Have you eliminated a menu item from your options because it contained hemp seeds that you were scared to try? You’re not the only one: These seemingly exotic foods can seem intimidating to anyone who hasn't tasted them before.
Here are some foods you may be too afraid to try, but that actually taste great. Put aside those food fears and dig into these flavorful treats—your taste buds will thank you.
Sorghum Flour Similar to corn, sorghum flour is higher in protein and fat. It's used in many gluten-free flour blends for cooking and baking. Many people are scared by the name, but sorghum tastes great toasted as a crunchy topping for stir-fries or combined with oil in a skillet for a fun popped snack.
Kelp Noodles Noodles get an update with kelp instead of wheat. They can be added to soups or served as a main dish with sauce; there's no need to cook these noodles as they are sold ready to eat. They're served raw, and are perfect to add to green salads.
Goji Berries These red berries are loaded with antioxidants. They're sold dried and fresh and can be thought of as a fancy spin on raisins. They're tasty alone or mixed into trail mix, cookies, muffins, and oatmeal.
Cacao Nibs Cacao is the source of all cocoa and chocolate products—before they're processed into treats with tons of added sugar and dairy. These nibs might sound like candy, but they're actually packed with lots of vitamins and minerals: Beta-carotene, amino acids, calcium, zinc, iron, and magnesium. Try adding a sprinkle to your ice cream, baked goods, or cereal.
Hemp Seeds Instead of breadcrumbs, use ground hemp seeds to coat your chicken, tofu, or fish. Hemp seeds are packed with magnesium, iron, potassium, and fiber, so they can be a great way to sneak a nutritional boost into your smoothie or yogurt snack. Leftover seeds add a hearty texture to hummus.
Gluten-free Granola Gluten-free granola doesn't have to be bland or boring. In fact, some varieties have an amazing variety of "granola clusters" from a unique blend of 100% whole grains —amaranth, quinoa, oats, millet, and buckwheat. They're portable and versatile, so you can enjoy them as a cereal with milk, as a snack by the handful, or on top of yogurt. This granola is so good that many of my clients don't believe me when I tell them it's gluten-free.
Vegan Cream Cheese Looking for that cream cheese taste without the dairy? Vegan cream cheese can be used as a cream cheese substitute for vegans and people who are allergic to dairy. You’ll have a tough time convincing your guests that there is no dairy inside. Try it out on a piece of toasted bread in the morning.
Dairy-free Chocolate Chips What happens when we're looking for a healthier chip to bake our favorite chocolate chip cookies? Dairy-free chips pack a lot of flavor, and they're perfect for chocolate-covered strawberries, in baked goods, or for eating right out of the bag.
Nori Yes, you can eat seaweed, and it tastes great. Nori is the black wrapping you notice on the outside of your sushi rolls. It's delicious and can be used in soups, salads, and as a sandwich wrap instead of tortillas.
Kale Chips Most people know that kale is a "superfood," but so many are intimidated by cooking it. You can ease worry and time by grabbing a pack of the new pre-packaged kale chips that are available in many grocery stores, or make your own: Bake chopped fresh kale, topped with a drizzle of olive oil, for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit.