WTF Is Vegetable Yogurt? And Other New Health Food Trends You Should Know About

No doubt, there are some questionable health & wellness trends out there. But it’s our job to keep you informed on what’s going on, no matter how crazy or wacky. You don’t want to be the last person at yoga class to know about golden milk do you? Below, we share the latest on the global healthy food scene- #onpoint. Or is it #onfleek?

Blue Latte

Green tea lattes are so 2010. Superfood-obsessed wellenistas are going instacrazy for a blue latte, aka the Smurf Latte,  created in Melbourne, Australia at the vegan Matcha Mylkbar cafe. The latte is made from coconut, agave, ginger, lemon and blue algae powder (more specifically E3 Live‘s certified organic Blue Majik spirulina powder). Not only is this sky-hued latte super instagrammable, it’s also meant to be super good for you, thanks to the nutritional profile of the blue algae power, one of the most nutrient dense foods on earth- find out more about why here. If you can’t make it to Melbourne, make your own blue latte with this recipe. However be warned: not everyone is on board with the sour, seaweed-y taste…

Try Earth Circle Organic spirulina powder.

Golden Milk

We already declared turmeric the superfood of the year (as per Google Insights), but do you know about golden milk? This yellow-hued traditional Ayurvedic wonder drink, made from boiling peeled fresh turmeric root in the milk/mylk of your choice (Indians go for dairy, we like coconut) for 5-10 minutes, is every naturopath’s favorite morning elixir due to its immune-system boosting properties. Every morning, make sure to have half a cup before breakfast. Turmeric root has a naturally sweet taste, so you really don’t need to add anything to it, though some people add black pepper (consuming turmeric with black pepper enhances its potency), coconut oil (for a dose of healthy fat) or ginger (for extra spice). You can also add golden mylk to your daily smoothie if that’s easier.

Order organic turmeric root at A Tao’s Vegetable

drinking-vinegars

Drinking Vinegars

Move over kombucha: there’s a new gut-friendly beverage on the menu:  drinking vinegar. Thought vinegar was a salad dressing ingredient? Turns out our digestive systems have been missing out. Basically, instead of you taking a daily apple cider vinegar shot, which most of us find hard to take on its own, you can enjoy a fermented sparkling drink of diluted vinegar. Drinking vinegars are made mixing vinegar, water and more palatable ingredients like ginger root, turmeric, fruit juices and natural sweeteners. The best drinking vinegars are packed with billions of probiotics and make use of vinegars with live mothers. Most of the drinking vinegars on the market are made from apple cider, due to its health profile, but other vinegars can be used. In the US, popular cold-pressed brands like Suja Juice and Blueprint have added drinking vinegars to their ranges, and the biggest player on the market is Kevita- they call them Sparkling Probiotic Tonics. A lot of bartenders and chefs are getting involved in the drinking vinegar scene so expect to see some on your favorite indie menu soon.

Find Kevita drinking vinegars at Green Common shops around town. 

vegetable-yogurt

Vegetable Yogurt

Of all the trends of the list, this may be the newest and most under the radar. In fact, at the moment, there is only ONE company in the world that is making vegetable yogurt. So, WTF is vegetable yogurt? It’s pretty much what it sounds like. It’s a savory yogurt blended with vegetables. The creators of vegetable yogurt is a company called Blue Hill Farm, who run a grass-fed dairy in the Berkshires, as well as uber-popular restaurants Blue Hill in NYC and Pocantico Hills. So far, Blue Hill makes six different vegetable yogurts: beet, carrot, butternut squash, tomato, parsnip and sweet potato with nothing but the yogurt, the vegetable, some maple syrup and spices. You can enjoy them on their own or as a dip, but the yogurts also work perfectly as a condiment, a veggie bowl topping, or as a salad dressing base- sort of like how you would use sour cream or creme fraiche. You could even try using them in savoury cakes and bread recipes. By all accounts, they are delicious, with a fresh flavour profile and a runny texture. Currently sold at Whole Foods in the US, we predict it won’t be long before we see them in Hong Kong, or get our own homegrown version.

Make your own vegetable yogurt by mixing a cup of Greek yogurt with a puree of your favorite vegetable, a teaspoon of honey or maple syrup, and sea salt + black pepper to taste.

dukkah

Dukkah

We sure do love our bowl based meals (check out our latest veggie bowl recipe inspiration) and we are always looking for topping ideas to keep things fresh, tasty and delicious. We recently discovered dukkah and we haven’t looked back! Dukkah (also duqqa, du’ah or do’a) is an Egyptian condiment blend of nuts, herbs, spices and seeds that has been making the rounds on health food blogs around the interwebs for a little while now. And it’s no surprise why! It adds taste and texture to any dish, is a great dip if you drown it in some quality olive oil and furthermore, the recipe is very flexi: you can make dukkah to suit your tastes and what’s in your cupboard. The general base is cumin, sesame seeds, salt, coriander, dried herbs and nuts but feel free to experiment- throw the ingredients into a blender and grind coarsely. Done! Also works great as a crust for baked meat and fish.

Here’s a classic dukkah recipe.

squash-toast

Squash Toast

We’re definitely gaga for #avotoast (crusty sourdough, smashed avos, chili flakes and lemon olive oil, in case you were wondering) but with the very scary and very real avocado shortage, people are looking for new healthy, colorful toast toppings. Enter squash toast, which first made its debut on the menu of NYC based ABC Kitchen and the recipe of which featured in Lucky Peach’s plant-forward Power Vegetables cookbook. Here’s the full recipe of the original, as developed by Michelin-starred chef & restauranteur Jean-Georges Vongerichten, and here are some other fun toast topping ideas that will brighten your day.

Give the Smitten Kitchen’s squash toast recipe a try.


Image credits:Local Eyes (blue latte)- lead photo, Rens Kroes (golden milk),  , Balanced Babe (drinking vinegars),  Blue Hill Yogurt Facebook page (vegetable yogurts),  Food 52 (dukka) and Mind Body Green (squash toast).