By Melissa M. Stewart
I sometimes fantasize about what would I eat every day in a world where calories didn’t count and I would automatically live forever. (Hint: my impossible dreams involve lots of aged gouda.). Snap, back to reality… and the knowledge that nutritious-conscious choices are the way to go for body, mind and mood. Luckily, savvy local restaurants, farmers and purveyors know how to make healthy eats appealing and (almost) as tasty as cheese.
From turmeric lattes to cold-pressed pecan oil, here are a few healthy food trends to follow and where to find them around Coastal Virginia.
Quarantine orders in 2020 saw many of us dealing with a sudden and unfamiliar COVID existence while drowning our sorrows by downing a few drinks in the safety of our own homes. Shelter-in-place seemed so much better with a martini in hand. Today, those looking to dry out a bit turn to creative mocktails for a fun and refreshing way to detox.
Try this trend: 1865 Brewing Co. in Hampton offers a non-alcoholic cocktail station, where bartenders spin up libations using zero-proof spirits. Sample the Latin Crush, made with Ritual Zero Proof Tequila, fresh citrus sour, salt and soda. 1865BrewingCompany.com
Cold-pressed oil is made by grinding nuts, seeds, fruits or vegetables into a paste that is then pressed, forcing the oil to separate. Because no extra heat or chemicals are required, these artisan products are touted for maintaining good heart health and the first choice for folks following a vegan diet or simply looking to add more natural flavor to their meals.
Try this trend: Everling Coastal Farm produces extra virgin cold-pressed artisan oils certified by the Virginia Department of Agriculture in Virginia Beach. Oil options include pecan, sunflower and pumpkin seed. Order online or find a list of all the places to purchase a bottle in our area. EverlingCoastalFarm.com
Let’s be honest, our immune systems need all the boosting they can get, so it’s no surprise that foods known for supporting gut health and fighting off illnesses are soaring in popularity. When perusing menus, look for fermented foods with live active cultures like kimchi or sauerkraut or ingredients high in vitamin C, vitamin E and beta-carotene like leafy greens, sweet potato, avocado, nuts and seeds.
Try this trend: Pick up a jar of homemade kimchi at E Mart International Supermarket (locations in Virginia Beach and Newport News) or select a health-conscious smoothie at Crave Bakery and Coffee Bar in Chesapeake that includes tropical fruit, turmeric, chia seeds, kombucha, cayenne, local honey and oat milk. CraveBakeryandCoffeeBar.com, EMartVa.com
Getting rid of meat continues to get easier, as restaurant owners create plant-based additions to their menus or go with a completely vegan concept. Even meat eaters that prefer to increase their vegetable intake (never a bad thing) are finding some substitutes so satisfying that asking, “Where’s the beef?” never comes to mind.
Try this trend: Head to Virginia Beach’s Callicoon Kitchen and order a Vietnamese Tofu Bahn Mi or pick up a plant-based grab-and-go item from the café’s marketplace such as Tuscan Kale Minestrone, Smashed Chickpea Salad or Smoked Hoisin Barbeque Tempeh. Check out all the varied offerings. CallicoonKitchen.com
Forget white mocha or pumpkin spice—today’s trendiest lattes don’t even include coffee let alone sugary syrups. Instead, health-forward morning mugs are filled with a preferred milk mixed with antioxidant-rich ingredients like matcha, horchata or turmeric.
Try this trend: Town Center Cold Pressed features a full menu of superfood lattes in their Norfolk and Virginia Beach locations. Options include Matcha Honey Sesame, Turmeric Maple Cinnamon, Sweet Potato and Bananacado (banana, avocado, cinnamon and agave). And if it’s one of those mornings, you can add a single or double espresso shot to any drink. TCCP.Cafe