Snacking on sea vegetables

Each year brings new trends, and according to Kristin Kirkpatrick, a registered dietitian at the Cleveland Clinic, one of the 2012 food trends is eating sea vegetables, like seaweed and algae, as snacks, reports WDIV-TV.

"Because seaweed is so high in a variety of minerals, also very high in iron," said Kirkpatrick.  "It's low in calories, no carbohydrates and will give you a lot of health benefits."

 

Black garlic is also a trendy food.  It's created through a process of aging that uses high heat and humidity. Black garlic tastes a little sweeter, but less pungent than white garlic, and contains many of the same health benefits. Kale is also hot. It's from the same vegetable family as cabbage, Brussels sprouts and cauliflower. Experts say kale is packed with antioxidants and can be bought as dehydrated kale chips or trimmed from the stem, tossed in a bowl with a little olive oil and served as a snack.

 

Kirkpatrick said almond butter is also gaining fans, with more and more people using it in place of peanut butter. "Most people are used to peanut butter and the taste. Almond butter has more of that gritty almond taste, and it's fabulous. Also, there are some studies that show almond butter may help to reduce your risk for diabetes and almond butter is high in vitamin E, which helps your heart, your brain and also helps your skin and hair," said Kirkpatrick.

 

Kirkpatrick also expects to see hempseed used more often in products.  It is high in protein, potassium, and magnesium and may help reduce the risk of heart disease.