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Roll out the red carpet! The Summer Fancy Food Show, North America's largest specialty food event, was the place to see 200,000 new products, from cheese to coffee, across six football fields of showroom floor. As founder of Eat This, Not That! and Health and Wellness Contributor at the TODAY show, I went to bring back the trendiest products that also happen to be the healthiest.
But, the best part is that the ingredients will truly surprise you, resulting in brand new spins on the classic foods you love! Better butters, snack foods, even desserts — you've never seen anything like these before! You're gonna love them.
Fora Faba Butter, available late July 2018, Fora Foods
This could be a faba-lous replacement for the margarine in your fridge. Aquafaba is trending big time. It's that leftover liquid found in canned chickpeas, which food bloggers and manufacturers have discovered can be whipped into a creamy spread that's lower in fat than traditional butter. Here, it's blended with coconut oil, coconut cream, sunflower oil and nutritional yeast — and it's just as smooth as butter, with 10 fewer calories.
Nutrition per 1 tbsp serving: 90 calories, 9 g fat (7 g saturated fat), 50 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 0 g protein
MTR 3 Minute Breakfast, $6, Amazon
Some busy days, we long to hear those three magic words: just add water. These MTR 3 Minute Breakfast bowls are like the Indian answer to ramen. Add boiling water to the delicious blends of semolina, oats, oil and spices, and you've made your morning in minutes.
Nutrition per cup (Khatta Meetha Poha flavor, for example): 402 calories, 7 g fat (3 g saturated), 346 mg sodium, 35 g carbs (5 g fiber, 30 g sugar), 17 g protein
Fruitons, $11 for two 6-ounce bags, Amazon
We all love croutons, but why put bread on a healthy salad? They contain very little fiber or other benefits. Fruitons are bite-sized dried fruits that make the perfect topping for salads, pasta dishes, seared meat or breakfast cereals. You can choose a savory version (sun-dried tomatoes) or sweet (a mix of blueberries, cranberries and peaches). Each has two grams of fiber, as well as iron, calcium and potassium — plus, they're lower in sugar than most dried fruits. According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 adults get enough fruits or vegetables. This is a great way to sneak 'em in.
Nutrition per 1/3-cup serving (All American Blend, for example): 125 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 30 g carbs (2 g fiber, 24 g sugar, 2 g added sugars), 1 g protein
Organic Turmeric Balsamic Vinegar, $29.95 for a 200ml bottle, Ritrovo Italian Regional Foods
I love this spin on white balsamic vinegar. Turmeric juice is infused into it, which gives it a great sweet and tangy flavor. Turmeric is known as a super spice because it has powerful anti-inflammatory properties. Curcumin is the main active ingredient and it has been shown to fight free radicals that cause inflammation and disease. This vinegar is delicious in homemade salad dressings, marinades, sauces and can even be added to cocktails for flavor. Swap it for dressing and you can easily save 21,900 calories a year.
Nutrition per 1 tbsp serving: 50 calories, 0 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 5 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (0 g fiber, 13 g sugar), 0 g protein
From the Ground Up Cauliflower Pretzels, prices vary, From the Ground Up Snacks
This is the year of flower power. Cauliflower is in everything from pizza crusts to pasta. That's because it's an easy way to substitute your traditional refined-white-flour foods with a serving of vegetables! Here, cauliflower and cassava flour are blended with spinach, broccoli, carrots, tomatoes, beets, and shiitake mushrooms. Swap these for regular potato chips, and you'd save more than 18,000 calories a year!
Nutrition per 1 oz serving (about 20 pretzels): 110 calories, 1.5 g fat (0 g saturated fat), 330 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 1 g suar), 1 g protein
Pan's Mushroom Jerky, $9 for one 2.2-ounce bag, Pan's Mushroom Jerky
This magical mushroom jerky swaps out the pork, chicken or beef with organic dried shiitake mushrooms, avocado oil, organic coconut sugar, Himalayan pink salt and organic chia seeds. It's flavorful and has the same texture as its beef, pork and chicken counterparts. It is among the best of the vegan jerkys. While there's only one gram of protein per serving, it has six grams of filling fiber.
Nutrition per 3 tbsp serving: 110 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 190 mg sodium, 16 g carbs (6 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 5 g added sugars), 1 g protein
Olli Norcino Salamini, $19 for three 3-ounce packages, Amazon
The twist here isn't that this is a reinvention of salamini. In fact, it's based on a 160-year-old recipe, a slow-cured salami the way it's been made in Italy for generations. The twist is that it's made in the heart of Virginia! These minis pack a big punch and are ready-to-eat, bite-sized salami morsels are perfect for snacking, travel or an appetizer platter. Made with organic pork from pigs pasture-raised on a 100% organic vegetarian diet and free of antibiotics and growth hormones. There's also no synthetic nitrites or nitrates, which have been linked to cancer. Instead, Olli cures their salamini with just salt and sugar.
Nutrition per 1 oz serving: 100 calories, 7 g fat (2.5 g saturated fat), 430 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), 8 g protein
Kitchen & Love Cauliflower Quick Meal, $24 for six 7.9-ounce meals, Amazon
Eat This, Not That! loves Cucina & Amore's quinoa bowls. The new cauliflower bowls are even more on trend! Just heat (if you want) and serve these pre-cooked meals made with minced cauliflower and a savory vegetable sauce. They make a perfect grab-and-go lunch. They come in three flavors: Moroccan Vegetable Harissa, Indian Vegetable Curry and Peruvian Vegetable Ceviche.
