The start of a new year always brings talk of trends. While there are plenty of worthy food trend lists, one that caught my eye is the National Restaurant Association list, which is created by polling 1,300 chefs. Who better to tell us what’s going to be “in” this year than the people who spend their lives dedicated to cooking? On the other hand, it’s people like you who make foods trendy by sharing recipes and pictures with your social communities, so I also turned to Pinterest to see which foods people are making a fuss about. While uncommon meat cuts (don’t worry, I’ll explain) are high on the list this year, I’m excited to see that vegetable-focused eating is trending!
National Restaurant Association Predictions
Trend 1: New Cuts of Meat – Chefs recognize you’re budget-conscious and are all about giving you the flavor you love in an inexpensive way. Enter “new” cuts of beef – in a movement to save money and reduce food waste, chefs are turning to Vegas strip steak and tender shoulder to serve up in their restaurants. My take – Try the new cuts, but remember to fill most of your plate with plant-based foods.
Trend 2: Street Food Inspired Dishes – What better way to enjoy a culture than by experiencing the food? Street foods showcase what the locals are eating. This trend means you’ll be seeing a more casual, friendly approach to global cuisines, which makes trying new foods and flavors more accessible. My take – Dive in to this trend, particularly when plant foods are the focus. It’s a great intro to herbs and spices you may not be accustomed to while tapping in to other cultures.
Trend 3: Healthful Kids’ Meals – As a mom, I don’t buy in to the concept of kid food. If we look to other cultures, kids are eating foods (such as spicy fare) that we Americans don’t typically expose our kids to at the get go. Still, I can’t help but be excited that chefs are starting to recognize the important role they play in nourishing kids. Instead of constantly offering fries with everything, chefs plan on including more veggies and fruits into meals, along with whole grains and lean proteins. My take – Finally! Though I still believe kids and adults can be eating off the same menu, I always support more fruits, veggies, and whole grains—especially in lieu of fries!
Trend 4: Housemade Charcuterie – You may have noticed this one already as many restaurants currently offer their in-house charcuterie plates. Processing the meat in-house is attractive to consumers as it implies less waste and (hopefully) fewer additives. My take – I’m all for less waste and I appreciate the flavorful punch these foods provide. Still, stick to sampling small portions as cured meats can be high in sodium and calories, and processed meats are linked to a higher risk of cancer.
Trend 5: Sustainable Seafood – The environment plays a big role in many trends this year and eco-friendly fishing is favored among chefs. This means sustainability and better fishing practices—things we all benefit from. My take – You can do your part with this trend. Read package labels and check out the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch before you purchase your fish.
Trend 6: Heirloom Fruits and Vegetables – Does your local burger joint boast about its heirloom tomatoes? That’s because people are increasingly interested in this type of information. We want to know more about our food and frankly, we deserve to know, don’t you think? My take: I love that these “antique” varieties are making their way to your table. Get a variety of nutrients and unique flavors from these fantastic plants.
Trend 1: Grain Bowls – People love grain bowls, otherwise known as Buddha bowls. Loaded with avocado, veggies and more veggies, these bowls are one of the more nutritious highly Pinned items. My take: This is another trend I can stand behind. Just watch portion size on this one as you can easily overdo it.
Pinterest Trend 2: Empanadas – Meat or veggie filled dough pockets, empanadas made the cut this year on Pinterest’s 2017 food trend list. My take: Enjoy in moderation as many empanadas are fried, which means unnecessary calories. Make them at home and fill them with veggies for a more nutritious option.
Pinterest Trend 3: Naan Pizza – Pizza lovers rejoice! You’ve got a new platform for pizza!. This flatbread makes a great base for all of your favorite toppings. My take: The convenience of naan pizza makes it a winner in my book but the key is to make sure you start with whole grain naan and load it with veggies.
Pinterest Trend 4: Sous Vide – Once a technique reserved only for chefs, sous vide cooking is becoming mainstream, according to Pinterest. My take: Sous vide can be a super nutritious way to cook foods, so if you’ve got the budget, why not try it?
Pinterest Trend 5: Veggie Chips – Move over potato chips, people are Pinning chips made from a wide variety of other vegetables. My take: Making your own vegetable chips is a fun way to get your whole family to enjoy more vegetables.
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