What new foods did you try this year? An oat milk latte, an ube cheesecake or maybe a Beyond burger? Maybe 2020 was the year you became obsessed with okra chips or kefir, or maybe you didn't know that red, yellow and green peppers are all the same until this year.
You don't know what new foods you're going to try next year, and you don't need to because Whole Foods already lines them up for you. You can spice up your cuisine with a snack or staple, just make sure your meals are changing with the seasons.
Here is how to get the jump start on these new food trends and find them locally, while you're at it.
“Well-being is served”
2021 is the year of taking care of your body, which means probiotics, superfoods, broths and nutrients. Gone are the days of taking supplements—why do that when you could just eat them in your food? Look for things like sauerkraut, mushrooms, local honey, fresh fruit and kombucha during your next trip to the grocery store.
Austin-local Buddha's Brew sells dozens of flavors of kombucha filled with live cultures for your gut health. Yum!
“Epic breakfast every day”
With so many people working from home these days, there is no excuse to skip breakfast. In fact, there's no excuse to have a boring breakfast either. Think bagels and lox, pancakes on weekdays and sous vide egg bites topped with gruyère. Stock up on your favorite pancake mix, bougie cheeses and a breakfast cookbook.If you just don't have time to make your own breakfast, get takeout from Bouldin Creek Cafe, on 1900 S. 1st St. With vegan and vegetarian options galore, you'll be a breakfast person in no time.
“Basics on fire”
With cooking being one of the major newfound hobbies of the pandemic, home chefs everywhere are looking to amp-up even the simplest of foods. Spices, pastas, sauces and basics and are all getting a delicious makeover. Try some applewood-smoked salt, riced cauliflower or add a new basil pesto to the mix.One of the best ways to start is to go classic and upgrade your olive oil. Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Co. has been making its organic oils right here in the Hill Country since 2008. The local shop doles plenty of different flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegar. You'll never cook the same again.
“Coffee beyond the mug”
Humans have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years, why wouldn't we start eating it? Nowadays you can get just about anything coffee-flavored: granola, steak rubs, almond butter, booze and even yogurt.
A good ol' cup of joe never goes out of style though, so if you're looking for locally-roasted brew, Texas Coffee Traders, located on 1400 E 4th St., is a great place to go. With good beans, you can make anything coffee flavored.
“Baby food, all grown up”
This holiday season, give your baby the gift of a sophisticated palate. Today's babies are eating superfoods, daring combinations like pear strawberry rhubarb, well-seasoned meals and turmeric. Plus, baby food is getting easier and easier to take on the go.Serenity Kids was started by an Austin couple who care about what kids eat. Not only is its baby food organic and ethically sourced, it is also reminiscent of what mom and dad are having for dinner.
More of your food is edible than you think. Upcycled foods take parts of an ingredient that wouldn't have otherwise been used and makes them into something new, reducing food waste. Things like peels, stems and pulp are officially back on the table.
Upcycled foods are still pretty hard to come by, especially by local makers as most are made in California, but you can still stock up when you come across them. Look for The Ugly Company's upcycled fruits, Renewal Mill's upcycled flour or Pulp Pantry's pulp chips.
You've heard of olive and coconut oils but have you seen walnut oil or pumpkin seed oil during your weekly trip to the grocery store? New oils are popping up on shelves due to their unique flavors and versatility of use from frying to salad dressings.If you want to try something new, grab a bottle of walnut oil. You can mix the oil with almost anything for a subtle, nutty flavor, use it to grease a pan or make a dressing with it. This guide will give you some ideas on how to use these unique oils.
Hard seltzers made a massive splash in 2018 and into this year and kombucha has risen to extreme popularity in recent years, so it just makes sense to make it boozy. Hard kombucha comes with a host of benefits—bubbles, gluten-free and filled with probiotics.One way to get your fix in Austin is at Black Swan Yoga and JuneShine Kombucha's Yoga in the Yard event. After a relaxing outdoor yoga session, you can enjoy a nice, bubbly glass of booch.
