Product Roundup: Cruciferous Crusade
Kale’s popularity has spawned an entire category of products spotlighting the leafy green and its cousins—broccoli, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts, to name a few.
And it’s no wonder: cruciferous vegetables have numerous health benefits, such as vitamin C, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals. Their hefty texture also makes them a satisfying snack. Here’s the latest crop of vegetable-centered products.
Brad’s Raw Broccoli Poppers. Kale chips and crackers based on a mix of vegetables have been key sellers for this producer. So it wasn’t a large leap for the company to turn broccoli into a salty snack. To make the organic, vegan, gluten-free, and non-GMO snack, the company dehydrates—rather than bakes or fries— broccoli pieces. Available in two flavors, Cheeze Louise and Popp’n Hot (which gets a kick of heat from cayenne and jalapeño powder), both varieties include sunflower seeds, chickpea miso (made from rice, chickpeas, sea salt, water, and koji spores), lemon juice, carrot, onion, garlic, tomato, turmeric, and Himalayan sea salt. bradsrawchips.com
Complex Beverage Lettuce Organic Tea in Strawberry. As a child, Eddy Antoine’s mother prepared lettuce tea to help him cool down during hot summers. Later on, Antoine discovered lettuce tea is an age-old drink, consumed in China, Europe, and South America, as well as by Native Americans. Complex Beverages introduced a strawberry flavor this spring, joining pomegranate passion fruit, apricot, and mango options. Packaged in 16-ounce PET bottles, the drink consists of purified water, lettuce, vegetable juice, cane sugar, fruit flavor, black tea and tea essence, and stevia extract. complexbeverage.com
Forager Greens. With the goal of maximum nutrition and low sugar, vegetables are the primary ingredients in this line of nutritionally minded concoctions, with kale and broccoli among them. Forager’s Greens line includes four SKUs: Greens & Apple, with cucumber, lime, ginger, and broccoli; Greens & Greens, with fennel, basil, sprouted quinoa, and cayenne; Greens & Pineapple, with kale, spinach, matcha green tea, and oranges; and Greens & Orange, with spinach and coconut water. In addition to its Greens line, Forager turns out beverages with avocado, root veggies, and—its newest addition—nut and seed milks. foragerproject.com
La Pasta Ricotta and Kale Pesto Ravioli. As soon as La Pasta’s founders spotted a kale pesto dish on the cover of Food & Wine magazine, they realized it was time to develop their inspired entree. Enter La Pasta’s new ravioli, introduced in April. To prepare the pesto filling, kale is roasted to enhance its flavor and remove any fibrous bits, and then blended with lemon, garlic, and parmesan. It’s then mixed with breadcrumbs and ricotta, mozzarella, and Romano cheeses, and encased in a decorative dough. lapastainc.com
Les Trois Petits Cochons Salmon and Kale Terrine. Appealing to health-conscious consumers, this 40-year-old company has just introduced a 5.5-ounce terrine of wild-caught salmon and fresh kale. Cream, ricotta, cream cheese, and butter provide richness, while egg whites add lightness. Liquid smoke, tomato paste, smoked paprika, Chablis, and dill infuse flavor, while flecks of red pepper and leeks add dots of color. The terrine—with a coarser texture than the company’s mousses—is one of five that Les Trois Petits Cochons offers. All are handmade, and can be served in the container or unmolded. Recommended uses including adding to a charcuterie platter or plating alongside mixed greens. 3pigs.com
Mother-in-Law’s Kimchi Vegan White Kimchi. The flavors of napa cabbage and daikon radish (plus red bell pepper and carrot) star in this new mildly flavored offering. Only onion, garlic, ginger, sea salt, and raw sugar accent the delicate, crisp, effervescent condiment-cum-ingredient. Try it with eggs and on grilled cheese sandwiches, tacos, or quesadillas. As with Mother-in-Law’s other products, the kimchi is naturally fermented and produced in small batches. Other products in the company’s rapidly expanding line include a DIY Kimchi Making Kit, gochujang sauces, and Korean red pepper flakes (gochugaru). milkimchi.com
[Find more new products in the Product Marketplace.]
