With the rise in plant-based popularity comes a surge of new plant-based foods. Here are the top 5 nutritious plant-based ingredients to look for in 2021:
Macambo is a cousin of cacao. The seeds are higher in protein than most other nuts and extraordinarily high in fiber. Just 1 oz of the dried seeds has 30% of your daily fiber need.
Macambo seeds are also a rich source of omega-9 fats and theobromine, the same chemical found in chocolate that boosts mood and increases alertness. Macambo has been used by Amazonian indigenous groups for centuries and is known for providing sustained energy and focus. Find macambo in our “Powerful” meal in Café Gratitude.
2. KELP NOODLES
Kelp noodles are a sea vegetable made from steamed kelp. They are purely a vegetable, and contain no gluten, no fat, and almost no carbs or calories. They are, however, a good source of essential minerals such as calcium, iodine, and iron.
They’re a versatile, low-carb, keto-friendly substitute for rice or pasta and take on the flavor of whatever they are cooked in. Find kelp noodles in our “Liberated” meal with Café Gratitude.
3. PUMPKIN SEEDS
Pumpkin seeds, or pepitas, are proving to be a versatile ingredient. In an effort to get away from soy, many manufacturers are incorporating highly nutritious pumpkin seeds into a variety of products. Pumpkin seeds are high in protein, fiber and healthy fats, and contain over 20% of the daily requirement for magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, and iron.
Pumpkin protein powder, pumpkin seed butter, and pumpkin seed tofu are three examples of ways pumpkin seeds are trending in the plant-based space. Find pumpkin seeds in Chef Rachelle’s Pumpkin Cranberry Muffins.
Mushrooms are an excellent alternative to meat due to their hearty, umami flavor. Mushrooms are also used in many plant-based products from jerky to chips to mushroom coffee. Mushrooms are high in Vitamins B and D, and the many functional uses of mushrooms are still being discovered. Find oyster mushroom carnitas in our “Dedicated” meal with Café Gratitude.
5. PLANT-BASED CHEESE
While plant-based cheese is not new, it has been limited to a few basic options. Now we’re seeing plant-based smoked mozzarella, brie, ricotta, parmesan, and feta.
Non-dairy cheeses are usually made with nuts, making them a good source of healthy fats and much lower in saturated fat than dairy cheese. Look for a Brazil nut parmesan and cashew macadamia cheddar in our “Cheesy” meal with Café Gratitude.