Now that I have your attention, I want to talk 2021 food trends. Fun, right?
This week I am going to cover two trends that are prevalent right now. The increase in sparkling water consumption and adaptogenic mushrooms. Not always at the same time.
As the sales of soft drinks decline at a rate of 4% each year for the last five years (yes!), the increase in sales of sparkling water has risen at a projected rate of 12% from 2020 to 2027.
Many people enjoy sparkling water infused with fruit and other flavorings, which they claim makes them more inclined to drink water, and that is a good thing. Most carbonated water contains some salt, with the Pelligrino and Perrier brands of naturally occurring carbonated brands, containing minerals. Tonic water contains quinine, and unfortunately 34 grams of sugar, often in the form of high fructose corn syrup (HFCS), so keep this to a minimum. Watch your labels, however, overall drinking sparkling water is so much better for you than drinking soda.
Here are some other benefits:
Better for your dental health because it has less sugar, which is the real culprit in tooth decay.
Helps with swallowing. If you have a persistent need to clear your throat, you may find ICE cold carbonated water helps.
It may increase your feeling of fullness longer after a meal.
May help relieve constipation, with a 58% decrease in symptoms.
It may improve heart health, with one study of menopausal women showing a decrease in inflammation and LDL, as well as reduced blood sugar.
Now, be on the lookout for adaptogens, probiotics, and superfoods infusing your sparkling water. Currently, there is ARYA, a turmeric-infused carbonated water, as well as electrolyte-infused drinks on the market too. CBD has found its way into sparkling water brands DRAM and Recess, with more functional waters on their way. Waters that are designed to support our immune system, increase our energy, immunity and focus are the drivers behind a 7% growth in the next several years. Which one are you most interested in?
Reishi and lion’s mane mushrooms are adaptogenic, meaning they help regulate our normal homeostasis through the compounds naturally occurring in them, and have been a staple of Eastern medicine for supporting the body’s immune response, cognitive abilities and reducing stress. The biggest deterrent has been the taste. If you have ever tried Four Sigmatic coffee, you know what I am talking about.
However, there is a renewed interest in mushrooms as a way to stay healthy during the pandemic as we look to reduce stress levels through food products. Mushroom sales increased during the past year, with a majority of people planning to continue cooking with them, after we get “back to normal”. And the food industry is being responsive, with Four Sigmatic coming out with a plant-based protein powder and Taika pre-made lattes. Also a salad dressing from Tessamae's and even a chewing gum made from mushrooms (Mighty Gum).
Ready to drink mushroom shots are on the horizon and early studies indicated mushrooms may be good for your gut health. Don’t be surprised if you have difficulty finding your shitakes in the near future.
Bonus Recipe: Chocolate Reishi Muffins
Ingredients: 2 eggs ⅓ cup maple syrup 1 cup dairy free milk ½ cup avocado oil 2 tsp vanilla extract 1 ¾ cup gluten-free flour ⅔ cup cacao powder 1 tsp baking soda 1 tsp baking powder 1 tbsp instant coffee Pinch of sea salt 2 tbsp reishi powder 1 cup chocolate chips 1 tbsp coconut sugar
Directions: 1. In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together eggs, maple syrup, milk, avocado and vanilla. In a separate bowl, mix together remaining dry ingredients except coconut sugar. 2. Slowly fold dry ingredients into wet and set aside for an hour or overnight. 3. When ready to bake, line a cupcake pan with liners and preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Portion the muffins evenly across the cupcake pan, and sprinkle a little coconut sugar over each cupcake. 4. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean (note: the chocolate will be melted, so it might not come out entirely clean).