Are you so over using cauliflower as a substitute for everything? Have you downed your last kale salad? Here’s a look at the newest summer food trends. We hope you try a few soon.
Hyper-fresh / Hyper-local
Look for restaurants to grow their own food. Quite a few chefs are growing their food either on nearby farms or the roofs of their restaurants. This way, chefs can control their guests’ dining experience and guarantee they are using only the best ingredients.
A quick glance through your local adult education center catalog will reveal chefs sharing recipes as a dining experience. Students will have the opportunity to learn cooking skills and tips while preparing a delicious meal. Usually held on quiet restaurant nights (think Mondays), it’s an opportunity for chefs to build loyal clientele and educate foodies.
Pickling and fermenting are big, and you’ll see everything (even kale) fermented and served as a garnish or side dish. Many chefs do the work on premises (again, to control the flavors of their dishes. Americans aren’t used to fermented foods so be brave and sample, you might just like it.
Farmers markets continue to grow
The USDA tracks 8,268 farmers markets in the U.S. While the number of markets appears to be leveling off, their size and product offerings will continue to grow as farmers begin offering locally processed foods (think chicken pot pies and gourmet pasta sauces). It can be easy to buy too much, but there are some frugal farmers market tips you can use to stay on budget.
Many restaurants recognize changing dietary needs and gluten-free is a big request from diners. Chefs will accommodate guests by holding the breadbasket and expanding menu options with more gluten-free fare.
At the same time, chefs are looking to reinvigorate wheat choices by using heritage grains and old-world cooking techniques. Flour may be ground on site instead of purchased already processed to keep the flavors fresh. Also, some foodies say heritage varieties of grain don’t have the same effects as modern strains.
Healthy kids meals
Parents will frequently make healthy choices while their kids dine on hot dogs and French fries for dinner. The newest trend, likely started by McDonald’s, is to have healthier options for kids for dinner. Think more fruit, creative veggie sides and baked instead of fried options.
As we learn more about how our food gets to our tables, many consumers are actively seeking more sustainable choices. Look for meats and seafood that won’t harm the environment and choose organics over conventional foods to help the bees and keep pesticides to a minimum.
What new food trends do you want to try this summer? Learn more about clean eating.
Lisa Johnson blogs at TrueFoodMovement.com where you can find healthy recipes and fun ideas about food.