What Americans Will Be Eating in 2017

Last night, for the first time, my neighborhood Mexican restaurant served me a side dish of   cauliflower rice (sometimes called riced cauliflower).  No, this dish doesn't contain rice; it's grated or chopped cauliflower that  could pass for rice. It's often mixed with other veggies (peas, corn, or diced carrots) and sometimes perked up with seasonings or lime. Cauliflower rice recipes are rampant on the Internet.


This is a big year for vegetables, but not all veggies.  Kale is being pushed out of the limelight and replaced by crucifers,  a veggie category that includes bok choy, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and "especially cauliflower," says Consumer Reports. The publication calls crucifers  "the coolest vegetables on the block." Brussels sprout chips may also catch on this year. To learn about other 2017 food trends, read on.





IFT, discussing the results of a survey conducted by Mintel (a market intelligence agency), entitles its article "Mintel predicts 2017 to be the year of extremes." Here are some of the forecasts listed in the IFT article:


Ÿ Tradition, including grandma's recipes and her favorite flavors, will be popular.


Ÿ Plants will be in the forefront with the growing popularity of vegetarian and vegan diets, with increasing use of fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, and grains "as a way to align with consumers' nearly omnipresent health and wellness priorities."


Ÿ As the battle against waste continues, "the stigma associated with imperfect produce will begin to fade." As a result, more products will use ingredients that might have been discarded in the past.


Ÿ The market is growing  for food and  beverages that help consumers relax and calm down before bedtime and for food that provides functional benefits while people sleep.


Ÿ Expect to hear about greater efforts to provide low-income consumers with access to a healthier diet.



PREDICTIONS FROM FLORIDA COASTAL COOKING: "2017 FOOD PREDICTIONS":  http://www.floridacoastalcooking.com/2017/01/2017-food-predictions.html


Ÿ Meals in a bowl: Many years ago, when I was teaching English to Vietnamese immigrants, some told me their favorite food was pho (pronounced "feh").  In the above article, it's defined this way: "a common street food in Vietnam and typically consists of a  flavorful broth with fresh herbs and a protein (sometimes tofu).  I've enjoyed it in Vietnamese restaurants in Chicago. Recently, I found it (packaged in a bowl) in my local supermarket, aside other Asian soups  packaged the same way.  With noodles or quinoa, meat, and veggies, soup in a bowl can be a complete, comforting meal. The article mentions vegan sushi bowls and other sushi bowls made with rice, wasabi, and seaweed. Including Asian and other ethnic cuisines, meals in a bowl are definitely "in."


Ÿ Sources of plant protein: Think lentils, tempeh, nuts, and seeds.  Expect that, in 2017 and its afterlife, lentils will be thrown into everything--soups, salads, even muffins.


Ÿ Desserts without cane sugar: Florida Coastal Cooking predicts that chefs will be dishing out desserts without cane sugar or high fructose corn syrup since both ingredients are frowned upon by those determined to achieve a healthful diet. But that doesn't mean their baked goods won't be sweet. The sweet  taste we're all addicted to will come from honey, maple syrup, or perhaps palm sugar. 


Ÿ Kids in the kitchen: This new year will bring healthier kids' meals and snacks to the fore, some cooked by the kids themselves.  Yep, youngsters are enrolling in cooking classes  or puttering in their mom's kitchen.  And they're not just making brownies.  They're preparing and gobbling up edamame, maple bacon bites, and even pho noodle soup.  Believe it or not, some American youth are learning to like exotic and healthful stuff.  Pizza, begone!


Ÿ Dairy-free cheese: Some supermarkets display a large number of dairy-free cheeses. The Mariano's in my suburban Chicago neighborhood, for example, has dairy-free cheeses made by a few different brands (including Tofutti and Daiya) and in a few different types (American, Havarti, Mozzarella and more).   (not all) are made with soy.  You can check out the ingredients in these products on the package itself, online, or perhaps by phone if a number is given.  My husband and I tasted one--Daiya's Jalapeňo Havarti (spicy!).  I liked it; my spouse wasn't satisfied with the texture. I also tried Tofutti's Mozzarella.  The taste was okay, the texture not quite like the dairy product.


