There always seems to be a new food trend coming out each year—it never fails. One year it’s a new style of cooking, the next a new way to eat healthy, new foods to try, a new spice or condiment, and of course let’s not leave out superfoods, food hacks, and food products. We see it all, and it can be difficult to decipher which of these are really worthwhile (if any) and which ones we should just let everyone else try, use, and obsess about. After all, some are nothing more than marketing schemes, while others are trends of a certain diet—which all get pretty old quickly.
However, within the last 10 years, plant-based eating has become more than a trend — it’s an entire movement geared towards living a life free of refined foods and processed options to embrace more simple, natural whole foods. No longer are vegetarians (or vegans) seen as tofu-loving hippies, but are instead some of the largest advocates of the real food movement. And even those that aren’t vegetarian or vegan are beginning to learn more about real food and embrace natural foods over processed foods in order to improve their health.
People everywhere are uniting to fight for real foods that come from the earth, not in a package or with scary ingredients.
Within this new movement, we’ve also seen some pretty amazing food come into the spotlight. Many have even changed our lives and daily routines. The best part? Many of them are completely free of animal products … and it’s not just all about the kale anymore either! Whether you eat them or not, I think we can all agree these creations are much better than the fat-free products and the sugary cereals that used to receive so much hype.
If you haven’t tried any of these iconic foods, here’s your chance to reconsider doing so or just inspire a little more appreciation for the next time you do enjoy them!
1. Cauliflower … EVERYTHING!
Cauliflower is IT right now and by it, we mean it’s in everything and made into everything you can imagine! It’s used to replace meat, bread, popcorn, fried foods, potatoes, and even eggs in desserts! Who would have thought a white veggie could take on that much!? Sure, some ideas may seem a little extreme, but what a great way to inspire people to eat more vegetables. However it started or by whom doesn’t matter, what’s important is you give some cauliflower recipe hacks a shot.
2. Green Smoothies
These came into play around 2009 – 2010 (for the mainstream anyway) and were one of the best ways possible to inspire people to “get in those greens” a bit more often. For many of us, they were the only way we learned to actually enjoy greens, and who could argue the fact they’re incredibly convenient? While many renditions exist, green smoothies made of leafy greens, fruits like berries, and possibly superfoods, non-dairy milk or non-dairy yogurt, flax, chia, and plant-based protein powders are some of the most popular combinations and a great way to get healthy foods into one meal. No matter what your green of choice, let’s give a salute to green smoothies—they’ve changed the way the world looks at a high-speed blender for eternity!
Try some of our favorite recipes: Organic Burst Smoothies, Ultra Queen K Performance Blend, Mint Cacao Kiss, Energy Boosting Vegan Protein Shake, and Green Superfood Detox Smoothie. Get more tips for making the best green smoothies by seeing: How to Make Smoothie Prep Jars to Save Time, The Best Order of Ingredients to Make a Superfood Smoothie, and The Best Tips to Create Maximum Flavor in Your Superfood Smoothies.
3. Coconut Craze
Coconut is thankfully no longer seen as a source of fat to avoid, and we’re sure glad because it’s such a healthy food! Coconut milk came to rise as one of the best go-to alternative milk products aside from just almond and soy nearly 10 years ago, followed by coconut butter, coconut ice cream, coconut flour, coconut cream, and thank goodness—coconut oil which was finally brought back into mainstream supermarkets aside from just the refined options. And we’re healthier for it too. Coconut is filled with brain-boosting and metabolic-boosting fats, it’s a great source of energizing and muscle-building amino acids, and it’s packed with a delicious dairy-free flavor that’s so much better than butter ever thought about being!
Try some of our favorite coconut recipes: Raw Fruit Popsicles With Coconut, Raw 7 Layer Bars, Double Chocolate Cupcakes With Buttercream Frosting, Raw Lemon Macaroons, Papaya and Coconut Yogurt Breakfast, and Coconut Ice Cream. And be sure to see: 15 Ways to Use Coconut Milk in Your Dairy-Free Recipes, 5 Food Hacks With Coconut: From Butter to Flour, and Beyond! and The Other White Meat: Why You Should Eat Coconut for Strong Muscles and More!
4. Raw Truffles and Energy Bites!
Forget those plastic-wrapped snack cakes! Let’s make something that gives us energy and tastes even better. Raw truffles can be made in minutes and they are so much more satisfying and better for us than those processed, chemical-filled snacks we likely grew up eating. Plus, most of the recipes call for five or less ingredients and require nothing more than whole foods and some special add-ins.
Try some of our favorite raw truffle dessert recipes: Raw Truffles With Chia, Carob, and Coconut, Raw Chocolate Coconut Bounty Balls, 4 Ingredient Chocolate Caramel Truffles, and see many more vegan truffle recipes here!
5. Sriracha Spiked Everything
While there are a dozen chips, crackers, and even popcorn now flavored with this epic hot sauce we know as sriracha, it’s just as easy to add it to a variety of foods you make at home. And we should. Hot sauce is one of the simplest, best condiments to use to flavor your food and one of the most affordable. We’re sure we don’t need to go on and on about this food obsession—you likely already love it. Let’s just check out some of our favorite recipes ….
