Food Trends: Sorghum and Lentils Are the New “It” Foods
November 6, 2013
Registered Dietitian Jason Lau looks at the latest health food trends, including a new take on gluten-free baking and snacking.
As a Registered Dietitian, one of the biggest annual conferences that I attend is the Food and Nutrition Conference & Expo (FNCE), where R.D.s congregate to learn about the latest trends in the foodservice industry and attend continuing education sessions. This year, the conference was held in Houston, TX, where several of SPE’s Culinary Nutrition team traveled to learn more about the latest in nutrition. So, what are the two key trends to watch for?
Sorghum – the new darling grain
After a couple years of getting to know quinoa, there’s a new arrival in the world of ancient grains – sorghum. Sorghum originated from Africa and is currently ranked by the USDA as the 5th most important cereal crop in the world. With more people choosing to eliminate gluten from their diets, sorghum has recently attracted many followers. Besides being gluten-free, sorghum is also a whole grain, making it an excellent source of dietary fiber (12g of fiber in 1 cup of sorghum). Moreover, there are different varieties of sorghum, some of which are very high in antioxidants and have been linked to a reduction of certain types of cancers and cardiovascular diseases. Last, but not least, it is very easy to incorporate sorghum into existing recipes. Some varieties have a sweet flavor and are light in color which makes them very adaptable as a flour substitute.
Legumes as snacks
Another new, key trend I noticed at the expo is an increasing number of lentil-based snacks in the consumer market. We Americans have been serving hummus at parties for years, and now can also expect to see lentil chips / baked chickpeas on the snack table. Lentils are good source of protein and fiber - important nutrients which help us feel fuller for longer, making them an ideal snack. It is also believed that the fiber in lentils may help reduce blood cholesterol.
Do you bake with sorghum or snack on legumes? Let us know about your healthy snacking habits in the comments section below!
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