If there is one culinary trend that is defining current and future predicted trends, it can be summed up in the word ‘healthy.’ The most recent Uber Eats survey, which defines the hottest movements in food, has listed an array of new influences, a vast majority of which put health at the forefront. From plant-based diets to collagen powders and Reishi mushrooms, food that feeds body, mind and soul is being embraced with zeal – not just in America, but in the rest of the world as well. If you wish to up the nutritional factor in your home cooking this year, why not try out one or more of the following tips?
Using Healthy Fats
If the previous decade taught budding chefs one thing, it’s that fat in itself is not unhealthy. In fact, health professionals across the globe are touting the utility of the Mediterranean diet, which is built around lean protein sources, pulses, nuts, and of course, healthy Omega-3-rich essential fatty acids. Good fats can be sourced from wild salmon and other fatty fish, flaxseed and cold-pressed extra-virgin oil (to name just a few products). Technique is key when it comes to making the most of healthy fats. That is, even if olive oil is healthy, you should use it in moderation, opting for grilling or pan frying as a healthy alternative to deep frying. Use a moderate amount of clean oil every time, opt for a cast iron or stainless steel pan, and keep the temperature at 325F for uniform cooking.
Embracing Plant-Based Foods
Plant-based, vegan and vegetarian foods will be big in 2020, with everything from ‘bleeding’ Impossible Burgers to vegan sautée dishes offered at popular restaurants. It is increasingly easy to recreate these foods at home, with vegan burgers and Asian ingredients available at whole foods and Asian markets and supermarkets. Even if you aren’t ready to take the vegan leap, you might decide to celebrate Meatless Mondays or simply enjoy more plant-based foods. If you do, your gut health will thank you for it – healthy gut microbiota thrive on fiber-rich foods, and this in turn means better physical and mental health.
Superfoods That Boost The Immunity
Superfoods are those which are high in antioxidants, phytochemicals, and/or immune-boosting properties. Just a few you can add to your favorite recipes include Reishi mushrooms (serve in tea form alongside an earthy vegetable-based salad), Brussels sprouts (an old classic which is nevertheless back big time, owing to its optimal nutritional quotient), and kale (pop it in the oven with a sprinkle of olive oil and sea salt for a healthy snack). Kale, alongside cabbage and farro, are a key part of the health and wellness craze that Market Watch predicts will be big in upcoming years.
Anyone going vegan in the 1970s or 1980s knows that it was close to impossible to recreate revered comfort foods like pizza and many pasta dishes owing to the relatively small number of ingredients available. Today, everything from cauliflower crust pizza to spiralled zucchini spaghetti is making its way onto everyday dining tables, and many of these foods can actually be made from scratch. Raw food and desserts are also increasingly being embraced. For a knockout dessert, just slice an apple into super-fine slivers, serve over a crust made from blended Medjool dates and nuts, and top with a simple syrup made by blending a little orange juice and Medjool dates until you obtain a silky ‘syrup.’
These are just a few hot trends, many of which are centered around their health value. From vegan burgers to simple veggie woks, these trends can, in the most part, be recreated at home. If you wish to hop on the health train, remember that technique is as important as ingredients. Use a moderate amount of healthy fat to cook, and don’t raise the temperature too high.