7 Healthy Foods You’ve Never Tried That You’ll Probably Eat This Year

From amaranth to nutritional yeast, here are seven healthy foods local dieticians think might be on menus—and in kitchens—in 2013.

Daikon radishes


An ancient seed (gluten-free!) favored by the Aztecs, amaranth’s definitely one to give a go this year, what with its high protein and fiber content. Dieticians are putting their money on amaranth as the next quinoa.

Recipes to try:
Blueberries ‘N’ Cream Amaranth Porridge
Popped Amaranth Granola


Move over brown rice—there’s a new nutty, hearty grain in town. Although a staple of ancient diets, farro is staging a comeback in modern kitchens. Make a big batch on Sunday (seriously, you couldn’t screw it up if you tried) then portion it out for lunchtime salads for the week.

Recipes to try:
Warm Farro Salad with Roasted Vegetables and Fontina
Vegetarian Italian Farro Soup

Daikon Radishes

Although you’re used to these root vegetables cropping up in Japanese dishes, you might start seeing Daikon radishes on other menus soon enough. (In fact, you’ll already find ’em in Pure Fare’s daikon-noodle salad.) Daikon radishes are low in calories and high in vitamin C, so they’re worth adding to the mix.

Recipes to try:
Radish Kimchi
Baked Parmesan-Crusted Daikon Fries

Coconut oil

No, this stuff probably won’t make you skinny (although it may raise your good cholesterol and help control your blood-sugar levels), but if you dabble in vegan baking this year, you’re sure to encounter coconut oil. The animal-product-free oil is a good butter substitute for pastries and cakes, and it works well for sautéing veggies, too, passing along a subtle sweetness to your food.

Recipes to try:
Easy Vegan Chocolate Cake
Chocolate Coconut Kale Chips


Pronounced “free-kah,” we could actually call this stuff “The Grain on Fire” since it’s made from wheat that’s sun-dried then set on fire. What’s left behind is a rice-sized grain that tastes slightly smoky and is positively packed with protein. In case you’re wondering where to get it, two words: Whole Foods.

Recipes to try:
Chicken with Kale and Freekeh-Lentil Pilaf
Freekeh Salad

Nutritional Yeast

I know—it sounds clinical and scary. But these deactivated (read: zero-leavening-ability) yeast flakes offer a serious one-two punch when it comes to nutrition: they’re loaded with B-vitamins, zinc and protein, among other goodies. Nutritional yeast been described as having a cheesy, savory flavor, making it a go-to for many vegan and vegetarian dishes like mac ‘n cheese (hold the cheese).

Recipes to try:
Zesty Nacho Sauce
Vegetable Frittata


If you’re looking for a way to leave sugar in the dust once and for all, you might want to give dates a whirl. Sure they’re sweet, but unlike white granulated sugar, dates are full of fiber, which makes them a pretty mean substitute for the white stuff when baking. (Here’s how to make homemade date sugar.) When substituting in recipes, swap one cup of white sugar for two-thirds to one cup of date sugar, depending on taste. Note that date sugar burns more quickly, so pay attention to those last couple of minutes when your goodies are in the oven.

Recipes to try:
Five-Ingredient, No-Bake Vegan Date Squares
Orange-Date Pumpkin Muffins

Related Posts
4 Good-for-You Grains You Haven’t Tried

Photo: Shutterstock