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Food Trends for 2018

It’s that time of year again!

What is the culinary world predicting as the food trends for 2018?  It can be overwhelming to sift through the trends to see what actually applies to the way we cook, so Donna and I have picked the top 10 trends we think will influence the way we approach cooking and eating this year. 

INSTAPOT

Instapot was one of the most instagrammed and snapchatted gift over the holidays.  Everyone was getting one and posting pics of the easy breezy meals they were creating.  There are a slew of amazing things about the instapot, but the best part is the pressure cooker setting which cooks meals faster and packs in more flavor than most other ways of cooking.  Pressure cooking used to be relegated to professional kitchens, but not anymore. Keep an eye out for this to be a dominant force in cooking for 2018.   

ROOT TO STEM EATING

I absolutely love this trend, especially with the continued movement towards less waste.  Reusable bags, less packaging and composting are all ways we cut down on the amount of waste, so why not use an entire vegetable?  Don’t discard the fronds of your carrots (fronds are those billowy green things on top), instead use them to make a pesto, chop them up for an herbaceous addition to salads and soups.  The stalks of broccoli and cauliflower are fabulous in soups (like this one), stews and roasted.  Have you ever had pickled watermelon rind? It adds just the right amount of acid to salads and sandwiches and would be perfect in this salad.

VEGGIES AS CARB SUBSTITUTES

This has been around for a couple of years, and continues to be a trend in 2018.  Looking to cut down on carbs, but still want that “carb” feeling?  Roast spaghetti squash and use in place of pasta (this is a great recipe), or use a food processor to transform cauliflower florets into “rice.” 

ORGANIC, SUSTAINABLE, NON-GMO PRODUCTS

I don’t think this trend is going anywhere which is great news.  As we continue to be more aware  how our food ends up in our grocery stores, restaurants and our own kitchens, this awareness continues to fuel a movement.  As consumers, we will continue to want to know where our food comes from, how it is grown and processed and how it arrives in our grocery stores and favorite restaurants.  

MORE POKE

Have you noticed the abundance of poke restaurants in your neighborhood?  They are all over mine and new ones continue to open seemingly every day.  Poke is marianated fish that is served with condiments of your choice to create a tasty, satisfying and budget friendly meal.  Think Chipotle, but Hawaiian style. 

POWDERED SUPER FOODS

These have been around for awhile, but are gaining popularity as we continue to focus on healthy eating.  You’ve probably heard of matcha powder, but now you’ll be seeing maca, cacao and even mushroom.  These powders will show up in smoothies, soups and even milkshakes and boost energy, help us sleep better and increase our mental focus.  

STREET FOOD INSPIRED DISHES

Have you ever been to Portland?  There is an entire section downtown that is nothing but row after row of food trucks.  There is everything from tacos to tempura, kabobs to cajun, and dumplings to donuts.  This year you’ll see more restaurant dishes inspired by street food which makes my stomach really happy! Want to try these dishes at home?  Click here, here and here

FLORAL FLAVORS

This may not be a trend for everyone, but you will also see dishes incorporate floral flavors like lavender and elderflower.  They lend a sweet, aromatic flavor to desserts, ice cream, syrups and even savory dishes. 

NEW VARIETIES OF MUSHROOMS

I love mushrooms.  Every type.  Every category.  So this news is incredibly exciting to me, because, in my world, there’s no such thing as too many mushrooms.  Am I right?

EXOTIC GRAINS

When quinoa first hit the scene, it was ground breaking, mostly because no one knew how to pronounce it.  Now farro and black rice enter the arena, along with amaranth, spelt and kamut.  These grains have been around for years, but will grow in popularity this year. 

What do you think of these trends?  Which ones have already appeared in your kitchen?  Are there other trends you’re looking forward to this year?

As always, creating recipes and menus with seasonal, organic and sustainable ingredients will be what we continue to focus on for 2018!

Happy New Year and Happy Cooking!

Lisa and Donna

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