Sometimes food in the wellness world can seem very… over the top.
It’s easy to get sucked in and think, “Should I be doing/eating/including/ this too?”
Some trends will pique your interest more than others, but these ten food trends are something I stand behind and see as part of a healthy lifestyle.
Trends are constantly changing but yet some seem to linger on for much longer than others.
These ten food trends fit into the latter category, and although some are things I’ve been incorporating into my life for several months or even years now, I’ve found a way to do so in a sustainable and cost-effective way.
Keep reading to learn the easy switches you can make to include these foods in your lifestyle while staying within your budget.
10 Popular Food Trends You Can Make at Home
Put down the avocado toast and walk away slowly.
I get it, avocados are creamy, a great source of healthy fat, and are also very satiating, but the avocado toast trend is getting out. of. control.
Fourteen dollars for HALF (if you’re lucky) of an avocado on one piece of toasted bread, maybe with some EBTB (everything but the bagel spice for you newbs).
I know that people are trying to run a business, and I have no problem with that, but this girl is trying to eat well for more than one nibble for the week (I’m guessing you are too) and I like to make my dollars count.
Make it at home by buying a loaf of great quality bread for around $6 (or make your own), an avocado for $1-2, and then you have the leisure to add whatever else you’d like – a fried or poached egg, fresh herbs, sprouts, etc. Store the bread in the freezer and take slices out on an as needed basis to make it last longer, and you’re looking at about $2.50 for your avocado toast.
I’m sure that leftover $11.50 could go toward your grocery bill or saved for something later that you truly want or need.
Smoothies are usually one of two things: they’re either loaded with sugar, deemed as “healthy” and will leave you seriously hungry soon after, or well balanced, filling, and help you get some extra nutrients in.
Usually, when buying smoothies in health or juice cafes, they sometimes use apple juice (or another type of juice) as the liquid, and on top of that, there may also be a sweetener used.
Not only do these things result in the smoothie tasting like a candy bar, but when no protein or healthy fats are present, it spikes your blood sugar first thing in the morning. Which can be a rocky start to the day for the rest of your eating habits.
The best part of making a smoothie at home is that you get to control what ingredients go inside.
Can’t have almond milk because of a nut allergy? Use coconut milk, oat milk, or make your own seed milk. Instead of banana, use a steamed and frozen sweet potato, avocado, or frozen cauliflower to make it creamy.
It’s also cheaper to make your smoothies at home. When you buy ingredients, you’re generally using them for multiple smoothies or incorporating them into other meals in your week, making each smoothie more affordable.
Who says you have to go out to enjoy happy hour? Why not bring happy hour to your home. It could be for you and your partner, or you could invite friends over and play host.
Going out with friends is fun – no doubt about that, but I can’t tell you how many times I’ve gone out to a happy hour only to see nothing on the food menu I wanted or could enjoy (dairy allergy).
When you bring happy hour into your home, you get to decide the snacks, the music, the drinks, the games. You get the choice to sit inside or outside.
Happy hour is made to seem like a cheaper option, and occasionally it is. However, if happy hour is something you hit up every week, the costs of transportation, food, and drinks can add up to more than you initially anticipated.
Matcha may seem a little trendy, but this food trend is here to stay.
It’s much better tolerated by those that don’t do well with the high caffeine in coffee. For comparison, there’s only 34mg of caffeine in an eight-ounce cup of matcha as opposed to 95mg in an eight-ounce cup of coffee.
Matcha has many benefits:
- It’s loaded with antioxidants (which protect the body from free radicals) and has higher levels than other typically high sources of antioxidants such as blueberries, pomegranate seeds, and dark chocolate.
- It contains l-theanine, an amino acid, which is known as a natural calming agent that promotes relaxation. Since it’s combined with caffeine, it provides sustained and focused energy.
- It naturally contains chlorophyll which is helpful in clearing up skin and protecting against inflammation.
Sourcing high quality matcha is essential for both benefits and flavor. Not only can buying matcha lattes add up real quick, a lot of cafes don’t source a high quality matcha.
When purchasing matcha for sipping, make sure to buy the ceremonial grade and not the culinary grade. The culinary grade is less flavorful and more grassy tasting.
My favorite brand is Matchaful, which is high quality and sustainably sourced in Japan. The color of the matcha powder is bright green (just as it should be) and provides a smooth taste.
A small 30g tin of high-quality matcha is 30 servings and costs around $35. If you drink matcha every day of the month, that’s a little over $1/day. Not a price you’ll see anywhere else.
What is collagen?
Collagen is the most abundant protein in our bodies. It’s found in muscles, bones, skin, digestive system, blood vessels, and tendons.
Collagen is what makes our skin strong and gives it its elasticity, as well as replacing dead skin cells. It’s known as the glue that keeps our bones and tendons together.
It comes in powder form and can be added to hot or cold foods and drinks such as tea, coffee, smoothies, soups, stews, cookies, etc.
The benefits of collagen:
- Improves skin and hair health (think clear, glowing skin and strong hair)
- Repairs joints
- Helps leaky gut (helps to seal your gut lining if your digestive tract is impaired, making it difficult to digest foods and absorb nutrients)
- Boosts metabolism
- Strengthens nail and teeth health
- Helps improve the health of your liver (helps your body detox, naturally)
- Reduces cellulite and/or stretch marks
What to look for: Look for collagen peptides sourced from grass-fed cows and stay away from anything labeled ‘vegan collagen’.
Collagen is only found in animals and therefore cannot be vegan.
My favorite brand of collagen is called Further Food. It’s high quality, woman-owned and operated company.
