Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, said one of the food trends of 2012 is people eating sea vegetables, like seaweed and algae, as snacks.
“Because seaweed is so high in a variety of minerals, also very high in iron,” she says. “It’s low in calories, no carbohydrates and will give you a lot of health benefits." Seaweed is now available in many major grocery stores. It is usually sold in sheets as “snack packs.”
Black garlic is also a trendy food. It’s created through an aging process that uses high heat and humidity.
Black garlic seems a little sweeter, but less pungent than white garlic, and contains many of the same health benefits. Kale is also hot. It’s from the same vegetable family as cabbage, Brusssels sprouts and cauliflower.
Experts say kale is packed with antioxidants and can be snacked on in the form of dehydrated kale chips or trimmed from the stem, tossed in a bowl with olive oil and served as a snack. Almond butter is also gaining fans, with more and more people using it instead of peanut butter. “Most people are used to peanut butter and the taste. Almond butter has more of that gritty almond taste, and it’s fabulous. Also, there are some studies that show almond butter may help to reduce the risk for diabetes and almond butter is high in vitamin E, which helps your heart, your brain and also helps your skin and hair,” Kirkpatrick says.
Kirkpatrick says she also expects to see hempseed used more often in products. It is high in protein, potassium, and magnesium and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.