Grain bowls for breakfast; vegetables as restaurant entrees; and lots more pasta and pulses are among the predicted food trends for the coming year.
“CBC food writer Julie Van Rosendaal believes that grain bowls for breakfast are returning,” said Rosalie Cunningham, a researcher with Alberta Agriculture. “Recent years have seen an increase in one-bowl meals with many ingredients mashed together for lunch and supper. This trend is now impacting breakfast with old-fashioned oatmeal and porridge, with the addition of either savoury or sweet ingredients, making a comeback.
“Another trend Van Rosendaal sees is vegetables as the main course in restaurants, or ‘veggie forward restaurants’ as she calls them. Van Rosendaal highlighted some of the brassica family as trending — kale, broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower.”
Root vegetables could also benefit from this trend, said Cunningham.
“Some U.S. restaurants are also offering a selection of tasty plates of cooked vegetables (carrots, beets and mushrooms) as the entree.”
Pulses like lentils, chickpeas, and beans continue to make inroads, said Cunningham.
“They offer an affordable, accessible source of protein and other essential nutrients. People are beginning to realize that soaking them overnight can be rewarding. It may also be a trend that is reaping the benefits of consumers embracing Middle Eastern cuisine.”
Consumer Reports predicts bean pasta will catch on.
“Making noodles out of beans increases the proteins yet reduced the refined carbohydrates,” said Cunningham. “Supermarket guru Phil Lempert predicts that enhanced foods is a trend to watch beyond just increasing protein. Enhancing food with additional protein has been seen to increase food categories that were on the decline like frozen appetizers. But Mr. Lempert sees not only protein but also beets, botanicals, and butter as things that can be used to enhance food.” Fermented foods such as kefir, kimchi, and sauerkraut, as well as yogurt, are seen as trending in 2017, she said.
“Fermented foods promote better gut flora. Consumer Reports goes a bit further with a forecasted trend about yogurt. Savoury, as opposed to sweet yogurts, are seeing an increase. Adding cucumbers, tomatoes and some spices to plain yogurt contributes to the daily calcium intake with less sugar than a fruit-filled one.”
These are only a tip of the iceberg for the 2017 forecasts, said Cunningham.
“My favourite trend comes from Consumer Reports and that is the introduction of chocolate at breakfast. Some studies have shown chocolate eaten at least once a week is seen to increase one’s memory. I definitely will be adding some dark chocolate chips to my yogurt-covered oatmeal as a 2017 resolution.”