Make these: Peanut Butter Spicy Noodles, Cajun Quinoa Cakes & Lemon Dill Sriracha Remouloude, Simple Korean Kimchi BBQ Burgers, The Ultimate Light & Refreshing Wrap: Meet The Thai Tofu Vegetable Wrap, or Maple Sriracha Tempeh Bacon BLT With Creamy Lemon Dill Mayo. Get more sriracha madness here!
6. Cashew Cheese
With the rise of cheese becoming more scary in what it means for our health, cows, and the environment, more people are shying away from those processed slices of cheddar, and even real cheese. Non-dairy homemade cheese is becoming the welcomed answer to all those cheesy cravings, which you can make at home yourself and is made with simple nuts and/or seeds. Cashew cheese is likely the most popular homemade variety since cashews are the epic ingredient in any recipe you want to turn our mild and creamy. With a quick soak and some nutritional yeast, vegan cheese is yours to devour!
Skip the cow’s cheese and make these instead: Vegan Sriracha and Lime Cashew Cheeseball, Raw Vegan Creamy Cheese, Cream-Cheese Filled Tomatoes, Brazil Nut Vegan Parmesan, Vegan Moxarella Cheese, or Raw Vegan Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheeseball.
7. Energy Bites Galore!
An epic snack or breakfast—and without a doubt the best pre or post-workout snack— are simple energy bites (or bars)! These are similar to truffles, but not necessarily coated in chocolate or only served for dessert. These finally took the stardom away from processed granola bars when we caught on that they’re cheaper, taste better, and yep, more energizing too, than any granola bar out there. All you need is a food processor or blender, and raw energy bites can be yours in minutes.
For some of our favorite picks, see 10 Big, Bad Amazing Energy Balls, Top Energy-Boosting Vegan Bites to Power You Through the Week, and many more!
8. Big, Bad Veggie Burgers Made of REAL Food
No more processed burgers for plant-based eaters to go without the meat in a burger … we’ve got options now and they start with real ingredients. Forget the wimpy, skimpy burgers too. Real veggie burgers pack on a seriously meaty bite, a hearty flavor, and some are quite the nutritional allstars too. You can easily make your own and if yours come out a flop, all you need to do is check out some simple troubleshooting tips. Skipping the meat means less health risks, consuming more whole foods, and can even save you money too.
Give these recipes a try: Kidney Bean and Kale BBQ Burgers, Seriously Good Veggie Burgers, Beet and Quinoa Burgers, Black Bean Hemp Burgers, and Thai Quinoa Burgers. Get more burger goodness with all our recipes and give this meatless burger idea a shot if you haven’t already. Oh, and don’t hold the onion rings or fries—those can be made too!
9. Raw and Dairy-Free Desserts
Raw and dairy-free desserts were one of the first food trends to take off years ago when the raw food movement and vegan movement started making their way back into the mainstream. Once we realized how simple they really were (and how delicious!) there was just no excuse to buy those boxed frozen pies and box mix cakes anymore (despite how convenient they may be). Raw and dairy-free desserts can range from ice cream, to brownies, to cakes, pies, dessert cups, and just about anything you can think of—there’s a little something for everyone! Ingredients like avocado, chickpeas, black beans, coconut, bananas, and more are being used in place of dairy, while dried fruit, nuts, seeds, and superfoods are also being used.
If your sweet tooth needs some love, these desserts will be a lifesaver: Gluten-Free Vegan Chocolate Cheeesecake, Vegan Snickers, Raw Maca Fudge, Caramel Oat Bites, Zucchini Carrot Cupcakes With Avocado Icing, Raw Vegan Butterfinger Candy Bars , Cinnamon Chickpea Blondies, Double Layer Chocolate Cake, and all the vegan ice cream you can get your hands on! See all of our desserts for more raw, regular, and all completely vegan options.
10. Breakfast Makeovers from Chia Pudding to Overnight Oatmeal and More
Breakfast got a serious makeover the last 10 years. Less cereal boxes and packs of sugary instant oats are being bought and other options are being made instead. If they’re not the aforementioned green smoothie, energy bites or bars, they’re likely chia pudding, smoothie bowls, overnight oatmeal (or anything with the ever popular oatmeal), homemade omelets and quiches, tofu scrambles, healthy muffins, pancakes, and even breakfast cookies!
See our breakfast section for just about every kind of recipe you could want first thing in the day. Your energy will improve by tenfold compared to those storebought choices.
11. Vegan Recipe Apps
We highly recommend downloading the Food Monster App. For those that don’t have it, it’s a brilliant food app available for both Androidand iPhone. It’s a great resource for anyone looking to cut out or reduce allergens like meat, dairy, soy, gluten, eggs, grains, and more find awesome recipes, cooking tips, articles, product recommendations and how-tos. The app shows you how having diet/health/food preferences can be full of delicious abundance rather than restrictions.
The Food Monster app has over 8000+ recipes and 500 are free. To access the rest, you have to pay a subscription fee but it’s totally worth it because not only do you get instant access to 8000+ recipes, you get 10 NEW recipes every day! You can also make meal plans, add bookmarks, read feature stories, and browse recipes across hundreds of categories like diet, cuisine, meal type, occasion, ingredient, popular, seasonal, and so much more!
Other food trends of course exist (kale chips and almond butter, we’re looking at you!), but we’re not one to turn down any options full of plant-based goodness. Real food may be healthy, but who knew it could have made such a difference in food culture the last decade? We can’t imagine what’s in store next!
Lead Image Source: Chocolate Drizzled No Bake Apricot Cashew Balls