My conclusion: for someone who is lactose intolerant, allergic, or  for some other reason needs to avoid dairy, one could get used to alternative cheeses. I say this because, although  don't like alternative (dairy-free ice cream, I've been told that observant Jewish children (who are not allowed to  eat dairy and meat products in the same meal) gobble up their non-dairy ice cream dessert with gusto.







Ÿ Sambal or harissa. may replace sriracha as the latest trendy seasoning.


Ÿ Meal-kit services  (ingredients and recipes delivered to your door and then you do the cooking)  "will continue to take a bite out of restaurant sales."


Ÿ Coconut  is "going to show up in just about everything." (Editor's note: Have you tried coconut-crusted fried shrimp?  Yum!)


Ÿ Edible cannabis will appear not just in brownies and gummies but also in fine dining underground supper clubs.  Colorado requires all products containing cannabis to be so labeled. A responder to this article suggests that, in all states where foods containing cannabis are legal, all cannabis edibles be marked with a warning symbol.






This article gives us some reassuring repetition of  trends mentioned elsewhere, for example,  including cauliflower, carrots, brussels sprouts, and squash, but there's a notable absence of kale.


However, there are some interesting foods mentioned  by Condé Nast Traveler that I hadn't read about elsewhere, such as these:


Ÿ Liquid ice cream: It's flash-frozen, stuffed with toppings, and wrapped in a burrito.


Ÿ Fried chicken in a donut: Maybe this will push pretzel sandwiches off the menu.


Ÿ New meats: fried pig's tails, grilled chicken hearts. [Editor's note: Delicious?  I'll never know. Not brave enough to try these even if I found them on an American menu.





Ÿ Beets: This article predicts that beets will continue to be trendy in 2017.  They'll  appear in chips, crackers, and a fermented format for tossing into salads.  They may also be roasted and used in a taco filling.


Ÿ Pulses:  These are the edible seeds of plants classified as legumes (lentils, chickpeas, etc.). The UN named 2016 the International Year of Pulses. Expect them to become even more popular in 2017.






Food Business News points this out: "Mainstream consumers are reducing meat intake as more appealing options enter the market."  


 LuAnn Williams, Director of innovation at Innova Market Insights, says that 38% of Americans eat meatless meals once a week or more.   "We have people who are just eating less meat...In the future, it could be everybody."  So far, in the U.S. there are about 120 million people who are reducing their intake of meat. Known as "flexitarians,"they're a much bigger market than vegetarians or vegans.





More veggies, less meat.  Sounds like a recipe for a much more healthful American diet,  right? In my suburban newspaper (the Lincolnwood Review, December 22, 2016), I read, an article entitled "Shakshuka to freakshakes."  Here I learned that carbonated beverage (soda) sales dipped to a 30-year low in 2016.  My guess is that they'll continue on a downward spiral this year, clearly a beneficial change in the American diet.  Shakshuka also sounds healthful. (Never heard of it? See Wikipedia for a description and photos.)


But freakshakes? That  beverage  was born in 2015 and is still a favorite.  The one pictured in the Lincolnwood Review was a milkshake loaded with toppings --bananas, peanut butter, bacon, cupcakes, cookies, and brownies. Other freakshakes I've seen in photos are topped with pretzels, a marshmallow, hot fudge, and more. Well, for folks that are too thin, a freakshake sounds like the perfect lunch.  Thankfully, not every new trend offers what's good for us instead of what's just awfully good.


Editor's note: The accompanying photo shows packaged soup in a bowl, lactose-free cheese and lentil beans, all of which are taking up enough space on supermarket shelves to earn the adjective "trendy."


Source(s):  These are embedded in the article, mostly as links.




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