Hot Foods Trends That Are Worth Trying

The trendiest foods for 2011.

Food trends come and go—remember when cabbage soup was a hot way to lose weight? But some trendy foods have health benefits that make it worthwhile to jump on the bandwagon. Here are a couple of trendy foods that are not only good for you, they taste great too.

—Jessie Price, EatingWell Food Editor

Watch: See 6 foods to cut for a clean diet.


Beans

Beans

These humble ingredients are generally inexpensive, high in protein and fiber and truly versatile. Plus with the increase in interest in eating less meat, beans are getting more attention than ever as a great plant-based source of protein.

Healthy Canned Bean Recipes to Try »
Delicious Black Bean Recipes »

Buffalo

Pictured Recipe: Greek Bison Burgers

Buffalo

Common buzz words for buffalo include "healthy," "high protein," and "sustainable." And with only 145 calories and 5 grams of fat per 3-ounce serving, lean bison is lower in calories and fat than lean beef.

Tips for Shopping & Cooking with Bison »

Recipes to Try:
Smoky Buffalo Burger »
Grilled Buffalo Steak with Radicchio-Beet Skewers »
Turkish Pasta with Bison Sauce »
Red Curry Bison Short Ribs with Baby Bok Choy
Guinness-Marinated Bison Steak Sandwiches

Dark Chocolate

Dark Chocolate

Not only can dark chocolate satisfy a craving, recent research shows it also may help keep your heart healthy. (It has some of the same heart-healthy flavonols that are found in green tea and red wine.) And these days, there are plenty of options at the supermarket for intense dark chocolate and cocoa that are wonderful for cooking.

Heart-Healthy Chocolate Recipes to Try »

Heirloom Apples

Heirloom Apples

An apple a day... With plenty of vitamin C, apples may help with keeping your immune system strong and your skin healthy. Recently not only have new varieties like the Honeycrisp and Jazz come to market older varieties like Black Oxford and Roxbury Russet have been making a comeback as well.

Easy Apple Recipes to Try »
Learn More About Heirloom Apples »

Jícama

As recently as ten years ago, jícama was a novelty ingredient. Now you can find this homely tuber in almost any supermarket. It adds great crunch and a sweet-nutty flavor to salads. Plus it's loaded with vitamin C and fiber which can help with digestion.

Healthy Jícama Recipes to Try:
Grilled Tuna, Orange & Jicama Salad with Red Onion Dressing »
Jícama & Cucumber Salad with Red Chile Dressing »
Jícama-Apple Slaw »

Kale

Kale

Dark leafy greens like kale are particularly rich in vitamins A, C and K. Kale also provides folate, which is an important nutrient for women of child-bearing age. Greens of all sorts are showing up in produce departments and in home kitchens and the buzz about recipes for kale "chips" has been off the charts this year. Common types of kale in the markets these days include curly, lacinato (dinosaur) and purple Russian.

Healthy Kale & Other Winter Green Recipes to Try »

Kimchi

Pictured Recipe: Quick Kimchi

Kimchi

This Korean dish of fermented vegetables has seen a rise in interest along with other fermented foods, including yogurt and kombucha. Besides provides phytonutrients and fiber, kimchi also supplies Lactobacillus and other "good" bacteria that some experts think can help boost immune defenses.

More on the Health Benefits of Korean Cooking »

Miso

Pictured Recipe: Orange-Miso Sauce

Miso

Here's another way to get a dose of soy in your diet, and it's fermented (also trendy these days.) However miso is high in sodium, so it's best used in relatively small amounts in recipes.

Healthy Miso Recipes to Try:
Snow Pea & Carrot Salad with
Miso-Tamari Dressing »

Broiled Salmon with Miso Glaze »
Ginger-Miso Tofu Dressing »

Pomegranate

Pomegranate

This fruit has been riding a wave of popularity for years, and it's still going strong. Perhaps that's because of all the money POM Wonderful has put into health research on the fruit. The health claims aren't all hype. In fact pomegranate juice does have more antioxidants than most other fruit juices.

The Antioxidant Power of Pomegranates »
Healthy Pomegranate Recipes to Try »

Popcorn

Popcorn

Who knew popcorn was a health food? Actually popcorn is a healthy whole grain and as long as you eat it without loading it down with tons of butter and salt it's a great choice.

Why You Should Eat More Popcorn »

Healthy Popcorn Recipes to Try:
Lemon-Parm Popcorn »
Cheesy Popcorn »

Popsicles

Popsicles

A hip and healthy way to enjoy a sweet treat, popsicles come in a perfect portion-controlled serving and many are low in calories and fat. With fun do-it-yourself pop molds you can experiment with making your own at home out of wholesome fruit, yogurt, milk and juice.

Recipes for 100 Calorie Freezer Pops »

Purple Potatoes

Pictured Recipe: Steak & Purple-Potato Salad

Purple Potatoes

Purple and blue foods like purple potatoes are full of anthocynanins and proanthocyanidins, antioxidants that may help keep the heart healthy and the brain functioning optimally. Purple carrots, watermelon radishes, and other blue-hued vegetables are new favorites with chefs and home cooks alike.

Skinny Potato Recipes to Try »

Quinoa

As companies from Frito Lay to McDonalds scramble to get whole grains into their products and onto their menus, it's clear that the whole grain revolution is here. And as part of this revolution, quinoa has taken America by storm. This grain is packed with fiber and protein, and to top it off, it only takes 15 to 20 minutes to cook.

Easy Quinoa Recipes to Try »

Soy

Soy

Packed with high-quality protein and food-for-you phytochemicals, soy seems to be a naturally healthful choice. But despite its healthy halo, some experts say soy isn't a good choice for everyone, and overdoing it could be problematic for people with some health conditions. The bottom line: A little soy such as edamame, soy milk or tofu each day can be good for you. Most experts recommend eating just one to two servings a day.

How Healthy Is Soy Really? »
Healthy Soy Foods Recipes »
Healthy Tofu Recipes to Try »

Tea

Tea

Studies show if you drink tea regularly, you may reduce your risk of Alzheimer's and diabetes, plus have healthier teeth and gums and stronger bones. How? Tea is rich in a class of antioxidants called flavonoids. And tea's not just for drinking straight up. It's also a great ingredient for everything from cocktails to desserts.

Tips for Buying & Steeping Tea »
Healthy Iced Tea Recipes »

Tomatillos

Tomatillos

These little green husk-covered beauties deliver vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium and fiber, so it's great new that they're showing up in supermarkets around the country.

5 Reasons to Love Tomatillos »

Healthy Tomatillo Recipes to Try:
Grilled Tomatillo Salsa »
Tomatillo Gazpacho »
Mexican Pickled Tomatillos »