“The mighty chickpea”
You've heard of hummus and falafels, maybe even chickpea pasta, but as it turns out, chickpeas are extremely versatile. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. Keep an eye out for puffed chickpea snacks, chickpea flour and chickpea cereal.If you're still on a hummus kick but want to try something new, Floreli's hummus is locally made from sunflower seeds. Harkening tastes of Middle-Eastern cuisine, Floreli hummus is easy to come by and sold at Whole Foods and Wheatsville Co-op.
“Fruit and veggie jerky”
You read that right—jerky is for everyone now—vegans and vegetarians alike. From more tame snacks like mushroom or mango jerky to adventurous morsels like banana or jackfruit jerky, fruits and veggies are taking on a new form.Actually, jerky can be made from just about anything. Local company Umami It's Vegan! Jerky Co. makes 100% plant-based, protein-rich jerky in tons of different flavors. Move over, veggie burgers.
2021 is the year of trying something new so what food trend do you want to try?
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Six weeks into the federal COVID-19 vaccine rollout, the number of Ausinites who have received a shot—or two—is growing, with recipients reporting immense relief and sharing happy selfies.
Carly Hatchell, 25<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUwNzk1NC9vcmlnaW4ucG5nIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0MjE1ODcyM30.1Z8vDzZp-2FpKTXQAGAS4PE3Zmy5i7IGq5LBhTFQwvU/img.png?width=1200&coordinates=0%2C420%2C0%2C420&height=800" id="ec5ec" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="784f573e7e59226846176634e901f648" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1200" data-height="800" />
(Carly Hatchell)<p>Like most early vaccine recipients in Texas, Carly Hatchell is a frontline healthcare worker. As a psychiatric research associate at Dell Medical School and Dell Children's Medical Center, she received her shot from UT Health Austin, the medical school's clinical arm, which was the first provider in Travis County to receive doses from the state.</p><p>Hatchell received her first shot on Dec. 18, during the initial week of the rollout, and her second shot earlier this month. "I was very clear on my decision," she told Austonia. "Public health is a big interest to me. I actually served as a contact tracer earlier on in the pandemic."</p><p>Other than some soreness in her arm, she didn't experience any other side effects.<br></p><p>Hatchell described her vaccine experience as bittersweet, mostly because although she is now protected most people around her are not. "I have parents (in Houston) who are retired and older, and I know it's really difficult for them," she said. "I kind of wish I could share my dose with them."</p><p>Until most people are vaccinated, Hatchell is planning on operating as though she isn't. "I do feel confident that I am at less risk," she said. "But I haven't reduced my precautions just because we don't yet have the data (about long-term protections)."</p>
Tom Madison, 43<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUwODE0Ni9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY0OTg4MTkzMX0.Iy6vqa1O2lVbX-0wE1pmCFn6zBYgxDUJfop9XNu60GM/img.jpg?width=980" id="6e343" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="0c8732e6c36a94506fc53df3dd2ce2d7" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="480" data-height="600" /><p>Tom Madison is a lieutenant in the Austin Fire Department and the husband of Austin City Council Member Natasha Harper-Madison, who has lupus and is a breast cancer survivor, putting her at high risk of death from COVID.</p><p>Because of Madison's job, where he runs the risk of exposure on every shift, he moved out of <a href="https://austonia.com/austin-fire-coronavirus" target="_blank">his family's home in March</a>. Now that he has received both shots of the vaccine, he feels safer—but is still cautious. </p><p>"I'm still staying in the trailer next to the house," he said. "So we're still social distancing from one another because (Austin-Travis County Interim Health Authority) Dr. (Mark) Escott told my wife that we should do it until she gets vaccinated." </p><p>In the meantime, Madison has helped administer vaccines at the Delco Center, where Austin Public Health has hosted mass distribution events. "It was a huge operation," he said. "People waited in line for hours. When they go in there, they were so appreciative. It was nice to see."</p>
