Are you ready for a delicious journey in 2016? It’s that time of year again when food and nutrition trends are making headlines. We are getting predictions from all types of media – some experts – like me and some just interested in food! Identifying and sharing food trends continues to be an important and entertaining aspect of my business. Let’s explore my favourite food trends for 2016.

All Things Vegetables

Seaweed SaladSeaweed

I have been writing about seaweed since 2013. The first post was in my Grow with Nutrition blog, and then in Huffington Post. Originally a delicacy in many Asian countries, seaweed is gaining international popularity. Culinary trend experts are predicting seaweed is the new kale for 2016! Similar to other vegetables, research suggests seaweed has fibre, vitamins and minerals that benefit your overall health and wellbeing.

Entrées

In 2016, you’ll see more vegetables centre of the plate as main entrées. I have seen this trend coming over the last few years. In many home kitchens, I’ve witnessed health-conscious cooks embrace the trend of spiralizing (cutting vegetables into strings). This transforms your favourite vegetables (even the ugly ones) into pasta-like strips. Cooked and covered with a homemade sauce or marinated in a dressing, this technique puts veggies front and centre on the plate.

Ugly

Consumers are increasingly aware that imperfect-looking produce still tastes perfectly good. I blogged about Ugly Vegetables for my Huffington Post column a year ago, and food waste was all over the news in 2015. It’s predicted that this trend will continue into 2016 with consumers, restaurants and food companies “giving ugly a chance” and creating innovative ways to use rejected produce for new tasty menu options.

More Asian Cuisine

Papapya Salad with Pumpkin Seeds-1I predict after a few years of Korean food being the new Asian cuisine on the mainstream block, it’s time for Laotian and Filipino fare to become mainstream in many culinary diverse centres across Canada, USA and UK. I had the opportunity to eat at Khe-Yo in New York City late last year. New and delicious was the experience. I enjoyed sticky rice to start, papaya salad with pumpkin seeds and pork curry – less spicy than Thai and lighter than Indian. Keep an eye out for this trend and let me know if it’s happening in your neighbourhood!

Plants on Your Menu

Need For Seeds Book CoverPulses

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations General Assembly has declared 2016 the International Year of Pulses in recognition of their potential to improve diets and global food security. As part of the international marketing campaign, consumers are being urged to make meals and snacks with beans, lentils, chickpeas (also called garbanzo beans) and peas. I’ll be writing frequently about pulses this year.

In the summer of 2012, I was invited by Canadian Lentils to attend their Love Lentil Tour in Saskatchewan, this was the start of my pulse pledge to eat lentils at least twice a week. And try my recipe for cocoa lentil bars; they are a healthy, delicious swap for high calorie brownies!

Nuts

Over the past decade, with trends such as Meatless Monday, I’ve had more questions about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet. If you’re a vegetarian it is important to find plant sources that complement each other to provide complete proteins. This is done by eating multiple types of plant based foods each day, such as combining pulses and nuts and seeds. Last August, I was invited to join a sponsored event by the Almond Board of California to observe the Almond Harvest in the Central Valley of California. I was one of 24 food writers and dietitians invited on the Almond Orchard Experience to learn about almonds from farm to fork.

Seeds

Seeds are no longer the nutrition dark horses. These small but mighty seeds are the latest nourishing must-haves for your menu. Consumers, restaurants and food companies are exploring with chia, flax, hemp and pumpkin seeds. From decreasing inflammation to promoting heart health; their outstanding nutritional properties are just one of the reasons why seeds are trending this year. Don’t forget about the flavours and textures they add to your recipes too! In February, my new e-book The Need for Seeds will be available for sale and you’ll get more ideas and recipes to sow seeds into your menu.

Can’t get enough food trends for 2016? Stay tuned for Part Two
featuring more of my favourite food trends.

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