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Top 9 Vegan Trends in 2017

spiralizing produce

2017’s HOT VEGAN TRENDS

Veganism is on the rise globally and with it, vegan trends are rising as well. A plant-based diet focusing on whole, minimally processed foods has been linked to a decrease in heart disease, obesity, type 2 diabetes, and a host of other health issues. Read on to learn more about the top hot vegan trends this year.

1. Cauliflower

This nutrient-packed, versatile veggie is a nutritional powerhouse loaded with Vitamin C, fiber, Vitamin K, choline, potassium, and other potent, anti-inflammatory compounds. Creative uses of cauliflower continue to be discovered. A quick search on Pinterest or google will quickly reveal an impressive amount of unique recipes using cauliflower.

Cauliflower rice, one its first and most well-known uses, is a delicious replacement for standard white rice. Although white rice is vegan, swapping it out for cauliflower automatically boosts your intake of vitamins, minerals, and fiber while reducing the number of carbohydrates you consume.  This rising vegan trend includes lots of  delicious uses for cauliflower:

  • “Fauxtatoes” a mixture of steamed cauliflower, garlic, non-dairy milk, salt, and pepper
  • Cauliflower pizza crust a mix of gluten free flour, nutritional yeast, cauliflower, and herbs
  • Cauliflower rice, particularly good in stir frys
  • Whole roasted heads of cauliflower, topped with savory sauces
  • Cauliflower “steaks” – gracing places like a slice of meat, yummy goodness of roasted cauliflower with delicious sauces

cauliflower

 

2. Spiralizers

The only thing better than pasta is veggie pasta. Instead of an overload of carbohydrates with a minimal amount of nutrition, you can get the same texture and satisfying taste of pasta complete with a vast array of nutrients, fiber, and minerals. Rather than feeling heavy and lethargic after a bowl of standard pasta, veggie pasta increases energy and satisfaction and also helps reduce cravings.  This one of the vegan trends that will stay with us for many years.

Spiralizers are affordable, easy to find (either online or in stores), and simple to use. They are also extremely versatile and fun to experiment with and test out your creativity. One of the most common foods to spiralize is zucchini although there are countless other options to try including apples, beets, carrots, cabbage, peppers, and more. For a delicious, healthier alternative to spaghetti, simply spiralize your desired amount of zucchini, cook it (or enjoy it raw) and top with marinara sauce of your choice.

3. Plant-Based Meal Delivery Services

As beneficial as a plant-based diet is, it is often hard to incorporate a vegan diet into everyday, busy life. Fortunately, more and more meal delivery services are offering healthy, plant-based, whole food options. These services take the inconvenience and guesswork out of meal preparation while still allowing you to enjoy a healthy, vegan lifestyle.

There are a variety of companies to choose from – some ship prepared meals ready to heat and eat.  Others send the fresh ingredients for home cooking (recipes provided).  As interest in veganism continues to grow, watch this vegan trend also expand.

Click here to read this article on MAKING IT WORK Vegan Meal Programs in the US – Business is Booming in 2017

4. Smoothie Bowls

Smoothie bowls are becoming increasingly popular due to their versatility, ability to be customized, appealing appearance, and delicious flavor. They are easy to make, satisfying, and also a great way to get more nutrients into a picky eaters’ diet.

Smoothie bowls typically involve some pureed fruit, non-dairy milk, perhaps some cultured coconut milk, or protein powder as a base.  Then, nutritious toppings are added to increase the punch, such as chia seeds, ground flax seeds, berries, and possibly nuts or other superfoods.  Smoothie bowls are one of the great vegan trends in the past year – providing healthy bowl meals that are both beautiful to behold and super-healthy to eat.

breakfast bowl

5. Overnight Oats

A healthy, vegan meal is wonderful but an easy, healthy, vegan meal is even better. In terms of simplicity, few things beat overnight oats. These are prepared without cooking but by merely adding some plant milk to oats also with some fruit or other ingredients, and allowing the mixture to sit over night.  Then you customize your meal in the morning.

