Open Forum: What’s your Favorite New Food Discovery of 2011?

Hulled Hemp Seeds

I hope you have been having a wonderful holiday season!  Before we turn the page on 2011, I thought it might be fun to ask a quick question.

Last year, my new favorite food was nutritional yeast. Although it’s easily dismissed as “hippie health food,” this stuff is definitely worthy of consideration, if only for its great taste.  I love the versatile, cheesy-nutty flavor (especially sprinkled on popcorn!), and it adds a savory Umami flavor to soups and other dishes. Oh yeah, and there are all those B vitamins it delivers (Vegans: It’s a good idea to choose a brand that is fortified with B-12).  So when I finally tried it last year, it quickly became my favorite new food.

This year, my discovery is hulled hemp seeds. Like nutritional yeast, they’re both healthy and delicious (swoon!). Hemp seeds are a great source of Omega-3 fatty acids, a “complete” protein source, and very high in several other vitamins and minerals.  I’ve been sprinkling them on my morning oatmeal, on top of a bowl of greek yogurt, or just blending them into a smoothie.  I think they taste like sunflower seeds — but with less of a crunch. Yum!

What’s your new favorite food discovery of 2011?  Let us know in the comments!

(RSS and email readers, click through to share your discovery).

Photo by Evelyn Parham.

Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
January 6, 2012 5:24 pm

I tried tempeh and was so in love with it! Have made curry, fajitas, chili and on and on and on. It takes on the taste of whatever you are making and it make me so happy that it is so healthy.

Emily Davis
Emily Davis
January 6, 2012 12:59 pm

My big finds were Barley & Quinoa.

January 5, 2012 12:10 pm

Raw beets. I used to think I disliked beets. Not true. I just disliked “Harvard beets” (in the thick, sickly-sweet syrup, which my dad adored) and was “meh” on canned beets. But fresh beets, peeled and sliced into a spinach salad with balsamic vinegar. Yes, please. Also, my MIL’s home-canned pickled beets, which I must duplicate this coming canning season.

My current infatuation, discovered just at the end of 2011: Persimmons. I’d never had one before buying one at the Asian market across the street from my office. The only hard part is waiting for one to ripen; I’m squeezing them almost hourly!

January 5, 2012 9:13 am

Not a food — but better lighting in my kitchen has transformed my ability and willingness to cook at home. (We also put in a larger sink with disposal, got a portable dishwasher and a pot rack on the wall).

I was a doubter — but my husband was convinced that investing in storage changes, a few equipment upgrades, and painting the drab walls a new color would make us want to cook at home and he was right.

I love my kitchen now. I want to cook healthy foods every day.

January 3, 2012 1:35 pm

Hemp milk! I remember reading somewhere about it and thinking it would be worth a shot. Full of nice omega-3s, doesn’t have the potential issues of soy, and it appealed to me more than rice or nut milks. OMG. I love this stuff! I rarely use cow’s milk anymore. Lately we’ve had it in the fridge because hubby prefers it and is actually using it before it goes bad now. I’ve slowly gotten used to the flavor and enjoy the slight nuttiness it adds to whatever dish it graces. It’s amazing!

Erica C. Barnett
January 2, 2012 11:01 am

Farro—plain with soy sauce, sriracha and sesame oil, or in just about anything (it makes any vegetable soup a filling meal). And raw kale, in all kinds of savory salads (Caesar is a particular favorite).

Season with Reason
January 2, 2012 7:16 am

So many, but barley water was one I wouldn’t have imagined loving and do.

December 29, 2011 12:28 pm

Wow lots of neat things to be excited about! Nooch (love that name) was introduced to me this year, but really it comes down to two things:

1. Cocktails. I know they aren’t food, but really, they are. Prepared properly with passion a good cocktail will rival a great meal.
2. Home made curries We bought Vikram Vij’s book Relax Honey after seeing him cook at a local cooking school that Elizabeth covered on her blog. I went home and started making curries from scratch. I have not gone a week since without at least one, but normally MANY more curries.

Nicole @ Three 31
December 29, 2011 9:39 am

Sushi was my big score of 2011 ….. I’m so mad at myself for waiting so long to try the yummy rolls!!!!

Nicole @ Three 31
December 29, 2011 9:37 am

My favorite food discovery of 2011 is, no doubt, SUSHI. Yeah, yeah, yeah…..I’m way behind the times but I used to be so fearful that everything was raw, I’d get sick, or it was the inevitable “fish bait.” BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!!!!! I love sushi, cooked and raw varieties, and eat it at least once a week. I would eat it everyday if my wallet would allow. I’m so thankful for the good friends that took me to their favorite sushi place in Dallas and gently coaxed me through the process. Of course, their 3-year-old was teaching ME how to use chopsticks and eat the rolls too.

Happy 2012 everybody!!!!

Nicole @ Three 31