We are back, this is a new year, and it comes with new food trends! You will likely see some similarities to last year, as trends aren’t always a one hit wonder. For 2022 we are practicing resilience and keeping our kitchens practical as we head into junior year of the pandemic. Let’s get this ball rolling shall we....
Our top 6 food trends of 2022 are:
Alcohol free cocktails- I know I said food, but let's not forget about bevies my friends. The pageantry of a good cocktail is the fun part, the stylish glass, a whimsical garnish and the special ingredients like homemade syrups infused with herbs and fresh squeezed juices and fresh herbs, can really make your experience a fabulous one. I once had a client tell me that making special ingredients for mocktails was a fun hobby. The act of experimenting behind the bar can be like cooking, sparking those creative juices. Give this one a try.
Ingredients (Makes 1)
Directions: In a cocktail shaker, muddle (mash) lime segments, mint and cucumber wheels with simple syrup.
Next, add lime juice, cold water, and ice. Shake hard with ice and pour the entire contents into a fun glass.
Garnish with cucumber wheels, and mint.
PRO TIP: Don’t have a cocktail shaker? Use a mason jar with a cover instead.
Sustainable Food Practices- The art of staying local and regional. This is a specific take on food procurement. It reminds us to shop locally, when possible, to buy food that is in season and to celebrate what is close to home. This likely includes embracing your culture, especially if you live near those sacred lands, as cultural practices around food are often born out of what is accessible and practical now. Some examples here in Arizona include-- frequenting the local farmers' markets, seeing what is available from Campus Pantry and letting fruits, vegetables, and beans/legumes be the stars of your plates!
Preserved ingredients – Supply chain limitations have shown our food systems’ vulnerability and it has also paved the way for timeless techniques to take center stage. These techniques include brining, canning, and fermenting, all ways to make what we’ve got go a little further. In addition to sustainability, eating fermented foods can also improve your gut health. Feeding your gut bacteria, which is composed of trillions of microorganisms (little bugs) that make up what is called gut microbiome, help keep your GI tract healthy. Adding some pickled vegetables to your rice bowl can be a fun way to embrace this trend. Quick pickled items are a quick and easy way to make your veg go a little further. Plus, pickled onions on tacos are everything. #popularopinio
Seeds- Plant-based nutrition is a trend that keeps on giving. It will continue to be a focus this year, and seeds are getting a highlight. These plant-based lovelies are all the rage and an easy addition to a snack or meal. Sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flaxseeds, all great plant-based ways to get some variety in your fat and protein needs. Fun ways to add seeds to your dish include adding chia seeds to your peanut butter toast, sprinkling pumpkin seed atop a smoothie or your grain/veggie bowl, or even as part of your granola or cereal break in the day. Sunflower butter is also a fun alternative to nut butter and can be a great dip for fruit or as a sandwich spread.
Potato Milk- Milk alternatives are nothing new. 2021 was the year of oat-milk for example. Non-dairy tuber-based beverages are gaining popularity. While it is not yet available in the US it is rumored to be offered in the UK and is a vegan favorite in other parts of the world. If you are feeling crafty, interested in trying this trend out, and you have a blender, it can easily be made a home. You can make it with either white potatoes or sweet potatoes. Here is a how-to recipe for potato milk if you are curious.
Comfort food is here to stay- Finally, I am rounding this out with comfort. A warm hug if you will. Simple comforting meals that evoke contentment in these times of chaos. These dishes nourish both our bodies and our souls and that will continue to be important as we have gained new perspectives. What is comfort to one is different from the other, but carbs are usually at play, potatoes, rice, pasta and other nourishing ingredients that satisfy and are often available to us. Remember we eat for more than just fuel and this is a great example.
The idea that food is interesting is not anything new. So, here’s to open minds and full bellies in 2022. Cheers to a New Year Wildcats.