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Top 8 Healthy Food Trends for 2016

As 2016 accelerates, we’ve noticed many new food trends dominating the internet. Blue steak. Smashed cucumbers. Even seaweed!

But while these new kids on the block may be getting a lot of attention, there are foods that were on trend in past years that are still going strong and are showing no sign of slowing down this year.

So to help keep your taste buds on trend, at Kenko Tea we’ve hunted around the past and present and compiled a list of the top 7 food trends we believe to continue taking 2016 by storm!

1. Matcha… everything!

Although it’s originally from Japan, matcha is no longer so exotic around the world. It has been a top food trend for a few years now and we reckon foodies will continue to love it in 2016.

The reason why matcha should be a superfood at the top of your list is because of its amazing health benefits.

Matcha Green Tea for everything is a big food trend of 2016

(Photo by @begin_anywhere)

We’ve heard time and time again about the rich antioxidants matcha has. Containing 10 times more antioxidants than regular steeped green tea, matcha is an anti-aging, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial agent that can detox and heal your body.

Matcha isn’t simply a tea. People love using matcha in baking, cooking, and beverage recipes. It has a unique, distinct and natural sweetness and flavor, which blends well into many recipes.

You can check out our Matcha Recipe page for ideas here.

Kenko Matcha Ice Cream Vegan Raw Recipe  Matcha Chocolate Protein Bars Recipe  Matcha Lime Cake with strawberry and coconut

Not only for drinking and eating, you can also create your own skin care products from matcha using its anti-aging, detoxifying and soothing properties. Follow the link here for our beauty tips using matcha!

2. Smoothie... from a bowl!

Eating smoothies from a bowl is still sexy thing this year! Smoothie bowls, the dawn of the bowl trend, still take the internet by storm and it’s easy to see why.

Smoothie bowls are fun to make and eat. You can blend anything - nuts, seeds, and fruits – making it thick enough to eat with spoon and serve it all up with different toppings. Smoothie bowls are a super quick, easy and cheap breakfast that gives you enough energy until lunchtime, and they are delicious.

There are many different smoothie bowl recipes at Kenko Tea for you to explore. Click on the pictures below for the full recipes.

Matcha mango spinach smothie bowl with banana and berries topping   Green Tea Mint Spinach Smoothie Bowl topped with coconut flakes and berries  Mango Green Tea Banana Smoothie Bowls with strawberry and seed toppings

3. Ancient grains

Eating ancient grains is all about focusing on health, sustainability and simplicity.

Forget refined white grains! Ancient whole grains like rye, amaranth, barley, quinoa, spelt, millet and old-school techniques such as fermentation are anticipated to bloom across restaurant menus and home kitchens.

These trendy ancient grains are staple diets in many cultures and come with numberless health benefits and nutrients including fibre, minerals, vitamins, phytonutrients and protein.

Spelt Ancient Grains is healthier than wheats

 (Spelt from

Many grains like amaranth, spelt, teff and quinoa are gluten-free and high in protein, which makes them the perfect option for weight management, blood sugar control, gluten-free food and vegan diets.

Amaranth grains rich of proteins

(Amaranth from

Because it’s lower in gluten and higher in protein (17%), spelt is commonly used to replace wheat. Amaranth, a gluten-free grain, contains 13-14% protein and is packed with minerals, calcium, iron and magnesium.

Teff is high in vitamins, nutrients and aids weight loss  Farro provides fiber, vitamin B3 and zinc, healthier that wheat


(Teff (L) from & Farro (R) from

Teff is a fine grain that’s gluten-free and provides an excellent source of calcium and vitamin C while giving a molasses-like sweetness.

Farro, an ancient strain of wheat, is known for its earthy nuttiness and high content of fibre vitamin B3 and zinc. This provides great benefits for alleviating Type-2 diabetes, heart disease and carotid arteries as well as controlling weight and blood pressure levels.

4. Pulses

Praised by the United Nations, 2016 is the International Year of Pulses.

Lentils, beans and chickpeas are examples of pulses, which are not only nutritionally beneficial but also environment-friendly because of the way they are grown in soil.

