2017 Food Trends for Optimum Health


A couple of times per year I have the pleasure of working for and with Michelle Book of the Canadian Health Food Association. Recently she was in town to make live appearances on the morning shows of both Global and CTV to present the 2017 food trends for healthy living. As her food-stylist, I was invited to purchase items for her in advance, deliver them to the stations and set them up in a pleasing fashion. Since she jetted off to her home base right after her last appearance, I also had the opportunity to try some of the new products that she left with me.


Sprouts are low in calories and fats but high in digestible protein and essential vitamins and minerals. They are actually able to hold onto loads of vitamins and minerals that many foods often lose through processing. We used the leftover alfalfa and mixed sprouts in our sandwiches but I understand that they are also good in smoothies. Leftover beans sprouts will go into a pad Thai. Almost any seed or grain can be sprouted in a moist environment making sprouting super easy and affordable.

Plant Based Dairy Alternatives

Most of us are familiar with almond, hemp, soy and coconut milk but this year you’ll be seeing some delicious new additions at your local CHFA Member health food store such as Vita Health. I used the cashew milk in a Moroccan Stew with excellent results. New products are being made with everything from flax seeds, hazelnuts and cashews. The dark chocolate was tasty and you couldn’t tell the difference between the no butterfat cream cheese and regular cream cheese. The many products were super creamy and a great source of calcium and vitamins A, D, and E without added calories, saturated fat or cholesterol, making them a good choice to help with our New Year’s resolutions.


My favourite was the coconut yogurt which I loved for breakfast with pineapple and papaya. It was superior in taste to regular yogurts and has antibacterial properties which help to balance gut bacteria and rid the gut of toxins to help improve both digestive and immune health. D really liked the shredded Monterey Jack dairy free cheese. We have enjoyed it on omelets and flat breads.


Digestive Enzymes

Digestive enzymes give our body a head start on digestion to break down all the goodness in the food we eat, such as carbohydrates, protein and fats. Little did I know that consuming the pineapple and papaya with my yogurt was aiding my digestion and improving nutrient absorption.



Mushrooms have been used for their health benefits for centuries. I made a Four Mushroom soup with red onions and wheat berries that was out of this world! Two of the mushrooms in my recipe-white and cremini are a rich source of B-vitamins and minerals including selenium and copper.


Smart Carbs

Carbohydrates are often a source of confusion for many people. Foods made with refined carbohydrates like pastries, white breads and most starchy pasta noodles can put stress on your body’s systems and spike insulin levels. Since I have recently been cautioned about a high sugar reading by my nurse practitioner, I am very interested in this particular category. I have found out that by making simple changes like choosing complex carbs more often, including legumes, buckwheat, quinoa, fruits & vegetables and whole grains I can stimulate fullness and increase my “feel-good” hormones, including serotonin.

We have yet to try our black bean rotini or edamame & mung bean fettuccine but I understand that they will provide a gluten-free, protein and fibre packed alternative to traditional pasta. This evening we are supping on zucchini spiral noodles and I can attest to the black bean tortilla chips being oh so tasty especially when dipped into a fresh salsa.

Check out CHFA’s website to learn more.

Kath’s quote: “Beans are neither a fruit nor musical“.- Angela Cartwright


Love never fails.


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