People are not only getting more health-conscious; this year, consumers began to choose foods that were more environmentally sustainable. In 2018, we expect this trend to continue even further. Today, there are more healthy food alternatives than ever, with lots of healthy vegan and vegetarian dishes, alcohol-free drinks, and superfoods and supplements. There has also been a trend of Middle Eastern spices and dishes becoming more widespread. Here are the trendy health foods that may end up on your table in 2018!
Several respectable food columnists predict 2018 as the year that alcohol-free drinks will be all the hype. Health-conscious millennials are much less into drinking booze, and this will be echoed across bars, restaurants, and in your local supermarket. Expect a wider variety of mock sangrias, mock mojitos, and other non-alcoholic drinks being served with various flavours of sparkling water.
Air-fryers are becoming increasingly popular. Food experts predict that 2018 will be the year they hit their stride. These nifty kitchen appliances work by circulating hot air around food at high speed to make them crispy using what’s called the Maillard effect. Unlike a deep fryer where foods are completely submerged in oil, air fryers only need a thin coat of oil for your chicken, potatoes, or pastries to get the frying action going! Of course, needing less oil means that your dishes will also be a lot healthier!
So throw out those cans of canola oil; Air-fried chicken wings and french fries will be what everyone desires in 2018!
Star chefs in the UK and other European countries have done it for some time already. They prepare dishes exclusively using hyper-local ingredients often sourced from the same town. This trend is expected to continue into 2018 with more restaurants and chefs wanting to provide a sense of extreme localism with their creations.
Renowned British sous chefs and several large food grocers in Europe are predicting the timut pepper to become a big trend in 2018. This pepper from Nepal isn’t just zesty and spicy, but has an unique grapefruity taste to it. It has just the right heat to give a nice tingly sensation, without going all-out on the Scoville scale. Timut pepper is perfect for seafood, chicken, green vegetables, or boiled potatoes with buttery sauce. It also goes well with sweet dishes like chocolate desserts, fruits, and jams.
Meat proteins are out and plant proteins are in! This is good news for vegans and those who simply want to cut-back on their meat intake. Black beans, lentils, seitan, tofu, and quinoa provide plenty of protein and offer a healthy alternative to meat-based proteins. With this trend, you can also expect vegetarian Indian cuisine to see a rise in popularity.
Whole Foods, the largest health food chain in the US, says that superfoods will become even more popular in 2018. Remember the maca and spirulina craze from not that long ago? There will be more of these types of superfoods available, and most of them in powder form. Health-conscious folks can simply add these nutrient-packed super-powders to all sorts of dishes, shakes, and beverages to enhance them. Very simple and very effective!
It doesn’t sound right, but tacos are coming out of their shell in 2018. Rather than the tasty street food that the taco is known for, we’re expecting it to evolve into all sorts of fancy dishes. But not just that; expect more healthy leafy greens and seaweeds being served with them as well. With the taco seeing this change, the tortilla will also evolve. There is an increasing demand for tortillas made from heirloom corns, rather than mass-produced varieties.
Hummus and falafel are already quite popular, and not just among vegans. But in 2018, we expect even more Middle Eastern dishes coming to the table. Food experts suggest more regional Middle Eastern dishes will be served in many places, particularly dishes from Israel, Persia, Morocco, Syria, and Lebanon. With this, you can also expect ingredients like za’atar, tahini, and dried fruits to become popular; the same can be said of North African flavours like cumin, coriander, and cardamom making their way into everyday dishes.
Whole Foods also predicts that floral flavours will be en vogue in the coming year. Many chefs and food companies will be adding flowers to their dishes, and in 2018, this won’t just be for decoration. Get ready for lavender lattes and shakes, but also new types of teas with flavours of violet, rose, hibiscus, and elderflower. Some food columnists predict flowers coming to many foods and snacks, so you can expect some pretty interesting flavour combinations in 2018!