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Each year they start appearing on menus at your favorite restaurant, in grocery store aisles and—these days—in your social media news feeds. They’re the trendy health foods that everyone is cooking with this year. From ancient grains to new ways to prep vegetables to juices and dairy products, there are a host of interesting foods to try that could boost your nutrition.

“If you’ve made a commitment to lead a healthier lifestyle in 2017, there are some new foods or preparation methods you might see in your grocery store or hear about from friends that can help you add more veggies or nutrient packed grains to your diet,” said registered dietitian nutritionist Kim Segiel, RDN, LDN, Geisinger Wyoming Valley Medical Center in Wilkes-Barre.

Here are five food trends to try this year.

Riced cauliflower or zoodles

People who are looking to reduce their carbohydrate intake are looking to riced cauliflower and zoodles as pasta stand-ins. Riced cauliflower is just as it sounds – small bits of cauliflower could be a great stand-in for rice. You can easily make riced cauliflower with a hand grater or food processor. Then, sauté it with a little bit of olive oil. Many riced cauliflower products can be found blended with other vegetables such as sweet potatoes, broccoli, and peas.

Like riced cauliflower, zoodles are another pasta replacement. Zoodles are thin slices of zucchini “noodles” made with a spiralizer, mandolin slicer or grater. These faux noodles can be steamed or sautéed and served with your favorite marinara sauce for a low-calorie, low-carb alternative to spaghetti that also helps you add another serving of vegetables.

Bean and lentil pasta

Another alternative to traditional grain-based pasta like rotini or spaghetti is bean or lentil pasta made from black beans or red lentils. Pasta made from beans or lentils is grain free, corn free and gluten free and packed with protein.

“One serving of black bean pasta contains 14 grams of protein, which is about double the protein in traditional pasta made from semolina flour,” said Segiel.

Icelandic yogurt

Strolling down the yogurt aisle can be exhausting—there are tons of types and flavors, with various fruits, high fat, low fat and non-fat. And now, a new yogurt style has joined traditional and Greek—it’s Icelandic yogurt, also known as skyr.

Icelandic yogurt is thick and a little tart like Greek yogurt; it’s made with more milk than the traditional yogurt you might be used to. Because it’s made with more milk, it contains more protein—a typical 5.3-ounce serving contains 14 grams of protein.


Have you heard of a jackfruit? It’s fruit tree in the same family as figs and mulberries. Some jackfruit is as large as a watermelon—when it’s cut open, it reveals smaller “pods” and seeds. These pods taste sweet like mango, pineapple or banana—and contain lots of fiber, protein, vitamin B and potassium.

Jackfruit is a good addition to a fruit smoothie or yogurt. When it’s cooked, its texture is similar to pulled pork, which has made it a meat substitute in some vegan recipes. Look for jackfruit to start appearing in the produce department of your favorite grocery store.


An ancient grain that’s literally been around for several thousand years, sorghum is a whole grain popular in India and the Middle East. Now, it’s making its way west due in part to the fact that it’s gluten free.

Sorghum is a small, round grain similar in size and texture to wheat berries that’s a high-fiber, low-fat substitute for small grains in salads, soups and snacks. It has a mild taste and takes on the flavors of other ingredients that it is prepared with.

“Adding a new vegetable, dairy product or grain to your diet is a good way to keep your meals interesting—and get the nutrient benefits that come along with these trendy health foods,” said Segiel.
Avocado fruit salad
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