What trendy foods will shoppers see in the markets this year? Each year, I go to the Fancy Food Show in New York City to find out what’s new, what’s hot and what’s delicious among the 200,000 products displayed. Plant-based products, ethnic flavors and healthy snacks were this year’s dominant themes. Here are my favorite finds…
• Broccoli rice: Move over cauliflower crackers—here comes broccoli rice. Earthly Choice Broccoli Rice comes in a microwavable pouch and can be prepared in 90 seconds. It has just 35 calories and 35 milligrams (mg) of sodium per 8.5-ounce serving. I like it as a good, noncarbohydrate alternative to rice. Use it for stir-fry, in casseroles or as a side dish wherever rice might be used. $2.99 for an 8.5-ounce package.
• Edamame pasta: Explore Cuisine has several pastas made with vegetables. I like the Organic Edamame Spaghetti with 24 grams of protein per serving. The only ingredient is edamame bean flour (green soybeans). $6.50 for an eight-ounce package.
• Peanut puffs: Looking for a crunchy snack without a lot of calories? Try P-nuff Crunch. It’s a baked, crunchy peanut puff made of ground navy beans and roasted peanuts for fiber and protein. There are five grams of protein in one ounce (about 28 puffs). $3.99 for a four-ounce bag, $2 for one ounce.
• Mushroom snacks: Shrooms is a crispy mushroom snack that is packed with flavor. These are thick-cut dried portabello mushrooms. I like the original, but they also come in fun flavors such as pizza, BBQ, sea salt and spicy jalapeño. Use them for a quick snack or sprinkle on salads or soups instead of croutons. $5.99 for a three-ounce bag.
• New African grain: Fonio is a supergrain from West Africa. It’s sure to be the new quinoa. It’s ready in five minutes and is packed with vitamins and amino acids. It has a nutty aroma, and you can use it in place of couscous or rice. $6.65 for a 10-ounce bag.
• Chocolate candles: There’s always room in the cabinet for a new chocolate specialty product. This one makes birthday cakes a little more special with attractive edible dark and milk chocolate candles. This fun family novelty item is called Let Them Eat Candles. They light but won’t melt the chocolate and come in several festive patterns. $11.95 for a package of three.