Look inside our crystal ball, er, crystal bowl – food trends in 2019

And just like that *snap!*, 2018 comes to an end.

As we ring in the new year, we thought we’d take a look in our “crystal ball” — or crystal bowl, in this case — for predictions the popular food trends in 2019:

Comfort and joy.  More people are turning to plant-based, lower-carb and even grain-free alternatives to traditional wheat flour to make their favorite dinner and dessert recipes. We’re seeing more recipes, and more pre-packaged options, for comfort foods made with these plant-based ingredients. Look for things like cauliflower-based “rice” and pizza crust, pasta made from chickpea flour, and so forth. A lot of these alternative ingredients are lower carb, higher in protein, or gluten- (or even grain-) free.

Healthier desserts. Along that same line of thinking, we see more widespread interest in making healthier desserts — something that AllSpice customers have already been doing for years!  Using olive oil in lieu of butter (as in these brownies), incorporating nuts-seeds into frosting, toppings and fillings; and using fresh or frozen fruits to add sweetness are increasingly popular

Global gourmets. Diners’ interests are diversifying, and cooks are looking beyond their usual flavor palettes for inspiration and variety. In the new year, African spices like Harissa, Moroccan Ras el Hanout, and Ethiopian/Eritrean Berbere spice blends gain in popularity, as will Israeli and other Middle-Eastern ingredients and cuisine (think of ingredients like tahini, labneh, and the Baharat and Za’atar spice blends ).

 

“ugly” eggplant – c/o Ugly Fruit and Veg Campaign http://www.endfoodwaste.org/ugly-fruit—veg.html

Hello to hemp.  In 2018, it became legal again to grow hemp in the US, and hemp-derived foods are trending. Hemp seeds can be processed into hemp oil (which is high in essential fatty acids and cholesterol-reducing sitosterol; hemp milk (which tastes great); protein powder, and even hemp flour (which is gluten-free and high in protein, amino acids, vitamins, and minerals).

Ugly food. The USDA estimates that 30 – 40% of the food supply in the US ends up being wasted, and fresh produce that is misshapen or “ugly,” or barely past its freshness prime ends up in the landfill. Many home cooks and enterprising chefs are reducing food waste by cooking creatively with “imperfect” produce,  whipping up homemade fruit jelly, jams and preserves, and by canning, freezing, or dehydrating goods that might otherwise go to waste.

Fermentation and fungi. The “good bacteria” in fermented foods promote gut health, and overall wellness. Fermented foods and probiotics like yogurt, kimchi, kombucha and other pickled dishes were popular in 2018 and look to be even more so in the coming year.

There are countless varieties of mushrooms, but many of us only know the few types that are commonly used in popular recipes (button mushrooms in Italian pastas and on pizzas, Portabellos used in vegetarian entrees). A huge number of different fungi have been used for centuries in traditional Chinese wellness practice, as well as in Asian cuisines. But western audiences are becoming more open to incorporating the broad, international range of mushrooms from around the world, in everything from delicious dinner recipes, to tonics, teas and even coffee! We have a lovely selection of dried mushrooms here at the shop.