened options. Pea milk provides eight times the protein of almond milk and is high in calcium, vitamin D and potassium (another swap that makes going dairy-free even easier).
Written by holistic health coach, triathlete and yogi Amy Height.