You know a food trend has reached its climax when Starbucks creates its very own version… then The New York Times reports on it, all on the same day. We’re talking Unicorn foods. Or more specifically, Unicorn toast. What, you ask, is this magical, colorful phenomenon that has taken over your Instagram feed?

Food stylist and wellness enthusiast, Vibrant & Pure’s Adeline Waugh originally brought these beautiful toast creations to life by coloring vegan cream cheese with bright plant-based pigments. And so the rainbow Unicorn Toast (and now its sister, the ocean blue-hued Mermaid Toast) have quickly become social media sensations. It begs the question, however, can something so fun and eye-catching actually be healthy? In a word, yes.

To create Unicorn Toast she uses beet juice to make pink, turmeric root to make yellow/orange, chlorophyll drops to make green, spirulina seaweed powder to make light blue, and freeze dried, crushed blueberries to make purple. For the Mermaid Toast, she uses blue-green algae powders like spirulina. All ingredients with health-promoting antioxidants, vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients – mom always did say, “eat the rainbow.”

And if almond cream cheese is not your thing, swap that for plain thick cow’s milk or a plant-based yogurt. Spread colorfully over a piece of sprouted flaxseed toast, and you have yourself a filling, nutrient-dense breakfast that’s also a feast for the eyes. “My goal is to take healthy food and make it fun and exciting, brightening it up with a few (or many) pops of color,” says Waugh. Talk about an easy way to get your MINIs to try some superfoods!

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Sadly much of what now calls itself “unicorn food” online bears little resemblance to Ms. Waugh’s initial creations, which were designed with both nutrition and aesthetics in mind. So don’t go thinking that new Starbucks Unicorn Frappuccino is going to do your body any favors. Instead, try whipping up your own versions at home with whole ingredients and get the little ones in on the vibrant food action!


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