Top Food Trends for 2016

3 Feb

It’s February! Already! January seems to have whizzed by and we’re now well and truly settled into 2016. With that in mind, we thought we’d take a look at the food trends predicted to be big this year – of course, everyone has a different opinion so there are hundreds of potential trends out there, but knowing how busy life gets we’ve done the hard work for you (aren’t we lovely?) and produced an edited list of the ones that kept cropping up again and again:

Vegetables take centre stage

Vegetables have been increasingly becoming a bigger deal for a while now but by the looks of things, 2016 is really going to be their big year. American chef Matthew Kenney is set to open up a new restaurant in the East Village, New York;  00 + Co, serving vegan pizza and small plates whilst his new Miami branch of Plant Food and Wine, a luxurious predominantly raw food restaurant is also tipped to be opening early this year. In an interview with Vogue he says:

“I think with plant-based eating, the biggest area of progress over the past few years is that it really is plant-based eating. It’s not about fake meats and vegetables trying to disguise themselves as meat. It’s about celebrating the plant. Look at kale: It was used to garnish the salad bar in a steak house. Now it’s tremendously valuable”

But carnivores, fear not! Not everyone who’s embracing the trend is going completely meat-free, it’s more about building a dish around the vegetables to really let them shine rather than relegating them to a supporting role. Take a look at Grain Store, chef Bruno Loubet’s King’s Cross establishment, where the menu contains dishes such as ‘Roast garlic and potato skordolia, semi-dried tomatoes, olives, seaweed pressed lamb shoulder’ Loubet was well ahead of the curve, opening Grain Store in 2013 – the meat’s still there, it just doesn’t get to hog the limelight anymore!

 

 

Low waste cooking

Hand in hand with the focus shift towards vegetables, the desire for waste reduction in the kitchen continues to be on people’s minds. ‘Roots to Stem dining’ aims to make use of the entire vegetable so that nothing…..or at least, very little, is thrown away. This idea isn’t really anything new (in fact it’s probably been around as long as vegetables!) but we do seem to be seeing it becoming more prominent, even in fine dining where there is emphasis on the visual appeal of the dish as well as the taste. If it brings down waste and cost in what was heading towards a disposable society then who are we to argue? And think of the added flavour you get from the results – skin-on chips anyone?! If you fancy giving this a go at home, there are blogs and websites out there from people who have been into root-to-stem cooking for a while, for example, One Green Planet has some nice ideas on how to use parts of common veg that often get overlooked and thrown away, including a recipe for roasted buffalo cauliflower bites.

 

seaweed-superfoods

Seaweed

Again, another trend that we’ve seen the beginning of in previous years that looks to really hit the big time now. Seaweed is nutrient rich, sustainable and easy to grow. In fact, there are a fair few people out there touting it as ‘the new kale’. Jamie Oliver is a huge advocate, crediting his weight loss last year, at least in part, to the new ‘superfood’.  In an interview with the Radio Times he recommends ‘losing it’ in a minestrone because “that stuff is really, really good for you” – a good idea if perhaps you’re not yet entirely sold on the tastiness of seaweed. There’s also a recipe on his website for Japanese grilled salmon and seaweed salad perfect of you’re ready to jump straight in. Check out Food Matters where they have a page on ‘seaweed superfoods’ including info on nutritional benefits and recommendations on which seaweeds to eat!

All of  which leads us nicely to……….

 

mozarella and peach salad (2)

Bowl Food

Ok, so maybe the link isn’t entirely obvious, but bear with me!

Bowl food is undoubtedly ‘having a moment’ and the inspiration seems to be flowing from both Poke (traditionally a raw fish salad from Hawaii but anything cubed/diced and served with one of the common sauces can be included – the name Poke being the Hawaiian word for ‘to section’) and Japanese Ramen (and there’s the link I promised!) which are also both enjoying a current spike in popularity. Eating from a bowl can help to manage portion size (assuming you have the right sized bowl to start with I imagine….) and with the influence stemming from ramen with its healthy and tasty mix of ingredients and food groups, bowl foods in general are leaning towards the healthy side of eating whilst still being chock full of flavour.

 

Soup 1

Soup

‘Souping is the new juicing’ – at least according to a conversation I overheard on the tube the other day and, after a bit of research, it seems to be true! We all know that soup is a great meal – filling, easy to make and especially comforting in the depths of winter or a particularly rainy day, but now it seems set to become a health fad all of its own – albeit one that deserves more than a passing glance. The established craze for juicing seems to be losing its shine a little bit and soup is becoming the way to detox instead – do remember to keep it fresh and light though, anything that has the word ‘cream’ in it isn’t going to help you on the health front! (Although it probably will be really delicious!)

 

Fats are back

Did they ever go away?

Well, obviously not really……..they did get a bit of a bad reputation though and that lead to people avoiding them all together. Now, however, the consensus seems to be that it’s not necessarily the amount of fats that we’re eating, but more the type. For help with recognising healthy fats, try Cooking Light who have a guide to healthy fats and some recipe suggestions (including a delicious sounding avocado-tomatillo dip) Although this has been accepted amongst nutritionists for a while, it seems some people still aren’t buying it, but this year the food industry is buzzing with the news so maybe 2016 will be the year that healthy fats are back on every menu….and to celebrate, you’ll find me in a café tucking in to some avocado on toast…………….and maybe some bacon too…………………hey, you can’t be good all of the time!

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