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National Restaurant Association - 5 nutrition trends found at NRA Show

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5 nutrition trends found at NRA Show

Restaurant operators searching for the most innovative healthful products in the marketplace were dazzled by the plentiful options on display at this year’s NRA Show.

From “superfood” hot cereal to guilt-free ice cream, dairy-free cheese. gluten-free pizza and low-in-sugar pastries, there was something for everyone to consider adding to their menus.

Here are five nutrition trends we caught on this year’s Show floor:

  1. Superfood hot cereal

    Earnest Eats Hot & Fit Cereals, a 2016 FABI Award winner, was a crowd favorite. Made from whole oats, amaranth and quinoa, nuts, seeds and berries, the cereal is verified vegan and USDA-certified organic. It’s also free of wheat, dairy and soy and is high in protein. It comes in premeasured cups or in bulk.
  2. Organic "guilt-free" ice cream

    It took brothers Arnie and Ron Koss 10 years to create Brio! Ice Cream, an organic, high-protein, calcium-rich frozen treat that has 35 percent fewer calories and 50 percent less fat per serving. Another 2016 FABI Award winner, the non-GMO, certified gluten-free ice cream is flavored naturally with Madagascar vanilla, organic sea-salt caramel, dark cocoa, real coffee, ripe strawberries and Alphonso mango.

3. Dairy-free cheeses and treats

Canadians Andre Kroecher and Greg Blake started Daiya, an alternative food company catering to dairy-, lactose- and soy-sensitive diners. Made from plant-based ingredients, products include mozzarella-, cheddar- and pepperjack-style cheeses as well as frozen pizzas and cheesecakes. They’re also gluten free.

4. Gluten-free deep-dish pizza

Kiki Michalakos, founder and CEO of Kiki’s Gluten-free Foods, created her company after her 4-year-old son was diagnosed with celiac disease. As she emptied her house of conventional breads, flours and other forms of gluten, she set out to create alternative products he could enjoy. The frozen Quick-Bake Deep Dish Pizza, winner of a 2016 FABI Award, is made with Kiki’s special, proprietary, non-GMO, gluten-free flour. It’s also packaged in an oven-ready bag at the company’s certified gluten-free facility to avoid any cross-contamination.

5. Wheatlike artisan dough

Wild Flour Bakery founder and CEO Kim Desch is a former nurse practitioner who specialized in treating patients with autoimmune diseases and gluten sensitivities. After she was diagnosed as gluten intolerant, she created the chef-inspired, wheatlike dough for breads, pastries and pizzas. Today the gourmet dough is available in chewy pretzel, bread stick and garlic knot varieties. The sweet dough version, made with unrefined natural sweeteners, scores lower on the glycemic index. It is used to make cinnamon rolls and soft-baked chocolate-chip cookies.

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