This year the culinary trend for food focuses on environmental sustainability, local sourcing, healthful meals, nutrition and natural ingredients/minimally processed food. Here are three food trends you can expect to see in restaurants, coffee shops, health food stores and grocery stores:
1. Strange Looking Root Veggies
Celery root, parsnips, beets, turnip, heirloom carrots (such as purple and yellow) and kohlrabi are just a few of the root veggies to add to your menu. Root veggies are loaded with good nutrition since they grow underground and absorb plenty of nutrients from the soil. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamin C, Vitamin A, B-vitamins and iron and are immune system boosting and cancer preventative.
Enjoy root veggies in a wide range of ways:
Raw: Add grated raw carrots or grated raw beets to a salad. Enjoy kohlrabi sticks with hummus or creamy dip.
Roasted/Grilled: Peel root veggies and slice into bite-sized pieces or thin sticks. Toss with olive oil and salt and pepper and roast in the oven. Roasting brings out the natural sweetness in vegetables and my favorite way to enjoy these foods.
Steamed: Peel root veggies and steam. Toss with a small amount of butter and salt and pepper or puree into a soup or mash as a mashed side dish.
2. Fermented Foods & Kombucha
Fermented foods have always been traditionally popular for their bold and delicious flavor profiles (grapes are fermented to make wine, milk for yogurt/kefir, cabbage for sauerkraut, and vegetables for kimchi). Now fermented foods have made it into the nutrition spotlight.
There is research to support that fermented foods offer probiotic benefits which help our overall digestive health because they may positively influence the friendly bacteria in our gut. Fermented foods may make it easier to digest some foods. More research needs to be done to see if these foods can help those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and other digestive issues.
In the meantime, if you enjoy yogurt, sauerkraut, kimchi and other fermented foods, you may see more of these on restaurant menus. Watch also for a few new types of savory yogurts such as beet, tomato and butternut squash flavors emerging as trends.
Try kombucha tea which is a fermented beverage that is made from tea, a small amount of sugar, bacteria and yeast.
3. Tea & Matcha
The Tea Association of the US says tea is the most widely consumed beverage in the world next to water. Tea is emerging hotter than ever. Find it served hot, cold and infused into foods, cocktails and desserts.
The nutrition benefits of tea are widespread. Tea contains healthy components such as flavonoids which can be good for protecting our cardiovascular health and prevention of heart attacks, stroke and cancer.
Both green tea and black tea come from the same plant (Camellia sinensis) and contain similar amounts of antioxidants and minerals. While you may worry that tea contains too much caffeine, it is cup-for-cup, often half that of coffee.
Outside of brewing hot tea, consider a tea latte such as a London Fog, Chai tea or Vanilla Rooibos latte. Leave a large pitcher of brewed iced tea in the fridge (my favorite is pomegranate green tea served on ice). Try making a smoothie with chilled brewed tea, frozen berries, banana and yogurt.
Try a cup of matcha green tea which is a fine green tea powder with a strong earthy flavor with a frothy texture. Since matcha green tea is made from grinding the whole tea leaf it is more potent in flavor and antioxidants than regular green tea. If you don’t like matcha as a tea you can add the powder to smoothies or steamed milk to make a matcha green tea latte.