The Healthy Food Trends We Predict You'll See Everywhere in 2019

By: Lisa Valente, M.S., R.D.

Some things on our list of healthy food trends look familiar—cauliflower, our old friend that finds new life every day, for example. But our list of what you'll see more in the grocery store and on tabletops predicts a delicious and healthy 2019.

Featured Recipe: Cauliflower Gnocchi with Brown Butter & Sage Sauce

We editors see a lot of products come across our desks every week—goat's milk yogurts, no-grain granolas, even mushroom-packed chocolate bars. They give us an idea of the direction in which health-focused eating is going and the ingredients we'll be seeing more frequently. So after a year of tasting our way through a host of products, testing lots of appliances and gadgets and walking many grocery store aisles, EatingWell editors put together our list of the healthy food trends we anticipate you'll see more in 2019.

Read More: Weight Watchers Is Changing a Lot in 2019—Here's How

1. All Cauliflower, All the Time

Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos

Featured Recipe: Chipotle-Lime Cauliflower Tacos

The pale cousin of broccoli, cauliflower has been a star on the healthy-eating scene for several years, but don't expect it to relinquish its spotlight anytime soon. Indeed, the humble cruciferous vegetable likely expected its peak popularity had come and gone when thick cuts of cauliflower, sizzled to crispy brown in hot cast iron skillets, were served up like a steak on the menus of some of the country's hottest restaurants. Or perhaps, we assumed cauliflower had crested when it found itself dipped in batter, dropped in hot oil and given the moniker "chicken fried."

Alas, we believe we've only seen the start of it. Thanks to diet trends like keto, paleo, and Whole30, cauliflower is going nowhere. A low-carb swap for grains, bread and other starchy vegetables, cauliflower will continue to pop up in everything from gnocchi to "potato" skins, pizza crust to smoothies in 2019.

Try These: Healthy Cauliflower Recipes

2. The Power of Plants

Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

Featured Recipe: Barbecue Pulled Jackfruit Sandwiches

More people are making the switch from animal to plant, and we expect that trend will continue to heat up in 2019. Indeed, as vegan and meatless options become more plentiful—and as people begin to understand the environmental impact of an animal-sourced food system—the all-plants eating philosophy has gained steam.

If you're curious to cut back on meat and animal products, you don't have to jump in with both feet at once. You can instead go meat-free one day a week. When the occasional meat-free day feels easy, make it two. Keep adding days and meals until you reach a new balance of plants on your plate.

Try These: Healthy Vegan Recipes

3. Great Cooking Gadgets

Air-Fryer

Featured Recipe: Air-Fryer "Fried" Chicken Thighs

If you didn't have an air fryer or Instant Pot on your holiday wish list, we suspect you'll find yourself wishing you had at some point in 2019. That's because these countertop cookers have a delicious promise: great flavor for less effort.

In the case of the air fryer, this mini convection oven cooks up deep-fried flavor with only a fraction of the oil (and fat and calories) of the big vats of bubbling grease. That means crispy "fried" chicken and crunchy chips happen in just minutes and with a nutrition profile healthy eaters can get behind.

The Instant Pot, the slow cooker's hotter, speedier cousin, turns lean cuts of meat like pork roast and beef tip roasts into tender, juicy soups, stews and more in a fraction of the time they'd need with other methods. Plus, once you learn how to use the Instant Pot and begin exploring its other functions, you'll find you can make everything from grains for your weekly meal prep to homemade yogurt.

Try These: Easy Healthy Dinner Recipes to Make in Your Instant Pot

4. Hemp Is Happening

CBD Oil

Hemp-derived cannabidiol (CBD) oil may remain on the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)'s blacklist for now, but it has a certain buzz about it that tells us consumers are looking to have it both approved and readily available in everything from lotions to lattes. CBD oil comes from the same plant as marijuana, but it lacks the chemicals that are responsible for a "high." Rather, it's believed CBD acts on the serotonin receptors in your brain, helping bring about a state of calm and reduced anxiety levels for people who use it.

CBD is available from some online sources, and some states have decriminalized it so you may see it popping up on store shelves. But before you buy, keep in mind that it is not regulated, which means you cannot guarantee you're buying a genuine product. Indeed, a 2017 study found that nearly 70 percent of the products tested were mislabeled. The researchers found it was not uncommon for the hemp products to have much less or much more CBD than the label said it did.

Related: How to Reduce Anxiety: Best Science-Backed Foods and Tips

5. Love Your Gut

Simple Sauerkraut

Featured Recipe: Simple Sauerkraut

Healthy eaters are increasingly aware that wellness and body balance may come down to your core, or more specifically your gut. Your microbiome, the community of bacteria that live inside your intestines, may impact your health more than almost any other aspect. Research is still emerging, but it paints a picture that a healthy balance of good-for-you bacteria called probiotics can have repercussions, such as better brain function, more successful weight loss, and even better heart health.

In 2019, look for more products that promise to deliver healthy probiotics, as well as the accompanying word prebiotics, a type of fiber all the microbiota in your belly need to live their best lives. Likewise, look for greater awareness of how to maintain the healthy bacteria you've worked so hard to build. That includes foods to avoid if you want to keep your belly of bacteria happy and healthy.