Adaptogens are non-toxic herbs that help your body adapt to stress.
They’ve been around for hundreds of years and have been a common practice in Chinese medicine, but only recently surfaced in our modern society.
Adaptogens aren’t a quick fix or a cure-all, but they’re a great supplementation to a mindful lifestyle.
The most common adaptogens are:
- Ashwagandha – calms the mind, reduces inflammation
- Maca – improves libido, fertility, and mood
- Rhodiola – reduces cortisol (stress hormone) during stressful situations, increases energy, enhances concentration
- Cordyceps – helps with relaxation, curbs stress
- Ginseng – improves mental clarity, helps with fatigue
- Chaga – improves physical endurance, supports a healthy immune system
Adaptogens come in powder, pill, and tea form. Some powders are stronger and more bitter than others.
I recommend putting them in tea, coffee, or smoothies instead of just water (I find it hard to get down this way, meaning…it tastes disgusting).
Some adaptogens can be quite expensive, but buying them in powder form has proven to be more cost-effective. And because they’re so highly concentrated, you only need a small amount.
Wild Foods is my favorite brand of adaptogen powders.
Some coffee shops offer adaptogens as an add on, but the amount you’ll get for the price tag really isn’t worth it. We’re trying to reduce our stress, aren’t we?
I recommend making it at home to make your dollar(s) go further and save you money.
Kombucha is a bit of an acquired taste, especially if you’re new to fermented foods. It’s made with a few simple ingredients of black tea, sugar, filtered water, fruit juice, and a SCOBY (symbiotic culture of bacteria and yeast). The SCOBY is what transforms the tea into a tangy, fizzy beverage.
Fermented foods and drinks (like kombucha) are rich in probiotics which help improve digestion and boost immunity.
There are now so many brands of kombucha available with a huge variety of flavors, some being sweeter than others.
Typically you want it to be tangy with a hint of sweetness.
On average, a bottle of kombucha at the grocery store is sold for about $3. If you’re buying a few bottles per week, it becomes a pretty expensive habit, no matter how healthy it may be.
Making kombucha at home is incredibly easy, and because it only requires a few simple ingredients, it’s also quite inexpensive to make.
You can tailor the flavor to anything you’d like with any kind of fruit juice (or none at all).
The most expensive part is typically getting a SCOBY, which you can either buy in a kit here (which is what I have) or you can occasionally find them for free through other people who also make kombucha at home.
If you don’t know anyone else who makes it, the great thing about the kombucha kit is that you only have to buy it once and then you can continue to make batch after batch after batch with that same SCOBY included in the kit.
Just like kombucha, sourdough is also a fermented food. Often, people who have a gluten sensitivity do okay with sourdough.
The fermentation process makes it easier to digest than unfermented bread because it contains naturally occurring probiotics.
If you’re new to sourdough, I highly recommend checking out this sourdough book. She breaks it down into easy to digest (see what I did there?) steps, making it a fool-proof process for beginners.
Once you’ve made your sourdough starter, she has loads of recipes you can make for a wide variety of sourdough baked goods, right from your own kitchen.
Buying sourdough at the store or a bakery is fine, too, but when you make it at home, you get to control the ingredients (stores and some bakeries will often add oils and sometimes preservatives to keep the bread fresher for longer).
Not only is it cheaper to make at home, but it also tastes so much better!
Nut & Seed Butters
Nut and seed butters are a great source of healthy fats and to add creamy textures to your food. Seed butters are great for those who can’t do nuts, while still wanting that creamy mouthfeel. However, many store bought seed and nut butters contain ingredients like inflammatory oils and added sugars.
If you’re buying nut and seed butter at the store, the only ingredients inside should be whatever nut or seed it is, and sea salt. That’s it. No high fructose corn syrups, sugar, or vegetable oils.
If you have a food processor, you can make your own nut and seed butter at home. Be sure to try this homemade cashew butter.
(Some people have had luck with a high-speed blender, but I’ve only made it in my food processor.)
Making them at home provides more variety – you can make any nut or seed butter your heart desires.
Plus, when you buy nuts or seeds in bulk they end up being cheaper. Seeds are less expensive than nuts and you can also make coconut butter for a fraction of the cost that you’d buy at the store.
Another perk to making it at home is adding different spices or sweeteners to it in whatever way you’re eating it. That way, you can add it to savory or sweet dishes.
Oat milk is HUGE right now. And if you haven’t heard about it yet, I’m sure you will soon. It’s popping up in grocery stores everywhere, and more and more brands are coming out with their own versions.
Currently, the most popular version is by a brand called Oatly.
As a non-dairy consumer, it’s the closest tasting milk to the real deal. It’s creamy, slightly sweet, and foams up nicely.
If adding it to a coffee or matcha at a cafe, the upcharge usually ends up being a couple of dollars. If you were to buy a half a gallon at the store, it would cost you about $4.50.
So, you could either buy it and make several of your own beverages at home for far less, or you could also make oat milk at home for even less money.
Much like other dairy-free milks, all that’s needed is whatever the main ingredient is: rolled oats (in this case), and filtered water. (You could also add a little avocado oil for healthy fats and creaminess.)
You can add additional ingredients such as a couple of pitted dates or maple syrup for a little sweetness, cinnamon powder, a pinch of sea salt, vanilla, etc., or you can leave it unsweetened.
Oat milk has a tendency to get slimy (not the most appetizing word, I know). Unlike other dairy-free milk, avoid soaking the rolled oats and only blend together until combined. Over-blending can also cause sliminess. Then strain through a nut milk bag or cheesecloth, and it’s ready!