Going “Against the Grain”


The University of Michigan is hosting their fifth TEDx conference this year in March, and the direction-defining theme for the all-day event is “Against the Grain.” The event focuses on “ideas worth spreading,” and at the TEDxUofM event both TEDTalks videos and live speakers are used to not only educate but also to create discussion among participants.

To attend the campus event, you must apply online. TEDx is all about innovative thinking, or “going against the grain.” Like the speakers you will hear from at the event in March, these five new food trends in 2014 come from inspired thinking and a place of innovation.

Turkey Jerky:

Photo courtesy of Goodnessgracioustreats.com

Although the word “jerky” isn’t usually associated with clean eating, turkey jerky is one of the new health foods of 2014. Healthier than traditional beef jerky, turkey jerky is a high protein snack, which keeps you feeling full longer. Turkey jerky also has fewer calories than beef jerky, but be sure not to overload on the flavorful snack – turkey jerky, like all jerkies, does contain a high amount of salt.

The Paleo Diet:

Photo courtesy of Eatdrinkpaleo.com.au

This new diet trend began picking up speed last year, and is literally against the grain. Considered one of the healthiest diets in practice, the Paleo diet is based on the diet of our hunter-gatherer ancestors. The diet consists of meat, fish, seafood, fruits, vegetables, seeds, nuts, and healthful oils. Not on the menu? Dairy, grains, refined sugars, and processed foods.

Mash-Up Dishes:

Photo courtesy of Jessienextdoor.com

Chefs are loving to combine different popular dishes into one, putting a new spin on popular menu items. Creations like dessert pizza (think a pizza pie, but topped with Nutella and strawberries) are making waves, and if the cronut craze was any indication, more of these hybrid foods are on the way.

Infused Ice Cubes:

Photo courtesy of vanillaextract.me

Bars, restaurants, and even people trying to mix up their drink at home are making infused ice cubes. The ice cubes add an additional flavor to the drink, and are being infused with a variety of items, such as fruits, mint, and even flowers. Check out Pinterest for guides to make your own.

Non-wheat Noodles and Pasta:

While the gluten-free craze has been around for a few years now, this year there are even more alternatives to traditional noodles and pasta. In an attempt to cut out processed wheat, noodles and pasta are being made with healthier grains like quinoa, rice and buckwheat. The verdict is still out if these substitutions taste as good as the real deal.

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