Food Trends…Show Your Roots

by Christina Meyer-Jax, Tastemaker in Residence - Join me on FOX 9 Morning Show on Sunday 1/29 around 9:45am to learn how to "Eat Like an Athlete- What Fuels Your Best Workout?"

With 2016 being one newsworthy year, the brand spanking new 2017 is working hard to gain the spotlight.  Predictions are pouring in from all perspectives with hopes high and expectations cautious.  As I scope out what the future will bring for food, we have trends to be excited about and reality checks we to be mindful of.

Taking a 10,000 ft view, there is a tremendous shift in how Americans are looking at food.  We are asking the questions of how our food is grown, where ingredients are being sourced, what our food labels are telling us, and how to stop food waste.  The growing trend of meal kit delivery boxes and “meal prep Mondays” mean eating real food and cooking are rising in our priorities. 

On the flip side we continue to face challenges in how our food system and environment promote unhealthy choices and ultimately health consequences. In the end it’s the trends that give us hints to how we vote with our forks. 

So how is this playing out in our grocery carts and in our daily meals? Here’s my favorite 2017 shortlist:

Show Your Roots

While showing your roots may not be appealing in the world of hair, the highly colorful and nutritious root veggies are on full display.  With roasted beets, celeriac puree soup, and parsnip chips root veggies are on tap to be a new comfort food.

My new root favorite:  Forager Organic Vegetable Chips-Beet Variety (link)

Pumped Up Plant Proteins

Protein has been the darling nutrient for the past few years and now we are seeing the growing popularity of plant proteins.  From pea proteins in meat alternatives to rice and hemp powder one shakes, plant proteins are filling the needs of consumers who are seeking a more plant centric diet. This aligns with other growing interests of eating a more plant centric diet for planetary stewardship.  Will insect protein be on the 2018 trend list?  We shall see if Americans can take that leap. Ha!

My new plant protein favorite:  Justin’s Classic Almond Butter (link)

Bone Broth

This growing trend actually dates back to ancient times when our ancestors needed to be scrappy (literally) and use every part of the animal for food.  Simmering bones and other connective tissue of the animals in water releases important nutrients such as the proteins: collagen, proline, glycine, glutamine and also vitamins and minerals such as: calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, silicon, sulphur and others. It also contain chondroitin sulfate and glucosamine, which are used to help with joint health.  While the research is developing on the benefits, it is gaining popularity on the potential to support: leaky gut syndrome, overcome food intolerances and allergies, improve joint health, reduce cellulite, and immunity boosting.  

How do you make bone broth? Here is a great recipe to try!

Location, location, location

Knowing where your food comes from (geographical transparency) has been on the radar in recent years.  Many manufacturers and restaurants have been using location descriptors as a marketing play and point of differentiation for years, but now it’s also part of a larger storytelling. Points of origin are compelling to consumers seeking unique flavor profiles and sustainable food sources. 

California garlic anyone?

Buddha Bowls

If I had to pick “THE” trend of the year it would be the versatile, beautiful, nutritious, and delicious Buddha Bowl. Also known as macro bowls or hippie bowls, the basic composition is filling a large bowl with different portions of grains, veggies (raw, sautéed and/or roasted), protein (legumes, tofu or meat), greens and seeds along with some seasoning, sauce or dressing to set the flavor profile. The Buddha Bowl cookbook of recipes is endless as there is no one way to make the bowls. It’s ideal for meal prepping ahead of time as you can mix-match components throughout the week.

Here is my favorite Buddha Bowl recipe: Not Your Mama’s Taco Bowl