Nutrition per one package serving (Moroccan Vegetable Harissa, for example): 140 calories, 8 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 480 mg sodium, 13 g carbs (8 g fiber, 4 g sugar), 4 g protein
Naked Bacon, $10 for an 8-ounce package, Naked Bacon Co.
Forget putting lipstick on a pig, these pigs had a full makeover after a day at the spa (no mud baths though)! This bacon is clean, that's why we picked it. Naked Bacon uses all-natural ingredients and zero harmful additives, which means no nitrates, nitrites, phosphates or liquid smoke. They cook their bacon at a higher temperature with a longer smoking process to get more flavorful bacon with less fat. So it's a healthy alternative without sacrifice.
Nutrition per 2-cooked slices serving: 60 calories, 3.5 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 246 mg sodium, 0 g carbs (0 g sugar), 7 g protein
Conifer Crock-Pot Delicious Dinners, $37 for six 10.7-ounce packages, Amazon
As if throwing ingredients into a Crock-Pot wasn't easy enough, these new spice blends from Conifer Specialties and Crock-Pot save you even more time. Just add beef and noodles to the Beef Burgundy, for example — a blend of pinto beans, black turtle beans, kidney beans, a seasoning blend onion and red and green bell peppers — and you've got a restaurant-worthy meal for the whole family. Other flavors include Jambalaya, Chicken Marsala, Chicken & Dumplings and Chicken Cacciatore.
Nutrition per 1/4-cup mix (Beef Burgundy, for example): 90 calories, 0.5 g fat (0 g saturated), 500mg sodium, 19 g carbs (2 g fiber, 2 g sugar), 3 g protein
Heavenly Organics Peanut Chocolate Honey Patties, $20 for three 4.66-ounce bags, Amazon
Swap these for your usual peanut butter cup, and life is sweet. They're made with 100 percent dark chocolate, organic peanuts and organic raw white honey which is high in antioxidants extremely pure and sourced from India. They're also surprisingly low in sugar, with only 4 grams per cup. Swap these in for your old favorite every day, and you'd save 58,400 calories and lose 16.6 pounds.
Nutrition per 1-package serving: 60 calories, 3 g fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 30 mg sodium, 6 g carbs (2 g fiber, 4 g sugar, 4 g added sugars), 1 g protein
Honey Stinger Organic Almond Butter and Dark Chocolate Cracker N' Nut Butter Snack Bar, $34 for 12 bars, Amazon
The Eat This, Not That! team was buzzing about this bar. Honey Stinger's organic snack bar is almond butter and honey sandwiched between two multigrain crackers sprinkled with sea salt then covered in dark chocolate. Instead of sports bars and drinks that sugar you up with corn syrups, you'll get a moderate all-natural energy fix at just 9 grams of sugar per serving. Better yet, it's paired with a dose of healthy fats from the almond butter and fibrous whole grains.
Nutrition per 1 package serving: 220 calories, 13 g fat (4.5 g saturated fat), 100 mg sodium, 23 g carbs (3 g fiber, 9 g sugar), 4 g protein
Lifeway Foods Frozen Kefir Mango, prices vary, Lifeway Kefir
Kefir is a cultured, fermented beverage that tastes very similar to yogurt. You can use it in smoothies, overnight oats and creamy dips. It's loaded with probiotics, which are essential for optimal gut health and have been proven to aid digestion and promote the growth of good bacteria. At 90 calories per 1/2 cup serving, it has only has 16 g of sugar per serving, which is less than many frozen desserts. That's an extra 29,200 calories you'd be saving each year if you swapped this in for regular ice cream.
Nutrition per 1/2-cup serving: 90 calories, 1 g fat (.5 g saturated fat), 60 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 16 g sugar), 4 g protein
Laloo's Goat Milk Ice Cream, prices vary, Laloo's
The cool twist here is obviously that this is made from goat's milk. And it's not baaa'd at all. Goat milk lends the same creaminess as cow's milk in ice cream, but it contains less lactose so people who find it difficult to digest dairy might tolerate goat milk ice cream more easily. I also love this brand because it has less sugar than your usual ice cream. The Vanilla Snowflake flavor is 140 calories per serving and has 14 g of sugar. That's about 13 g less than other popular brands.
Nutrition per 1/2-cup serving: 140 calories, 6 g fat (4 g saturated fat), 55 mg sodium, 18 g carbs (0 g fiber, 14 g sugar), 5 g protein.
Let's Do . . . Gluten-Free Ice Cream Cones, $8 for 12 cones, Amazon
They're made with a blend of potato and tapioca starches to keep the cones gluten-free. Adds just 20 calories and 5 grams of carbs to your ice cream order. That's 2/3 less calories than most cones. Flavored with real vanilla extract and colored with turmeric instead of chemicals. Told you turmeric was trending!
Nutrition per 1-cone serving: 20 calories, 0 g fat, 15 mg sodium, 4 carbs (0 g fiber, 0 g sugar), less than 1 g protein