Nancy Kahn, 64<p>Nancy Kahn is a nurse who works for a very small company that wasn't able to provide her access to a vaccine. So she began searching for an appointment anywhere she could find one, including a pharmacy in New Braunfels that she heard had one vial—with 10 doses—for healthcare workers. After waiting on the phone for an hour, she snagged a spot at Austin Regional Clinic. "I got lucky," she said. </p><p>Kahn's husband falls in the 1B group as someone who is over 65 years old and who has had cancer twice. So far, she has enrolled him in three waitlists. "He's number 3,000 at one place. He's 600 at another place," she said. "At ARC, I don't know what number."</p><p>Still, Khan is optimistic. "I've got a sister in Arizona and a brother in Illinois," she said. "There's no talk of 1B (eligibility in those states). So it could be worse."</p>
Stephanie E., 35<p>Stephanie E., who works for a law enforcement agency with a no-media policy and asked that her last name not be used, was surprised when her employer offered her a vaccine because she has worked from home the entirety of the pandemic. "There was a lot of guilt," she said. "But I'm also 35 weeks pregnant now. It's not likely they were going to give my dose to a teacher or anything, so I went ahead and did it."</p><p>E.'s midwife and maternal-fetal medicine doctor told her they couldn't encourage or discourage her from getting vaccinated because of the limited data. But she wasn't concerned. "If Dr. Fauci gets it, then it seems safe," she said, adding that she feels better about her upcoming hospital stay—when she'll give birth—knowing that she has an extra layer of protection.</p><p>Now vaccinated, E. hasn't let down her guard. With three kids at home, including an 11-month old, she and her husband continue to be cautious, avoiding visits with even extended family. "They're going to meet two babies at once," she said.</p>
Capri Conlon, 29<img lazy-loadable="true" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNTUwNzk2NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2ODI3MTkyNH0.yLnRFz4NuS0DXcco02pQngPC-2cP_LW2N7oAWuset4Q/img.jpg?width=1200&coordinates=0%2C635%2C0%2C635&height=800" id="2c42c" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="d4c1cb0bcd2dd03ece42f6e712bcd37d" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" data-width="1200" data-height="800" /><p>Capri Conlin is a nurse practitioner for Dell Children's Hospital. Last month, her employer sent out a sign-up link to all eligible employees, but Conlin's name was accidentally left off of it. Luckily, it was a quick fix and she received her first shot on the same day as Hatchell, in mid-December. "There's finally a light at the end of the tunnel," she said after receiving her second shot. "It feels surreal." </p><p>Conlin's patients are children and most of them are immunocompromised. As a result, she has changed her way of life to ensure she doesn't put any of them at risk of contracting COVID-19. </p><p>"Getting the vaccine, it just felt like a big relief," she said. "I just know going into my patients' room I'm not putting them at risk anymore."</p>
Lynne Wiesman, 61<p>Wiesman is a professor at Austin Community College, where she teaches American sign language interpreting. Before the pandemic, she also worked often as an interpreter in area hospitals. </p><p>Although the state of Texas did not include interpreters in group 1A, a local agency successfully advocated for interpreters to be prioritized in Travis County because of their work on the front lines. </p><p>As a result, Wiesman was able to make an appointment to get vaccinated after someone shared the number for a triage nurse at ARC on a private FB page for interpreters. "I do anticipate going back to (work in) hospitals," she said. </p><p>But first Wiesman needs her second shot, which is scheduled for early February. "They've assured us (there will be enough doses)," she said. "That's the only thing that I have a slight concern about." </p><p>Wiesman opted out of taking a photo of herself having received the vaccine. She says she didn't want to rub it in the face of less privileged people who wish to be vaccinated. </p>
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Turns out, celebrities enjoy Stubb's BBQ just as much as the rest of Austin. Recent Texas transplants Joe Rogan and Elon Musk were spotted along with Dave Chappelle and other celebrities at the popular Texas venue for a night on the town.
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As Major League Soccer's only expansion team this season, Austin FC will receive first pick in all three rounds of the MLS SuperDraft on Thursday.