I enjoy food. I especially like to prepare dishes. But sometimes, I'm in the kitchen so much, that I can find myself getting a little bored. It's in those moments that I'm ready to find a way to add a little more "kick" to the stuff that I make. Whenever that happens, I tend to look for information on what's poppin' on the cuisine tip. You know, what's currently trending or what's really popular for the year or even a particular season. When I discovered some trendy ways to approach different types of foods this spring, I must admit that I wasn't disappointed. Along the way, I learned a couple of things too.
If your palate is yawning and you want to do a few things to wake it up, here are 12 current trends that can make you love eating foods—whether it's again or more than you already do.
1. Coffee Cocktails
Coffee and I have a weird relationship. While I've only had a cup of java, less than 20 times my entire life, at the present moment, I've got two pints of coffee ice cream in my freezer. I think it's because I don't rely on caffeine for anything (like to keep me awake or even some of the health benefits that come with consuming coffee), but I do like the taste of it; so long as it's cold and has a lot of sugar and cream added to it. That's why I might actually try a big current coffee trend—coffee cocktails. Some people refer to these as being liqueur coffee because coffee cocktails are basically what happens when coffee and alcohol come together in a glass. Some examples of this would be iced Irish coffee or White Russians. Anyway, if caffeine and alcohol are totally your thing, you will definitely be "on trend" if you have a few coffee cocktails over the spring and summer seasons (you can check out 20 recipes here).
2. Creative Butters
If you've been patting yourself on the back for using almond butter, it's time to take things up a notch. This year, some of the butter (and spread) combos are completely off the chain. There's puréed coconut butter. There's watermelon seed butter (which is high in antioxidants, plant protein and is a great allergy-free butter alternative). There's Tahini (which is a thin spread that is made out of sesame seeds). If you're a cinnamon fan, there's even cinnamon almond with chia seed butter that's totally yours for the taking. Or, if you want to try a nut and seed mash-up, you'll absolutely love Nuttzo Crunchy Seven Nut & Seed Butter. It's got cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds in it.
3. Glitter Wine
Yeah. As if y'all needed another reason to sip on a glass of wine, right?
If you're looking to jazz up your wine consumption experience a bit more, all you need to do is sprinkle a little bit of edible glitter into your wine glass.
And just where the heck do you get edible glitter from? I read that Target carries some, but the far better reviews came from sites like Brew Glitter.
Something that originated in South Africa is biltong. The best way to describe it is, it's a type of beef jerky that's made from thicker slices of meat; except, unlike beef jerky, it is prepared with ingredients like vinegar and salt. If you want to be like the popular cuisine kids this year and give biltong a shot, you can figure out where to get some in your area at Biltong USA.
5. Alcoholic Ice Cream
If you've had a bad day and you're looking for a fun way to get a little tipsy, the bad news is alcohol-infused ice cream isn't really gonna do it for you. It has something to do with the fact that the dairy that's naturally in ice cream ends up offsetting the alcohol that's added to it. But if you simply like the taste of liquor and you wish you could get it in the form of a frozen dairy treat, then "alcoholic ice cream" most certainly has your back. You can check out a list of some of the best brands on the market here. Or, if you'd prefer to make some of your own, there are 14 cool recipes here.
6. Pea Milk
Yep. You read that right and I'm over here trippin' just like you probably are.
It seems like every day, there is some new milk alternative and right now, a really popular one is milk that is made out of peas (well, pea protein). Apparently, it's packed with protein, calcium and Vitamin D, it's hypo-allergenic, it's low in calories and, it's better for the environment than cow or even almond milk.
Plus, if you get the kind that is known as unsweetened ripple milk, it is low in carbs and sugar too. And what is the texture like? Word on the street is pea milk is really creamy because it's mixed with things like water and sunflower oil. And just where can you cop some in order to try it out? Your local Whole Foods should have it. Or you can order some via sites like Ripple Foods.
7. Sweet Hummus
Hummus (a spread that is a mixture of chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic) is an acquired taste; there's no doubt about that. If you're someone who tends to take the "I'll pass" approach to it, maybe try some dessert hummus. It's hummus that has something sweet added to it like vanilla, chocolate mint or even sweet potatoes. You can purchase dessert hummus via companies like Delighted by Dessert Hummus or you can take a shot at making some of your own at home. Since hummus contains manganese, folate, copper, magnesium and iron, and it's proven to fight inflammation while keeping your gut healthy, it can't hurt to taste test a sweeter approach to it.
8. Chocolate Gnocchi
This is the kind of food that you need to taste and decide on rather than just read about. The reason why I say that is because, if you've never had gnocchi before, it's a type of pasta that comes in the form (and consistency) of small dumplings (it's actually a tad healthier than traditional white pasta, actually). So yeah, if you take this into account and then add the word "chocolate" into the mix, it could cause you to turn up your nose; understandably so. But still, it's another thing that's all the rage this spring. So, if you're the type of person who likes to check some foods off of your bucket list, Delish published "Trader Joe's Chocolate Gnocchi Is Making People Feel Both Happiness And Immense Confusion" that can pretty much let you know exactly what you'll be getting yourself into if you decide to try this particular food out.