Nuovo Pasta Pan Roasted Cauliflower & Onion Ravioli and Spring Root Vegetable Ravioli. Cauliflower is newly popular among restaurant chefs and retail consumers, with slabs of it served like steak. Noting the trend, Nuovo Pasta decided to create a ravioli incorporating the favored vegetable. New this year, the ravioli contains a filling of pan-roasted cauliflower blended with caramelized red onions and cheeses. Before that, the company introduced its Spring Root Vegetable Ravioli in December. Inspired by the fresh vegetable trend, its filling includes sweet onion, turnips (the cruciferous representative), sweet potatoes, carrots, and cheeses. nuovopasta.com
Rhythm Superfoods Broccoli Bites. With its line of dehydrated kale chips selling so well, Rhythm decided to apply the technique to another popular vegetable: broccoli. For the new snack, introduced this spring, bite-size, stemless broccoli florets are tossed in a dressing prepared with sunflower seeds, cashews, vinegar, lemon juice, and onion. The broccoli is then dehydrated over several hours, preserving its nutrients. Three flavors include garden ranch (with dill, garlic, and pepper), Asian citrus (with tamari soy sauce, sugar, rice vinegar, orange, and ginger), and zesty nacho (with red bell pepper, garlic, and chipotle powder). All are non-GMO, gluten-free, and vegetarian, and earn their superfood name with 7 grams of protein and 4 grams of fiber per 1-ounce serving. rhythmsuperfoods.com
Slawsa Fire. Inspired by Americans’ love affair with heat, Slawsa is unveiling a new habanero-infused flavor in its Slawsa line. Available to retailers for ordering this summer, the new flavor combines cabbage, sugar, mustard, green bell pepper, vinegar, onion, carrot, salt, habanero mash and powder, and spices. Fire joins original, garlic, and spicy garlic varieties, all a cross between a slaw and a condiment, ideal for topping burgers or hot dogs. Packaged in 16-ounce jars, the products are gluten-free and low in calories and sodium. With all of its products, Slawsa is aiming to make cabbage as cool as kale—and share the health benefits of cruciferous vegetables. slawsa.com
Terrapin Ridge Farm Apple & Horseradish Jam. Horseradish is coming into its own recently, as an on-trend cross between healthy veggie and flavorful heat source. Reimagined flavors like Terrapin’s apple horseradish blend are shining a new light on this traditional, but niche, condiment. The inspiration for this particular product came years ago, at a San Francisco restaurant, where Mary O’Donnell, Terrapin’s owner and CEO, tried a sandwich pairing apple with horseradish sauce—and couldn’t forget it. She went on to develop this jam, which blends apple juice, horseradish, onion, and distilled vinegar for a taste of sweet heat. terrapinridge.com
Transatlantic Foods Aux Delices des Bois Cauliflower Mousse. François Baumont, this company’s vice president and co-owner, conceptualized a cauliflower mousse whose white hue would allow garnish vegetables’ colors to shine through. The creamy yet sliceable mousse is made with eggs, cream, provolone cheese, milk, and garlic. Bits of carrot, haricots verts, squash, and red pepper are suspended in the fine emulsion, which is then cooked sous vide to retain flavor, color, and texture. Since it’s free of gelatin, the petite mousse is 100 percent vegetarian. Serve this versatile mousse cold, warm, or at room temperature, as an appetizer or entree. transatlanticfoods.com
Wonderfully Raw Brussel Bytes. Spurred on by the growing popularity of brussels sprouts, Wonderfully Raw has introduced a line of snacks devoted to the once-marginalized vegetable. Available in chile pumpkin, tamarind apple, and “cheezy” herb, the full line is organic, non-GMO, raw, gluten-free, and vegan. In addition to the star veg, each 2-ounce bag packs cashews, kale, carrots, and coconut nectar for sweetness, all prepared via a dehydration technique that preserves the vegetables’ nutrients. Chile pumpkin also includes pumpkin seeds, cilantro, cumin, and chipotle; tamarind apple adds tamarind, apple, ginger, and cilantro; and the cheezy herb has basil, rosemary, lemon, and red bell pepper.wonderfullyrawgourmet.com
Kale Craze: Pasta Sauces
This year’s sofi Awards judging revealed a slew of new sauces sporting the beloved leafy green. Here’s just a handful:
- Cucina Antica Foods Organico Bello Kale Tomato Basil Organic Pasta Sauce
- Mia’s Kitchen Kale Authentic Pasta Sauce
- Ritrovo Tuscan Kale (Cavolo Nero) Pesto by Radici of Tuscany
- Sauces ’n Love Pumpkin & Kale Alfredo
Dina Cheney is the author of Mug Meals, Meatless All Day, Year-Round Slow Cooker, Williams-Sonoma New Flavors for Salads, and Tasting Club.
MOST READ ARTICLES