It’s crazy to think about how much things have changed in just a year. Looking back, could you ever have imagined doing grocery hauls online, changing your food preferences completely, or even all the extra time spent at home researching new recipes to try? What we eat and how we prepare our foods have certainly changed, bringing on a new wave of trends to look out for.
But why have our food preferences been turned on their heads? Of course, the pandemic has affected how we shop and highlighted how important it is to stay healthy by eating more nutritious food, but concerns like climate change and convenience also come into it. Nowadays, we’re on the lookout for foods that are better for the planet, easier to prep, and will help us feel healthy when we need to venture outside.
From meatless mondays to all-in-one savoury bowls, these are the trends you need to take note of:
Trend 1: Plant-forward revolution
Fruits and veg are key to healthy eating, but jumping on the meatless train doesn’t mean those are the only foods you’re allowed to eat. Packed with nutritional powerhouses including anti-oxidants, vitamins, minerals and fibre, plant-forward foods help promote a healthy lifestyle. Many more people are trying to eat less meat and more plant-based food to help decrease climate change and increase sustainability. Nuts, whole grains, legumes, and healthy fats all help fill you up, making it easier to cut back on meat.
Trend 2: Upping the flavour profile
We can all agree that we’re probably dining out less now than we did before. Instead, we are cooking up delicious dishes from the comfort – and safety – of our kitchens. But serving up the same dish night after night can get boring fast, so what can be done? We experiment with new flavours, try different cuisines, and seek out fun new food experiences. Now’s the perfect time to spice things up by adding a Middle Eastern, Indian, or African flair to your favourite dishes. Get in on this trend by buying some new spices or trying a recipe from a region you’ve never eaten before.
Trend 3: The easier the better
You’d think that with all this extra time spent at home that you’d be able to cook up a three-course meal every night – but no. More time at home means more responsibilities, more distractions, and more time cleaning up after the kids. Instead, we’re looking at fast, easy, and healthy meals, like all-in-one oven-baked veg dishes or a super quick protein-packed smoothie.
Trend 4: Everything in one bowl
This one’s not new, but it’s still something people will be into this year. From Acai bowls to burrito bowls and poke bowls, we love the convenience, colours, and explosion of many flavours all in one bowl. But does this promote healthy living? Poke bowls, for instance, serve up plenty of health benefits. Normally dished up with some sort of fishy protein, they’re high in omega-3 fatty acids and potassium. Burrito bowls, on the other hand, are a great way to squeeze in a few extra servings of veggies, helping you load up on fibre and other macro and micronutrients.
Trend 5: Function over flavour
Not that flavour isn’t important – you wouldn’t continue eating something if it wasn’t tasty – but nowadays we’re more mindful of what we buy and how we prepare it. With ‘healthy banana bread’ making Google’s top 10 list of most-searched recipes in 2020, it’s clear that people are expecting more nutritional benefits from what they eat. Many of us will even go as far as eating things we wouldn’t typically consider because of their health benefits, and also researching and buying supplements to give our usual choices a nutritional boost.