In addition to the ease of preparation, you will never get bored with oats due to the wide range of toppings and additions such as fresh berries, chia seeds, non-dairy milk, maple syrup, raisins, cinnamon, and more.

6. Chia Pudding

chia puddingChia pudding, a healthy, indulgent way to satisfy a craving for sweets, is quickly gaining popularity in the vegan world.  It is another dish that required only that a liquid be added to the chia seeds and allow the mixture to sit for at least 4 hours.  Love of chia pudding is seen both in recent non-vegan and vegan trends.

Chia seeds are loaded with protein, fiber, antioxidants, and Omega 3s.  Chia seed pudding can be prepared in minutes and taken on the go if needed. To make it, simply combine chia seeds with coconut (or other plant) milk, cinnamon, vanilla, and maple syrup (if desired) and allow to sit until it thickens.  Fruit and more spices can also be added.  Chia seed pudding can also be prepared the night before for a ready-made breakfast option for busy mornings.

7. Aquafaba

Aquafaba, dubbed a vegan wonder ingredient, makes a filling, healthy swap for regular eggs and is completely taking over the vegan scene.  Aquafaba is the gelatinous liquid, normally wasted, found in canned chickpeas. This gel is a result of soaking legumes in water for long periods of time.  Aquafaba makes a perfect swap for egg whites in recipes such as meringues.  See our Full Article on Aquafaba!

In addition to the vegan trends with aquafaba, another popular, simple egg replacement is the flax or chia egg. These seed-based eggs are made by mixing approximately 1 Tablespoon of flax or chia seeds with 3 Tablespoons of water and allowing the mixture to sit for about 15 minutes prior to use. These eggs make a perfect substitute in recipes calling for one to two eggs.

8. Non-dairy Cheese

For a long time, being a vegan meant missing cheese altogether or substituting it for a rubbery, odd-tasting replacement.  Well in 2017, this is all changing!  With an increased demand for non-dairy cheese, we’ve seen many new products come to market.  Fortunately, non-dairy cheeses have come a long way in terms of taste, texture, and ability to be melted.  Companies are responding to the demand for these vegan trends, and are now offering delicious alternatives that taste and act similar to regular dairy cheese.

Additionally, many recipes offer non-dairy cheese alternatives.  Typically made from cashews, these are delicious and adaptable in many recipes.

cauliflower-crusted-pizza-with-cashew-cheese

9. Plant Based Health and Beauty Products

With more and more research surfacing about the detrimental effects of standard beauty products, there is an increased demand for healthier alternatives. Typical beauty products are often loaded with harmful chemicals such as parabens, artificial fragrances, phthalates, chemicals, additives, preservatives, and other harsh substances capable of disrupting hormone levels and possibly even contributing to certain cancers.

Plant-based beauty and health products focus on natural, potent ingredients such as plant oils, naturally-sourced compounds, and powerful plant extracts that are healthier for your skin, your body, and the environment.  Further more regarding this vegan trend, these products are made without testing on animals, appealing to the vegan desire for “cruelity free living”.

Final Words

All in all, being a vegan is not only becoming more popular but it is also becoming easier and more delicious thanks to advancements in foods and recipes. Consider trying one of the new trends mentioned above as a way to add more nutrients and vitamins to your diet whether you are vegan or not.

vegan sandwich

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Thriving on Plants is a resource for a whole food, plant-based way of eating and living. Here we celebrate all things plant and honor the power of informed awareness and a diet focused primarily of unprocessed vegetables, fruit, legumes, and whole grains to support good health and happiness. Discover what a little more plant can do for your life!

Disclaimer

This website is for educational and informational purposes only. Nothing presented here should be construed as a substitute for medical advice. Before beginning any type of new diet (natural or conventional), it is advisable to seek the advice of a licensed physician, nutritionist and/or healthcare professional.
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