Related: 3 Surprising Reasons Your Gut Health Matters

6. Crazy for Collagen

Pineapple Green Smoothie

Featured Recipe: Pineapple Green Smoothie

If you've flirted with the world of paleo or keto, collagen won't be a new-to-you word, but if this is your first encounter, be prepared to see it more in the coming year. Collagen, a rich source of protein that's found in animal cartilage, muscles and bones, finds its way into foods from piping hot coffee to creamy cool smoothies.

Its promise? Fewer signs of aging, from your face to your achy joints. In other words, proponents of collagen say the powder product can help prevent wrinkles by supplementing fluids in the cells of your skin and ward off worsening symptoms of arthritis by pumping up the amount of synovial fluids in your joints.

You can buy collagen in tubs at most health food stores or grocery chains. You can also look for the products online. Some collagen products come supplemented with flavoring ingredients, such as chocolate or coconut, to make it easier to incorporate into shakes or smoothies.

Keep Reading: Should You Eat Collagen?

7. Other Drinks Get Crafty

SHED's Blood Orange Champagne Vinegar Shrub

Featured Recipe: SHED's Blood Orange Champagne Vinegar Shrub

Move over, craft beer. Your time is up, and in your place, we herald the arrival of craft spirits and craft mocktails, artisanal beverage products that put bargain-basement rum and Shirley Temples to shame. We've been seeing more unique bitters and better drinking vinegars and shrubs (fruit sweet-sour beverage mixes) cropping up around the corners of the beverage scene for a while. In 2019, we expect them to come into their own.

Look for restaurants and bars to highlight their non-alcoholic mocktails as readily as they do their booze-spiked options. Many of these beverage services put a lot of attention and detail into creating truly unique offerings that, regardless of the presence of alcohol, stand apart from typical bar fare. We say cheers to that (and we'll have another)!

Try These: Unbelievably Delicious Cocktails & Mocktails You Can Make in 10 Minutes

8. Yogurt Beyond Greek

Siggi's Pumpkin & Spice Yogurt

The heat in the yogurt aisle isn't coming from the lights. It's coming from the fight over shelf space among new yogurt products with their eyes on elbowing out the old timers. Indeed, in the fermented dairy business, sugary flavored varieties and fruit-on-bottom Greek yogurt are the statesmen, while skyr (the traditional yogurt of Iceland), goat's milk yogurt and plant-based vegan alternatives (coconut milk yogurt and almond milk yogurt, for example) are elbowing out their elders.

Nutritionally, many of these products are on par with Greek yogurt; they're a good source of protein and calcium. But depending on which you choose, you may get more calories or less protein. Plant-based options often have less fat and fewer calories, but sometimes lack protein. Check nutrition labels to compare choices and as a rule of thumb choose plain varieties to cut down on added sugars.

Related: 10 Super-Healthy Food Trends You Haven't Tried Yet

9. Snackboards Reign Supreme

Snack Board With Chocolate, Fruit, and Nuts

Featured Recipe: How to Make a Chocolate Board

The elaborate cheeseboards of 2017 Instagram gave rise to the sheet-pan snack boards of 2018. In 2019, board offerings will be bigger and sweeter than ever before. Expect to see grazing tables, elaborate oversized displays of fruit, meat, veggies, sauces, dips and spreads, crop up at parties and events. They could easily morph into brunch-worthy offerings by switching meat and cheese for waffles, fruit, jams, syrups, bacon, sausage and more.

One part photo-worthy arrangement and one-part energy conservation effort, grazing tables are an elaborate way to tell guests, "This is a DIY easy situation, but I've made it Instagrammable."

Likewise, expect to see dessert trays at social gatherings as well as restaurants. With an emphasis on small, satisfying bites, this is a board we can really get behind. Rich dark chocolate squares replace "molten" cakes and sub-par brownies. It's clever and creative but also a really great way to control your own food choices.

Read More: How to Build the Perfect Cheese Board

10. Bean Pastas Abound

Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto

Featured Recipe: Chickpea Pasta with Lemony-Parsley Pesto

The pasta aisle is becoming as crowded as the yogurt aisle, with a plethora of options popping out as you walk by. Claims of extra protein and servings of vegetables make the whole-grain options we pleaded for so long ago look antiquated.

Alas, a new noodle trend will be happening in 2019, and we heartily welcome it: bean pasta. These alternatives use beans and legumes as a substitute for flour, and while they're often a bit more chewy and require a certain amount of attentiveness when cooking, you'll sleuth in an extra serving of protein and fiber-rich beans to your pasta dish.

If you're buying a box to try, be sure to read the label. A good bean pasta will have the bean(s) listed in the first ingredient or two. Some products make healthful claims but use very little of the good-for-you ingredients. If flour is still first on the list, you're not holding the real deal.

Related: The Best Gluten-Free Pastas to Buy

WATCH: How to Make Instant Pot Vegetable Soup

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