Pulses, including beans, chickpeas, lentils, are praised for their health benefits

(Pulses from

With high protein content, pulses are perfect for vegan and vegetarian diets. They are low fat, high in fibre and loaded with minerals.

There are tonnes of pulse-based options for you. Perhaps the most well known ones are from Indian and Mediterranean cuisines, like chickpea hummus, falafels or lentil curries.

In East Asia, red beans, mung beans, adzuki beans, black beans, soybeans or bean sprouts are commonly used in soups, salads and desserts.

Matcha Green Tea Pound Cake, Frenh-styled with Sweet soya black beans

You will find pulses in many delicious matcha desserts, like matcha red bean vanilla cake, matcha adzuki cupcakes,  matcha kuromame pound cake or matcha tofu cheesecake!

5. Noodle-like vegetables

Pasta made from veggies, like zucchini, carrots, squashes, or turnips, is also proving popular this year. You can use a spiraling machine or an inexpensive julienne peeler to create this extra healthy version of pasta.

Zoodles, Zucchini noddles, pasta-like vegetable. Green, and healthy diets

(Zoodles from

The trend for noodle-like vegetables is a wonderful way to get your daily dose of vitamins and minerals while cutting down on calories, gluten and refined carbs. There are endless choices: you can toss the noodles in pesto sauce, mix with salad or create your own Asian-style bowls. Doesn’t that sound like an idea for tonight’s dinner?

6. Seaweed

Health food junkies have said seaweed is the new kale in 2016!

This ocean vegetable is praised for its nutrient-profile, environment sustainability, and delicious umami flavor.

Loaded with minerals like iron, vitamin C, B and iodine, seaweed is a healthy choice for replacing salty processed foods. Seaweed also has great skin-care benefits that contribute to healthy skin, hair and nails.

Seaweed a new kale of 2016, healthy, umami, for sushi or salad

(Types of seaweed from

So, why not add some seaweed to your salad, soups and sushi, or make yourself a simple seaweed face mask?

7. Fermented foods

Being one of the top food trends of 2015, fermented food (e.g. yogurt, kimchi, sauerkraut, etc) continues to be popular in 2016.

Kimchi, famous Korean dish, fermented cabbages with specialty sauce

(Kimchi from

Fermentation is the natural process involved in naturally-occurring microbes, yeast, or bacteria breaking down food items. It was first adapted in ancient civilizations to preserve food and create flavors.

In some cultures, like Japanese and Korean, fermented food has been known for benefiting the health of your gut. Kimchi, miso, sauerkraut, yogurt, kefir or kombucha have gained a name for their health benefits in treating bloating and anxiety while improving digestive health.

Kefir fermented food trend  Kombucha fermented tea

(Kefir (left) from & Kombucha (right) from

So add some kimchi or sauerkraut to your favorite sandwiches and experience this healthy trend!

8. Cricket flour

Cricket flour, the new sustainable and rich source of proteins for muscle building and fitness

(Cricket flour from

This new food trend emerging in 2016 is sustainable, cheap, nutritious and a rich source of protein for your diet.

Why crickets? One of the reasons for its popularity is that it contains high protein and is low in carbohydrates, benefiting muscle building and paleo dieting.

About 3 ½ ounces (100g) of crickets has up to 13g protein. Cricket flour is 65% protein by dry weight, compared to 22% for salmon and 23% for chicken.

Comparison chart of protein content in cricket flour vs. other meats


(Protein comparison chart by

Crickets are also cheap and good for the environment. They require less land and water to grow and harvest. They don’t release methane or greenhouse gas into the atmosphere like livestock does. Also, pesticides aren’t used to farm them so they are a safe food to eat.

However, don’t pick the insects yourself as you can’t be sure if there are traces of pesticides on them. You can bake with cricket flour purchasing from established brands like Bitty Foods. Or try some Six Foods’ cricket-flour chips or EXO’s cricket-flour protein bars.

Exo protein bars made from cricket flour, high protein content, pre workout snacks

(Exo Cricket Peanut Protein Bar from

How do you like these new trends? They are all healthy and delicious that help us eat better, feel greater and save our planet. Get stuck in!


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