Our Favorite Healthy Food Products of 2020

Health trends

January 22, 2021

By Jessica Hamlin

At Clean Plates, we believe in eating high-quality whole foods that are good for you, good for the planet, and good tasting. We also believe in stocking your pantry with healthy staples and snacks. That’s why we taste-tested our way through thousands of healthy food products to bring you our favorites. Here are the top trends of 2020 and the tastiest, healthiest foods and drinks — from keto-friendly everything to CBD brownies and healthier cheese puffs.

King Arthur paleo baking flour

Keto-Friendly, Low-Sugar

Keto is trending hard, so it’s no wonder there are tons of keto-friendly products emerging. And, even if you’re not hard-core keto, brands have gotten the message about lower sugar.

1. Eating Evolved Keto Cups, $10

Eating Evolved believes, as we do, that “chocolate is food, not candy.” The brand carries out that motto with Keto Cups (and other chocolate treats) that are free of refined sugars and full of healthy fat. If you want a little jolt, try their keto coffee cups; if zero-sweetened chocolate is too intense, try their monk fruit-sweetened treats.

2. Base Culture Keto Bread

It used to be that a low-carb diet meant no bread, but not anymore. Made with eggs, almond butter, flaxseed meal and other clean ingredients, Base Culture‘s Keto Bread has a taste and texture similar to the regular version. It’s the best thing since sliced… well, you know.

3. King Arthur Paleo Flour

We love playing around with making our own low-sugar, low-carb treats. King Arthur makes that easier with their new Paleo Flour, which you can substitute 1:1 for all-purpose flour.

4. Artisan Kettle No Sugar Added Chocolate Chips, $41 for 6 packs

The company that brought us paleo pancake mix now has something for the keto crowd: Birch Benders Keto Pancake Mix and Syrups. Whip up pancakes by just adding water to their keto pancake mixes (regular and chocolate chip, yes please) or add a little coconut oil and make keto waffles. Finish it off with one of their new keto “magic syrups” sweetened with monk fruit in classic maple, maple bourbon or Mind Body Maple with grass-fed collagen and MCT oil. Is it time for breakfast yet?

Base Culture CBD brownies and blondies

CBD

Cannabis compound CBD is having a big moment, showing up in many supplements, body products, food and drinks. CBD has grown in popularity thanks to its ability to help relieve pain and reduce stress and anxiety without the psychoactive effects of THC. The passage of the Agriculture Improvement Act of 2018 also helped push CBD to the mainstream, since it took hemp and hemp extracts from all parts of the plant out of the controlled substances category (though each state may regulate it differently). CBD can come as an isolate, broad spectrum (meaning no THC) or full spectrum (trace amounts of THC).

1. Gaia Full Spectrum Hemp Extract

Supplement company Gaia debuted full-spectrum hemp extracts with 10 grams or 20 grams of beneficial cannabinoids per serving at the Expo. The extracts use hemp flowers and hemp oil, dispensed by a dropper. And, with Gaia’s Meet Your Herbs traceability program, you can enter the ID number on the bottle to learn where your CBD came from and how it was grown, harvested, extracted and tested for quality.

2. Weller CBD Sparkling Water

This new drink combines two big trends of the moment: CBD and sparkling water. We enjoyed the crisp, refreshing taste of these watermelon, black cherry and tangerine waters, plus the relaxing 25 mg of CBD per can.

3. RE Botanicals Hemp CBD Tincture

This is the first national hemp brand to get the USDA’s organic certification for U.S.-grown hemp. Their new line of hemp CBD tinctures for people (and pets!) won an award at this year’s Natural Products Expo West for best new hemp/CBD product. To use the tincture, just drop the liquid under your tongue. These come in doses from 15 to 50 mg, plus a peppermint variety, and a lower-dose pet tincture.

4. Base Culture CBD Brownies and Blondies

We didn’t think Base Culture’s decadent paleo almond butter brownie and cashew butter blondie could get much better, but now they offer them with 25 grams of CBD, so we can dessert and chill.

5. Sagely Naturals Relief + Recovery Line

This growing brand is offering a variety of ways to get CBD Their Tranquility line targets stress and anxiety with capsules, cream and a liquid roll-on. We especially like their Relief + Recovery Line, formulated for sore muscles, acute pain, inflammation, arthritis, and neuropathy, including a spray, capsules, cream or headache roll-on you can toss into your bag in case of flare-ups.

Clean Condiments

Sauces and dressings are delicious—but often carry with them excess refined sugar, low-quality oils and other non-optimal ingredients. These brands offer clean ingredients and great taste, win-win.

