As I was reading up on & researching the food trends for this year, I wasn’t exactly shocked that the world is going back to basics. Healthy, natural, seasonal food. Something that can actually be controlled & helps simplify life.
The last few years have seen food trends like cronuts, Unicorn food, cruffins (muffin made of croissant dough) & OTT milkshakes – which I find really gross by the way. Popcorn, craft beers & Gin also had serious moments. Whilst all of this deliciousness is not completely passé, there has been a clear shift towards less food waste & healthier eating since 2017.
Bakeries & McDonald’s will probably not go out of business anytime soon, but we’re certainly moving towards a more health-conscious society. These days it is not a question of ‘if’ you are eating fruit, veg & super ingredients, but rather ‘how’.
Here are the top food trends for 2018 (in my opinion). Watch out for these at restaurants, in cookbooks & in kitchens.
Raw & Fresh To The Next Level
Poke bowls – which is essentially deconstructed sushi in a bowl – will continue to rise in popularity.
Juicing is still popular, but as the seasons change, souping will take its place.
Snacky foods are also getting a proper healthy makeover with fewer ingredients & no added junk.
According to Unilever Food Solutions, we will see a rise in flexitarianism which means following a plant-based diet but occasionally eat meat too.
In China, the focus on ‘fresh’ is so real that living/live (!) fresh fish gets delivered to homes. (Ref: TED Talk)
‘Free-from’ Takes Centre Stage (or table?)
In the past, having friends or family over with special diets was a headache for a keen cook. Luckily products free of meat, gluten, dairy, animal products, wheat and/or sugar are now tastier & available in so many places. Those with a sweet tooth can indulge in ice-creams & sweet treats without worrying about the negative effects on their bodies. Plant milk is no longer regarded as weird. And then there’s ghee (a lactose-free alternative to butter).
Alcohol-free will also become more & more popular, so start dreaming up delicious mocktails.
I’ll draw the line at meat-free biltong though…
Being on trend has never been prettier. According to Forbes.com using edible flowers provides something for the eye & ultimately creates a more holistic culinary experience.
The sky is the limit here with anything from garnish to delicious savoury & sweet dishes with flavours like orchid, elderflower, orange blossom & lavender.
By now we all know that a healthy gut is key to overall wellbeing. Enter fermented foods. Miso, Kefir, yoghurt, sauerkraut, Kimchi & Kombucha.
More & more of my friends are making their own fermented drinks. And hopefully, soon I’ll get organised enough to also make some kombucha. These ladies are not health nuts. They just see amazing results. One friend suffered from extreme constipation, but since making & drinking her own Kombucha, she is totally sorted in that department. Another interesting bit is that a friend with an autistic son can see real improvement in his behaviour when he has kefir (which she whizzes into a special smoothie for him) on a regular basis.
Spices & Flavours From Around The World
One way to add flavour without adding kilojoules is by using herbs, spices & healthy condiments. Think of Mexican flavours like paprika, chilli, coriander, lemon & avo. Or Thai cuisine with lemongrass, limes, chilli & fish sauce.
North African spices are also gaining popularity along with Korean food & condiments like gochujang (red chilli paste) & soy sauce.
Spicing things up doesn’t stop with food though. Don’t be surprised if you find superfood ingredients & spices in your coffee when you are out at a coffee place. Or add cinnamon, orange zest, star anise & cloves to your morning cuppa for an extra healthy kick!
Mmm… my mouth is now literally watering, so I need to find something to eat.
Thank you for reading. Bye.
Additional Sources: ITS; Buzzfeed.com; Images: Peaches – Jasmine Star, lollipops with edible flowers, poke bowl.