2018 Predicted Food Trends to Explore
Let's give a drumroll for the emerging Superfoods of 2018 to include: turmeric, chia seeds, dates, maca powder, spirulina, nutritional yeast, cacao, and goji berries. I'm looking forward to new ways of incorporating these items into our meals, especially with the knowledge of their nutritional powers.
Riced Vegetables - for those opting for paleo, low-carb, or keto diets, vegetables now come transformed to resemble rice. This Hawaiian Fried Cauliflower "Rice" recipe creates a healthy alternative to fried rice.
Fresh Herb Seasoning Pastes - after searching high and low for lemongrass, I was delighted to find the fresh herb Thai seasoning paste as an alternative to the "real thing". These pastes have been around for quite some time but are now breaking into sought-after flavor combinations.
Korean BBQ and Korean Condiments - Have you tried Gochujang yet? It's a fermented Korean red chili paste that is taking the world by storm, similar to Sriracha sauce. We use it in a stir-fry with rice noodles, peppers, pork (or sausage), and it is divine! Kimchi, ganjang, doenjang are other flavors predicted to make an explosion in the coming year along with the premise of barbequing "Korean-style" around a table with friends.
International Fusion Flavored Healthy Snacks - Maybe I've been living under a brick for a while, but my local food stores have expanded their snack options. I was merely searching for dried fruits and stumbled upon this treasure-trove of international inspired healthy snacks. I was also delighted to see that my kids' favorite seaweed can now be found in individual pouches for packing lunches with ease. I loved the Go Raw - Zesty Pizza Sprouted Flax Snack and can't wait to try the others.
Middle Eastern Flavors - such as za'atar, harissa, Peri Peri, with spices ranging from cumin, curry, coriander and my favorite cardamon take the lead in International flavors. This recipe for Easy Harissa Chicken Dinner is a good place to start.
Bone Broth - yes, making our own bone broth is easy but if you are in a pinch and need broth, how wonderful to be able to grab a jar of Zoup's Bone Broth for recipes, and as the company touts - "good enough to drink".
Craft Soda - speaking of drinks, I'm thrilled that healthier options to soda, made with nothing artificial, are gaining in popularity with tantalizing flavors such as "fig elixir", "tarragon black cherry" and agave vanilla creme.
Meal Kits - a healthy alternative to expensive takeout and last-minute grocery trips. I waxed poetic about my love of Meal Kits in this post. Rumor has it that there will be more grocery store/meal kit partnerships in the new year!
Portable Proteins - I just spied portable protein packs in the refrigerator section at my local grocery store and was thrilled with the possibilities of powerful protein packed grab-and-go options. Meat, cheese, and vegetable packs; Buddha bowls with brown rice, vegetables, and protein; yogurt layered with fresh fruit and nutty granola; hard-boiled eggs with crackers; nut-butters with fruit. When we stayed at the hospital with our son for two weeks a few months back, I admired the hospital's selection of this type of round-the-clock protein options.
Appetizers to Go - While we are on the topic of portable proteins we have Perfect Pairings Appetizers to Go. How many times have you needed something like this gluten-free feta cheese slices with Mediterranean topping - all ready for crackers, vegetables, or bread slices? I'm keeping a stash handy for spontaneous entertaining this year!
Pho - I'll never forget driving through a suburb of Seattle with my young teens when they erupted into laughter while reading a restaurant sign entitled, "What the Pho"! We all laughed about that play on words for quite some time. Pho, although not new to the food scene, maybe more new to the home cook. Pho is a Vietnamese noodle soup with broth, rice noodles, herbs such as anise and cilantro, fish sauce and meat such as beef or chicken. I can't wait to try this simple Chicken Pho recipe with easy-to-find ingredients or this Authentic Pho recipe simmered for six to ten hours to create a rich base and healthy beef bone broth.
Sugar Alternatives such as honey, agave, coconut sugar, monk fruit and sweeteners from dates!
Mocktails - Non-alcoholic cocktails are emerging as a predicted beverage trend for the new year. Here are recipes for a non-alcoholic Apple Cider Sangria, Mock Mojitos, Faux Mimosas, and boozy-free Moscow Mules.
Restaurants designed for takeout and delivery. A new sushi shop opened here last month that caters to takeout and delivery.
Pork Belly - Speaking of restaurants, I'm personally obsessed with Pork Belly Fries (homemade shoestring fries, crispy Carlton Farms Pork Belly, Blue Cheese, and Truffle Salt) right now as tasted at Frankie's Restaurant in Albany, Oregon. The chef and owner, Cody Utzman, was a two-time champion of the Food Network show, "Chopped", and he starred on BBC America's Chef Race as well. His Devils on Horseback (Medjool Dates wrapped in Applewood Smoked Bacon), and Momma's Meatballs (made with veal, pork, beef, parmesan cheese and fennel seed, baked in Frankie's Tarragon Sauce) also knocked-my-socks-off! I was shocked to see that prepared Pork Belly can be found in the freezer section of many grocery stores (not mine yet).
Vegetable Noodles - I know these have been around for some time with the creation and ease of veggie spiralizers to transform vegetables into incredible noodles (perfect for paleo and gluten-free diets). This recipe for Chimichurri Noodles made from rutabaga with Grilled Flank Steak packs a flavorful punch.
Street Food-Inspired Dishes - One of my favorite meal kit recipes from Home Chef was the Mexican Street Corn Shrimp and Grits.
Thai-Rolled Ice Cream rolled into our region a few months ago and we are obsessed! It fascinates my kids, and I'm convinced that it is a healthier option because of the portions. Right?
Arepa (from the food trucks in Milan, street carts in Mexico) comes Venezuelan bread made with corn flour and stuffed with meats, cheeses, vegetable, eggs - you name it. It's coined the "new taco".
Gut-Friendly Menu Items and Medicinal Food Menu Items - Hallelujah on this upcoming food trend for my family! Kombucha, miso, kimchi, kefir, and yogurts may now be found on more restaurant menus.
Earl Gray Tea as a popular flavor - Hmm, imagine ice cream flavors, pastries, cookies, or donuts filled with Earl Gray cream.
Dragonfruit - why has this delicious fruit slipped under the radar for so long and just now making an appearance (in my local grocery store, at least)?
One-Pan/Sheet-Pan Meals - What busy cook doesn't love dirtying only one pan? I love recipes calling for meal preparation by offering roasted vegetables and meats all prepared on one sheet pan such as the Pampered Chef's Roasted Pork and Apple recipe. I fell in love with Blue Apron's recipe for roasted carrots prepared with just olive oil and garlic salt and roasted in a 450 F degree oven until caramelized. They are incredible over salad greens with feta cheese and a basic vinaigrette. Yum!
Instant Pot Meals - last year the Instant Pot emerged as the most searched for and purchased kitchen appliance for the holiday season. You know what that means? 2018 will follow as the year of the pressure cooked meals and recipes! I have devoted a Pinterest board to InstaPot recipes if you'd like a little inspiration. Just last night, the Hubs and Bella were making hard-boiled eggs in the InstaPot. The hard-boiled eggs turned out perfectly and were ready in minutes - something I have never mastered using the stovetop method.