(Newswise)–Half of Americans are determined to eat more fruits and vegetables this year according to Innova Market Insights. Because fruits and vegetables are now in just about every food and beverage category, consumers shouldn’t have a problem doing so.
In the October issue of Food Technology magazine published by the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT), senior associate editor Karen Nachay looks at eight different ways fruits and vegetables are turning up in unexpected places.
1. Cauliflower: From 2013 to 2014 Innova Market Insights found a 22 percent increase in global product launches containing cauliflower. It can be roasted, mashed, pureed and included in everything from pizza to ice cream.
2. Exotic Fruits and Vegetables: Consumers are becoming more willing to try more than just apples and oranges these days and fruits and vegetables like kohlrabi, rhubarb, dragon fruit, passion fruit, sour cherry, prickly pear, and celeriac are easier to find in your local grocery store.
3. Cruciferous Vegetables: Now that consumers are realizing that these types of vegetables can taste good when properly prepared (CCD Innovation Culinary Trend Mapping Report, 2014), chefs are turning to unique preparations of parsnips, turnips, rutabagas, dinosaur kale and sea vegetables.
4. Coconut Water: New blends of coconut water with other fruit and vegetable juices highlight tropical fruits like mango and even spinach, red beet, and carrot juices.
5. Yogurt: Yogurt is taking on a savory twist with the addition of new flavors like sweet potato, beet, butternut squash, tomato, kimchi, coconut lemongrass, fig and parsnip.
6. Chilled Soups: While most people think of gazpacho as tomato-based cold soup, the addition of new fruits and vegetables like papaya, watermelon, cucumber, and lemon coriander give this classic soup a new appeal.
7. Sweet Potatoes: Sweet potatoes are no longer just ingredients in pies and side dishes; companies are using sweet potatoes as ingredients in juices, muffins, cheesecake, sauces, and even beer.
8. Natural Food Coloring: As consumers are scrutinizing food labels with synthetic ingredients, manufacturers are turning to fruits and vegetables for naturally derived coloring options. Fruits and vegetables can be minimally processed into purees or juice concentrates to extract the pigments that give them their color.