9. Souffle Pancakes
If you're a big breakfast person and you'd like to try a different approach to a staple dish, how about a stack of souffle pancakes? Japan is what basically put these on the map. You create them by separating your egg yolks and egg whites and then beating your whites until they have a meringue-like texture which results in "airy" pancakes. If you'd like to make some, I found a fairly easy recipe here.
If nothing makes you happier than having a grilled cheese sandwich, have you tried making it with halloumi cheese? Long story short, if goat and sheep cheese had a love affair and made a baby, its name would be halloumi.
It is an unripened brine cheese that people like to grill with or even fry, thanks to the cheese's high melting point. As a bonus, you can get 70 percent of the daily calcium that you need, just by eating it. Halloumi cheese also contains zinc, magnesium and vitamins A and B which makes it pretty good for you. Most grocery stores carry it, by the way.
11. Kombucha Beer
I guess the best way to describe kombucha beer would be that it's kind of like hard cider. OK, so you might already know that kombucha is a combination of tea, (good) bacteria and sugar. The end result is a fermented kind of drink that has a bitter bubbly taste to it (it's definitely an acquired one; trust me). Now some companies are adding organic dried hops and creamy ale to it in order to transform kombucha into a beer. And yes, a lot of people are drinking it up. Not only can it give you a pretty good buzz (on average, it contains about five percent alcohol), but kombucha beer is also great at fostering gut health too.
12. Anything with CBD in It
You'd have to be living under a rock to miss the fact that CBD oil is booming right now. It's kind of a long story why, but if I could only provide a reason in a sentence, it would be that many researchers believe it can help to reduce anxiety, pain and inflammation. A lot of us battle with that, sooo…more and more of us are using the oil; this includes putting CBD in our foods. There's CBD-infused sparkling water, cookie dough bites, breakfast cereal, gummies, honey—you name it. When it comes to this trend, just make sure that you thoroughly research the oil itself (Medium's "CBD Infused Food and Drinks — The Ultimate Guide" is a good read). Also make sure that you save up. This. Stuff. Ain't. Cheap. Otherwise, try something out and enjoy! It's a super chill way to continue enjoy eating this spring (and summer) season.
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Different puzzle pieces are creating bigger pictures these days. 2024 will mark a milestone on a few different levels, including the release of my third book next June (yay!).
I am also a Professional Certified Coach. My main mission for attaining that particular goal is to use my formal credentials to help people navigate through the sometimes tumultuous waters, both on and offline, when it comes to information about marriage, sex and relationships that is oftentimes misinformation (because "coach" is a word that gets thrown around a lot, oftentimes quite poorly).
I am also still super devoted to helping to bring life into this world as a doula, marriage life coaching will always be my first love (next to writing, of course), a platform that advocates for good Black men is currently in the works and my keystrokes continue to be devoted to HEALTHY over HAPPY in the areas of holistic intimacy, spiritual evolution, purpose manifestation and self-love...because maturity teaches that it's impossible to be happy all of the time when it comes to reaching goals yet healthy is a choice that can be made on a daily basis (amen?).
If you have any PERSONAL QUESTIONS (please do not contact me with any story pitches; that is an *editorial* need), feel free to reach out at email@example.com. A sistah will certainly do what she can. ;)
This article is in partnership with Sensodyne.
Our teeth are connected to so many things - our nutrition, our confidence, and our overall mood. We often take for granted how important healthy teeth are, until issues like tooth sensitivity or gum recession come to remind us. Like most things related to our bodies, prevention is the best medicine. Here are five things you can do immediately to improve your oral hygiene, prevent tooth sensitivity, and avoid dental issues down the road.
1) Go Easy On the Rough Brushing: Brushing your teeth is and always will be priority number one in the oral hygiene department. No surprises there! However, there is such a thing as applying too much pressure when brushing…and that can lead to problems over time. Use a toothbrush with soft bristles and brush in smooth, circular motions. It may seem counterintuitive, but a gentle approach to brushing is the most effective way to clean those pearly whites without wearing away enamel and exposing sensitive areas of the teeth.
2) Use A Desensitizing Toothpaste: As everyone knows, mouth pain can be highly uncomfortable; but tooth sensitivity is a whole different beast. Hot weather favorites like ice cream and popsicles have the ability to trigger tooth sensitivity, which might make you want to stay away from icy foods altogether. But as always, prevention is the best medicine here. Switching to a toothpaste like Sensodyne’s Sensitivity & Gum toothpaste specifically designed for sensitive teeth will help build a protective layer over sensitive areas of the tooth. Over time, those sharp sensations that occur with extremely cold foods will subside, and you’ll be back to treating yourself to your icy faves like this one!