1. Primal Kitchen Ketchup and BBQ Sauce

This brand, founded by primal-lifestyle expert (and Clean Plates Collective member) Mark Sisson, makes everything from mayos to delicious dressings with avocado oil and other wholesome ingredients. Their latest ketchup, spicy ketchup and bbq sauce have no added sweeteners and taste like the classics but better. You’ll find these on our table for grilling season and beyond.

2. New Barn Organics Almond Dips

These versatile, crazy-delicious new vegan dips are made with clean ingredients such as vegetables, olive oil, herbs, spices and, of course, almonds. They’re the first Whole30 approved nut dips and make a luscious, healthy snack with crackers or veggies—and they easily double as sauces. The lemon dill dip would pair perfectly with salmon, you could drizzle the garden herb on cooked veggies, and the habanero is perfect for Taco Tuesday.

Better-for-you Indulgences

Whether you like your treats sweet or savory, if you’re like us, you still want to feel like a rock star after you’ve indulged. These healthier twists on snacks, sweets and classic comfort foods are just the ticket to get you there.

Justin's nut butter covered nuts

1. Justin’s Nut Butter-Covered Nuts

This popular nut butter brand is getting even more nuts…literally. Justin’s just debuted nut butter-covered nuts, because why not? Cashew butter-covered cashews and almond butter-covered almonds are a yummy sweet and salty snack that’s organic and free of both gluten and dairy.

2. Caulipower Pizza and Paleo Pizza Crust

Cauliflower-crusted pizza is super-trendy—and now you can have it as soon as the craving hits. Caulipower’s paleo crust is dairy-free and makes DIY pizza a scrumptious cinch. If you want a ready-made pie, their newer all natural uncured turkey pepperoni pizza delivers with a melted mozzarella-white cheddar blend topped with crisp meaty goodness.

Hippeas

3. Hippeas Nacho Vibes Puffs

Puffed snacks are not usually the healthiest items on store shelves, but Hippeas is out to change that with organic, gluten-free and vegan crunchy puffs that are also super-tasty. Chickpea flour gives them a boost of protein and fiber, too.

Simple Mills brownie mix

4. Simple Mills Brownie Mix

Simple Mills, one of our go-tos for healthier baking mixes, is making it dangerously easy to bake rich, fudgy brownies that are grain-free and sweetened with coconut sugar (except for a bit of cane sugar in the chocolate chips). Add a couple eggs, a half-cup of butter or oil and a little water and you’re on your way to fresh-baked brownie bliss.

Evolution Fresh celery juice

Functional Drinks

Staying hydrated is always one of our daily goals—and a big trend is boosting what’s in your glass with functional drinks packed with nutrients, superfoods and supplements. Here are some clean options with a range of benefits.

Evolution Fresh Organic Celery Juice

Move over, kale. Celery juice is having a moment right now, touted for benefits like helping cleanse and heal the body. This new organic cold-pressed celery and lemon juice is an easy way to try out this trend and hydrate while loading up on vitamins and minerals.

Cheribundi cherry juice

Cheribundi Cherry Juice

Research shows tart cherry juice can reduce soreness, help your body recover faster, boost immunity and more, and Cheribundi is making it easy to get. They make antioxidant-rich 100% tart cherry juice plus varieties for sleep, rebuilding after a workout, and their latest, Hydrate, a mixture of tart cherry juice and coconut water. Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Aly Raisman is even a fan.

PLNT Hemp Drinks

Full-spectrum CBD plus superfoods combine with coconut nectar and juice for sweet, refreshing drinks. Mint + Matcha helps with focus; grab Pineapple + Chamomile for rest and recovery; and sip Turmeric + Ginger for cleansing and calming your gut.

Vital Proteins Collagen Waters and Collagen Shots

Beauty-boosting collagen is super-hot, and Vital Proteins is making it even more convenient to aid skin, hair, bones and joints with their new shots and waters. The waters have 10 grams of collagen, are infused with a hint of fruit juice and come in flavors like lemon ginger and blueberry mint. Five kinds of shots have 7 grams of collagen peptides plus supplements for benefits like cleanse, sleep, glow, zen and restore.

Kiito juice

Kiito Plant-Powered Superfuel

Looking for a clean protein drink? Grab this organic dairy- and gluten-free one, made with coconut milk, pea protein, and monk fruit. With 20 grams of protein, just 1 gram of sugar, and flavors and superfoods like vanilla ashwagandha, chocolate maca and matcha moringa, they taste more like a treat but deliver the good stuff, too.