Every New Year brings new food and restaurant trends. 2016 is no different, with fresh, healthy dishes bursting with Pacific and Asian influences. Therefore, be prepared to take advantage of these hot new flavors while you adopt a new standard of nutritious eating:
If you haven’t heard of it, poke is a traditional Hawaiian salad that consists of raw fish, seasonings, sauce, fruit, and vegetables. Popular on the west coast, poke will be making its way across the country in 2016. Many restaurants give patrons the ability to create their own poke bowls using fresh ingredients. Customers can choose from ingredients such as spicy salmon and chile tofu. Combined with salad or rice and dressed with toppings such as mango or avocado, this alternative to sushi has remarkable flavor.
Back to Bread
Now that the no-carb Atkins craze is over, the triumphant return of bread is upon us. If you are a bread lover, it’s time to celebrate. Authentic items such as toasts, bagels, and flatbreads will feature ancient grains and wholesome ingredients.
Hot Ice Creams
Though vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry aren’t going away, artisan ice cream makers are adding new twists to this creamy indulgence. New flavors have generated loyal followings, with unique flavors such as salted caramel bacon butter, cheddar whipped cream, and egg yolk custard. Some ice cream makers have redefined the ice cream making process. In Taiwan, shaved snow cream has become a new trend.
Are you tired of kale? If so, seaweed is at your service! This leafy vegetable is nutritious, environmentally friendly, and abundant. It’s packed with fiber, antioxidants, and iodine. Packaged seaweed strips are a delicious snack.
If you haven’t heard of it, ube is a purple yam from the Philippines. Its shocking violet color can be found in donuts, ice cream, and cheesecake. Given the rising popularity of Filipino cuisine, don’t be surprised to see ube on a menu near you.
There is no doubt about the health benefits of eating (and drinking) fermented foods. As a result, people will be enjoying everything from artisan pickles to kimchi. The acidic flavor adds a unique dimension to sandwiches and savory dishes. The healthy bacteria that is produced by the fermentation process produces the pungent flavor. Also, it is good for your gut.
With consumers demanding healthy dishes without hormones or artificial ingredients, fast food establishments are making their offerings more natural and nutritious. Companies such as Panera Bread promised to remove all artificial ingredients from their menus by the end of 2016. Watch for other restaurant chains to follow suit, and keep an eye out for some new entrants to the marketplace.
Vegetables continue to become more mainstream, so chefs are working to make them more prominent in their menus. Though meat isn’t going away for good, don’t be surprised to see it featured as a side dish in some trendy establishments.
Ketchup, mustard, and mayonnaise are part of a bygone era. Today, the spices and sauces of Africa, Asia, and the Middle East are taking center stage. These hot and spicy condiments will perk up any snack or entrée in a flash. If you love spices, 2016 promises to be a big year!
Healthy Trends in the Food Industry
This year’s healthy trends don’t focus solely on food. Here’s what’s new in the restaurant world:
Back to Basics
The move to eat healthy foods that are produced using environmentally friendly methods continues. For a glimpse of something new, visit the Facebook Hampton Creek page, where you will find information on their “Just” products.
Don’t be surprised if your favorite new restaurant isn’t around for very long. Chefs are using pop-up restaurants to showcase their skills for a short period of time. It’s an ideal way for them to get people excited about their work without the overhead and commitment of a long-term establishment.
Many cities have these upscale markets and food courts, where patrons can dine on gourmet food in a casual setting. Plans are in place for more of these establishments to open this year. The trend is taking off!
Many chefs have embraced this cause. Now they are expanding their reach into ugly foods and making an effort to reinvent leftovers. Look for menus that use ingredients that are usually discarded, such as misshapen pasta and vegetable pulp.
In 2015, Danny Meyer, the founder of Shake Shack, started the no-tip movement when he eliminated gratuities in his New York restaurants. Meyer’s strategy has begun to take hold across the country. Though menu prices will rise, wages in the food industry will follow suit.
2016 is an exciting year to eat well and enjoy a healthy lifestyle. Though food trends come and go, there are many new concepts that have the potential to become part of everyone’s resolution to embark on a more wholesome way of life.