3) Floss, Rinse, Brush. (And In That Order!): Have you ever heard the saying, “It’s not what you do, but how you do it”? Well, the same thing applies to taking care of your teeth. Even if you are flossing and brushing religiously, you could be missing out on some of the benefits simply because you aren’t doing so in the right order. Flossing is best to do before brushing because it removes food particles and plaque from places your toothbrush can’t reach. After a proper flossing sesh, it is important to rinse out your mouth with water after. Finally, you can whip out your toothbrush and get to brushing. Though many of us commonly rinse with water after brushing to remove excess toothpaste, it may not be the best thing for our teeth. That’s because fluoride, the active ingredient in toothpaste that protects your enamel, works best when it gets to sit on the teeth and continue working its magic. Rinsing with water after brushing doesn’t let the toothpaste go to work like it really can. Changing up your order may take some getting used to, but over time, you’ll see the difference.
4) Stay Hydrated: Upping your water supply is a no-fail way to level up your health overall, and your teeth are no exception to this rule. Drinking water not only helps maintain a healthy pH balance in your mouth, but it also washes away residue and acids that can cause enamel erosion. It also helps you steer clear of dry mouth, which is a gateway to bad breath. And who needs that?
5) Show Your Gums Some Love: When it comes to improving your smile, you may be laser-focused on getting your teeth whiter, straighter, and overall healthier. Rightfully so, as these are all attributes of a megawatt smile; but you certainly don’t want to leave gum health out of the equation. If you neglect your gums, you’ll start to notice the effects of plaque buildup, which can irritate the gums and cause gingivitis, the earliest stage of gum disease. Seeing blood while brushing and flossing is a tell-tale sign that your gums are suffering. You may also experience gum recession — a condition where the gum tissue surrounding your teeth pulls back, exposing more of your tooth. Brushing at least twice a day with a gum-protecting toothpaste like Sensodyne Sensitivity and Gum, coupled with regular dentist visits, will keep your gums shining as bright as those pearly whites.
If there’s one part of the face that seems to be the most vexing to correct, it’s the under eyes.
This delicate area has a way of being tipped off by our irregular sleep patterns, stress, and the straining that comes from our computers and phone screens. From puffiness to dark circles, it can be irksome to find the right products to soothe our under-eye concerns. Thankfully, there’s one solution that delivers a brighter and more awakened look over time, and that’s under-eye masks and eye patches.
Eye patches are giving our under-eye bags an eviction notice because they can’t hang our glowing faces rent-free. The beauty of these patches is that they are designed to bring your eyes targeted results through concentrated doses of active ingredients directly to the skin under the eyes. Typically made of thin, gel-like material and infused with ingredients like niacinamide, hyaluronic acid, caffeine, and even green teas, these small but mighty patches depuff your puffiness, brighten your dark circles, or tighten fine lines.
While every under-eye differs in its needs, every eye can benefit from an under-eye mask or patch that suits its concerns. And to help, we’ve put together the best under-eye patches to hydrate, soothe, and brighten your eyes.
The KNC Beauty All Natural Retinol Infused Eye Mask, 5-Pack, is a retinol-infused, all-natural product designed to rejuvenate your eyes. It promises to provide hydration, smoothness, reduced puffiness, and brightness without the use of chemicals. With ingredients like retinol to refine skin texture and stimulate blood flow and aloe to soothe and reduce redness, it's like getting 8 hours of beauty sleep for your eyes.
These cooling hydrogel under-eye masks from Topicals promise to fade the appearance of dark circles and discoloration in just 15 minutes. The set includes six masks and offers benefits that brighten, hydrate, depuff, and cool your under-eye area.
Peter Thomas Roth Potent-C Power Brightening Hydra-Gel Eye Patches
Grab these eye contour gel patches to brighten the eye area and combat signs of aging using a powerful form of vitamin C called THD Ascorbate, which is 50 times more potent than traditional vitamin C.
BeautyBio's Bright Eyes consists of 15 colloidal silver-infused eye gel patches designed to provide instant depuffing, brightening, and revitalization to the delicate eye area within 10 minutes. They also contain natural collagen to help diminish the appearance of fine lines, which we love.
These viral hydrogel masks offer moisture and nourishment to rejuvenate tired-looking skin. Their Snail Secretion Filtrate contains "Mucin," an effective moisturizing ingredient that soothes damaged skin and delivers deep hydration, making it suitable for dehydrated and damaged skin types. Your under-eyes will thank you.
Try these caffeine-infused patches to reduce puffiness in the under-eye area. The product features clean, vegan ingredients such as caffeine, niacinamide, and hyaluronic acid for deep hydration and moisture delivery.
The Forever Eye Mask is designed to be the “last eye mask you'll ever need.” This thin, lightweight, and reusable eye patch can hold gels, serums, and creams close to the skin for better absorption, helping your skincare products work more effectively.
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