As a self-confessed foodie it is (although slightly embarrassingly so), fair to say that food-associated thoughts inhabit my mind a little too frequently. I love trying out new food trends to see whether they are truly worth the hype.
I’m still not the person to photograph my food in a restaurant – that, I am proud of. Nonetheless, uploading a perfectly-filtered photograph of food to Instagram is now the social norm. Social media has quickly become a huge influence to trends . Think about it – avocado toast, Starbucks frappuccino’s – what made them both exceedingly popular amongst the masses? Social media. Each post and matching hashtag. Millions of them, every day.
Surely some of you are over the avocado mania! So, let me introduce you to five of the most utterly Instagrammable food trends of the future. Well, spring. I’ve also added in a drink trend that makes a healthy alternative.
Food Trends #1: Steel Cut Oats
To many, the idea of having porridge for breakfast is far from thrilling. However, with steel cut oats making a popular return this Spring, perhaps your Weetabix will have some new competition! Just go onto Instagram or search for “What I Eat in a Day” on YouTube and you’ll understand the hype.
Nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman from the Swedish health app LifeSum states, “Oats is filling and energy-boosting, offering an ideal blank breakfast canvas”. They would make a brilliant breakfast before work or school and are perfect for freezing cold mornings. Top your warm oats with berries, nuts and flaxseed for a healthier breakfast. If you’ve got a sweet-tooth, add in some raw dark chocolate or maple syrup to make your porridge even sweeter!
Steel cut oats are high in Vitamin B and E which are antioxidant-rich and support healthy cell function. As they are also high in fibre, they assist in controlling blood sugar levels and lessening Cholesterol absorption too.
Food Trends #2: Middle Eastern Cuisine
Expect to see more spices, condiments, dips, flatbreads, salads and well-known cultural dishes hit supermarket shelves and restaurant menus. Trending ingredients will include parsley, cucumber, tahini, aubergine, hummus and falafel.
Consumers will have the opportunity to taste bold, authentic flavours and traditional delicacies. The most popular cultural food we will see include dishes from Israel and Morocco.
The advantage of Middle Eastern food is its focus on whole foods. In countless dishes, there are healthy fats and proteins, whole-grains, legumes, fruits and vegetables. These are important to consume daily because they provide your body with vital nutrients to keep you healthy. So, whilst tucking into a Middle Eastern feast of tempting flavours, you’ll know that your body will consequently benefit!
Food Trends #3: Plant Based Goodness
In 2017, there were some fantastic plant-based developments within the food industry. Major supermarkets have created their own vegan food ranges and chefs, such as Ella Mills, have come out with numerous plant-based cookbooks. The vegan uprising doesn’t stop there. Respected brands have branched out and made delicious plant-based alternatives including Ben and Jerry’s vegan ice-cream. Vegan menus are the norm at thousands of restaurants worldwide. It’s safe to expect this to be one of the big food trends in 2018.
Incredible for raising awareness of animal rights and the environment, plant-based food is wonderful for our health too. Excluding all animal products from your diet means the elimination of all dietary cholesterol from your body. Plant-based diets drastically aid in preventing diseases such as cardiovascular disease, osteoporosis, cataracts and arthritis’s. Also, they help prevent type 2 diabetes and many forms of cancer.
Nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman from LifeSum says, “No longer the ‘weird’ dinner mate, vegans and vegetarians have been fully accepted into the food scene. Chefs known for their meat dishes are looking for a new challenge. Diving into the world of plant-based dishes and meat alternatives”.
So, next time your dining out, why not go to a restaurant offering a Vegan menu. Some of my personal favourites to visit are Zizzi, Roka and Wagamama.
Food Trends #4: Korean Cuisine
In recent years, Japanese and Asian cuisines have become increasingly popular worldwide. Now, there’s new food trends in town, one being Korean cuisine. Due to publicised information regarding the health benefits of fermented food, Korean cuisine has rapidly grown in popularity.
The more well-known fermented foods include Kimchi and Sauerkraut, which are made from fermented cabbage. They both help to contribute towards colon health, weight loss, glowing skin and low cholesterol. More so, Tempeh (a plant-based meat substitute) is a good source of probiotic bacteria and is high in calcium, magnesium and iron.
Food trends that are tasty and nutritious; what’s not to like?
Nutritionist Frida Harju-Westman from LifeSum states, “Restaurants will be reinventing old classics with a Korean-inspired twist. It will be perfect for anyone looking to upgrade from the weekly Pad Thai takeout”. So, go ahead and try some Korean food for yourself to see what the hype is about. Don’t forget to order a glass of Kombucha whilst you dine Korean-style, you won’t regret it!
Food Trends #5: Superfood Powders
Currently, one of the leading food trends of the health food industry, superfood powders are sticking around this spring. Find them making their way into smoothies, soups, coffees, health food bars, baked goods and even porridge.
You may wonder, “What super powder is right for me?” Let me give you the low-down on some of the most popular ones.
The Queen of superfood powders is Matcha. You’ll find Matcha in hot drinks – mainly tea and lattés – and smoothies. Matcha helps to boost your metabolism and is full of fibre. It is packed with antioxidants, such as Epigallocatechin Gallate (EGCG), which aids in fighting Cancer, Viruses and Heart Disease. Matcha has been scientifically proven to relaxation and rid of tension in the body.
The second superfood powder and one of the sweetest – therefore my favourite – is cacao. Don’t confuse it with cocoa. Add Cacao to your favourite brownie mix or hot chocolate. This chocolatey powder is Magnesium-rich which aids with heart and brain health. It is high in Iron and has more calcium than cow’s milk. Also, cacao has 40 times the number of antioxidants than in blueberries.
Lastly, there is turmeric. Whizz into soups, add to curries and coffees; this superfood powder is trending like no other. Turmeric is high in antioxidants and aids in fighting inflammation. Due to it containing a small percentage of curcumin, turmeric can be beneficial for weight loss too.
Drink Trends #1: Non-Alcoholic Cocktails
There is something so blissful about drinking a cocktail on a spring day with friends. So, what would you think to the exact same drink, minus the awful hangover that follows? Impossible? Not anymore. This is because Mocktails – the alcohol-free cocktail – are going to make their way onto drinks menus very soon.
It is one of the trends that is perfect for the health-conscious and those looking to get Summer ready. Don’t worry, mocktails will still have the same interesting flavours and blends as cocktails. You’ll have a guilt-free drink to awaken your taste-buds, and you’ll be without the hideous headache that hits you as you stumble out of the bar either.
They are much healthier than your average alcoholic beverage, so why not try out the upcoming trend. You could even create your own Mocktail with your friends. You’d be helping your bank account too as alcoholic drinks can be quite expensive nowadays! Most of all, switching to non-alcoholic, even just every so often, will keep your mind, body and purse healthier and happier.