10 Best Healthy Foods of 2017

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10 Best Healthy Foods of 2017
1. Pasta made from beans (i.e. Banza made from Chickpeas)
a. These are great for individuals that have allergies to wheat and cannot have traditional pastas.
b. The benefit of eating these pasta noodles made from beans is that they contain more protein than the regular pasta noodles. This was you`ll feel more full after eating a big plate of spaghetti!
2. Zoodles
a. This is another great alternative to regular spaghetti noodles and is a fun way to incorporate more veggies in your diet.
b. Made from zucchini, sweet potatoes, and more!
c. You can eat the zoodles with regular spaghetti sauce or bake them with eggs for a breakfast dish or even top them on your salads.
3. Probiotic Drinks
b. *Make sure to watch out for added sugar in kombucha.
4. Bone broth
a. Bone broth is made from boiling water with bones so the marrow gets broken down and adds more collagen and protein to the liquid portion as well as extra minerals (i.e. calcium, magnesium, and potassium).
b. Bone broth is excellent to also support gut health because the collagen helps to reduce inflammation in your intestines so you`ll be able to digest easier and absorb more nutrients.
c. Make sure to stick to low-sodium bone broth options with no added sugars.
d. You can make your own bone broth by simply saving up any leftover bones and simmering them in water for 8-24 hours (more for beef bones) then draining the solids. Bone broth is typically gelatinized at cooler temperatures but goes back to a liquid when warmed up.
5. Avocados
a. Healthy fats are making a come back through avocados! Even though they can be a little pricy they are a hot menu item.
b. Avocados are high in omega 3 fatty acids which help to reduce inflammation in our bodies. Those omega 3 fatty acids and the fiber in avocados help to naturally lower your LDL and raise your HDL.
c. Even though avocados are mostly fat, don`t worry because it`s the good kind of fat! Eating 2-3 Tablespoons of healthy fat at meals helps to make you feel satiated and will keep your blood sugars more stable after a meal.
6. Fat Balls
a. Speaking of fat...fat balls have been all the rage this year! They are a quick and easy snack you can make with all the healthy fats and eat throughout the week.
b. Since we know that fat is so good for us having snacks of healthy fats will help to curb those afternoon sugar cravings.
c. Recipe (below)
7. Turmeric
a. Turmeric was once a forgotten spice but no longer! Turmeric is super high in anti-inflammatory effects and an antioxidant. It also helps your body absorb other antioxidants as well.
b. You can find it dried in a bottle or sometimes you can find it raw (like ginger).
c. You can add it to your tea, add into smoothies, sprinkle it on veggies, or in a soup.
8. Cauliflower rice
a. Move over rice, cauliflower rice is here instead! Cauliflower rice is very 'diabetic friendly' since it has far less carbohydrates than regular rice.
b. It`s a really easy and simple way to get added veggies to your diet without doing much extra.
c. Use cauliflower rice in place of regular rice or you can do a 50:50 ratio and your family may not even notice a difference!
d. You can find it in the frozen section of many grocery stores or you can make your own with a food processor.
9. Banana Ice Cream
a. For me and fellow lactose-intolerant individuals, Banana Ice Cream has been the best food of 2017!
b. All you need is frozen bananas, throw them in a food processor or blender and you`ve got ice cream.
c. You can either eat it plain or you can add lots of flavors i.e. peanut butter, cocoa powder, protein powder, nuts, chia seeds, strawberries, the flavors are endless!
10. Smoothies
a. Smoothies have stuck around in 2017 and are a GREAT way to hide veggies in your diet (and your kids` too!). They`re simple and easy to take on the go.
b. More than fruit you can add veggies i.e. spinach, kale, sweet potatoes, cauliflower, broccoli!
c. Recipe (below)

Peanut Butter Fat Balls
2 Cups old fashioned oats
½ Cup dried fruit or nuts
1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)
¼ Cup chia seeds
1 Cup peanut butter (creamy or crunchy both work)
2/3 Cup honey
1 tsp vanilla
1 tsp salt
Directions: In a large bowl, add oats, dried fruit and nuts, protein powder, and chia seeds. Stir to combine. In a separate bowl, add peanut butter and honey. Microwave in 30 seconds increments until smooth. Add vanilla and salt. Pour the liquid mixture into the bowl of dry ingredients and mix until combined. The mixture might be a little sticky and that`s okay. Scoop out the dough with a 2' cookie scoop and place onto a baking sheet lined in parchment paper. Store in your fridge for 1 week or freezer for 2 months.
Yield: 32 balls

Green Monster Smoothie
½ Cup steamed cauliflower cooled (or frozen)
¼ Cup Greek yogurt (vanilla or plain)
1-2 handfuls of spinach
1 Cup mixed berries
2 tsp honey
1 scoop protein powder (optional)
Water or milk (optional)
Directions: Place all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high until mixed together. For a thinner smoothie consistency add more water/milk, for a thicker consistency leave it out.
Yield: 1 serving

To see more tips from the USU Extension go here.