5 Vegan Food Trends Everyone Will Enjoy (Even Meat Eaters!)

We've done our research. And the overall deduction is that even in non-vegan restaurants, vegetables are taking center stage. You will start to see more menus that are crafted around veggies as the main dish, not necessarily a side option. And this shift in eating trends is one that the Grow.Bar community is loving.

It's awesome news that consumers are slowly catching on to the healthier, more sustainable and more humane eating philosophy. Even meat-eaters should consider cutting back on their meat intake. Try substituting a vegan meal 3 times per week and watch as it positively affects your physical and mental health.

Even Mintel (a global leader in market intelligence) has included animal product alternatives in their 'Global Food and Drink Trends of 2016' report. It states that "veggie burgers and non-dairy milks have escaped the realm of substitutes primarily for people with dietary concerns and followers of vegetarian diets. Instead, the growing ranks of novel protein sources and potential replacements appeal to the everyday consumer, foreshadowing a profoundly changed marketplace in which what was formerly ‘alternative’ could take over the mainstream" (Mintel.com).

Vegan trends are simply everywhere. And for a practicing Vegan it's so much more than a "trend". It's a philosophy. It's a lifestyle and a conscious decision. The list of benefits is long (see our post Vegan Diets for more information). And vegan dishes are something everyone can enjoy. Check out the following most talked about delicious, healthy and sustainable options for 2016.

1. Spiralized Veggies

Spiralized veggies offer a colorful, tasty and super healthy alternative for pasta lovers. And the tools available (like the Premium Slicer pictured above) are making it easy to add a fun twist to your meals. Spiralized veggies can be cooked, sauteed or even eaten raw. Spiralized zucchini is an excellent choice served with marinara or tomato-based pasta sauce. And there's few dishes as beautiful as a spiralized cucumber, carrot and turnip salad. The added bonus? The less you chop a vegetable, the more nutritional value it retains.

2. Cauliflower Steaks

Cauliflower steaks are such a yummy idea for your meat-free days. You may be hearing it's a "hipster trend". One that we should all be getting over. But ask yourself why? It's an awesome idea. And although cauliflower is the opposite of steak in many ways (It's fat and calorie free, for starters), it's a healthier option that also contains elements known to fight inflammation. The only thing that really makes it a "steak" is how the vegetable is cut. You can sear the steak-cut veggies for a few minutes. And then proceed by roasting them on a baking sheet for 15 minutes (400 degrees). 

3. Seaweed Everywhere

Sushi isn't the only way to get your dose of seaweed. There are dried seaweed snacks, seaweed salads and more. It's a plentiful and super healthy green. And it's catching on big time in the food world. Seaweed contains tons of fiber, antioxidants, iodine and the "good" fats your body needs. It's sustainable appeal is catching on and gaining momentum. There's no reason not to give a try if you haven't already. Get creative and use Grow.Bar microgreens for an added boost of nutrition and flavor (radish and red mustard maybe?) in a seaweed salad.

4. Fermented Veggies

The fermented (or pickled) veggie train has been chugging along for a while now. And it doesn't seem to be slowing down. From sauerkraut to kimchi or regular ol' pickles, it's a great way to boost the flavor and life-span of your vegetables. The fermentation process provides a lot of good bacteria that benefits your intestinal and immune system's health. And many have found that although the taste is strong, if you enjoy vinegar and acidic based foods, these poignant veggies can offer the perfect snack, appetizer or garnish to any meal.

5. Bok Choy

Bok Choy is not a "new" green. It's literally a 5,000 year old vegetable. However it's just now starting to emerge in the modern world as a food "trend". It's not only super healthy, it's really tasty. It's low in calories and high in fiber, and contains valuable amounts of Vitamins A and C as well. It's one of the most nutrient-dense options available (second to watercress) and the best part is that you can use both the tender, white bottom parts as well as the top leafy green ones. It's perfect eaten raw in salads, cooked in a stir-fry or even simply seared.

Vegan's have been changing the face of the culinary world for a while. And chefs, as well as customers and the average citizen, are beginning to take note. It's about what you eat and how it affects your body. Organic, plant-based dishes are simply healthier and more sustainable choices. And the gorgeous presentations that vegetable-based meals facilitate is incomparable.

Be healthy, be creative and live happy. Start 2016 with a healthier lifestyle and use Grow.Bar's microgreens to add a 100% organic, tasty and nutrition-packed punch to any of the above ideas. Sign-up to send us your favorite vegan recipes and become part of the Grow.Bar community today!

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