2017 food trends – avocados are out, okra is in

Food trends are obvious in hindsight. Last year, there was avocado everywhere, spiralizers spiralled out of control, and everything we ate was given a rainbow make-over. But predictions for the year ahead are always tricky, and after a turbulent 2016, who knows what will happen in 2017? However, I’m giving it my best shot with a few predicted food trends for this year.

Purple veg at New Covent Garden Market. Credit: Frantzesco Kangaris/PA Wire
Purple veg at New Covent Garden Market. Credit: Frantzesco Kangaris/PA Wire

Food waste is on the out, which is fantastic. Latest estimates claim that around 56% of food and drink waste is avoidable (WRAP), while more than 8 million people in the UK are struggling to put food on the table – so there’s appetite to do even better! Many supermarkets are looking for ways to use their foods which are discarded by consumers. ‘The Warehouse’ near Leeds (opened by the Real Junk Food Project in 2016), sells food which would have otherwise been thrown away, and operates on a pay-as-you-feel basis, meaning that it helps hundreds of struggling families. There is also ‘Too Good To Go’, an app which enables you to buy leftover food from restaurants and cafes for as little as £2. It’s already in London, Leeds and Brighton, and is set to take over the rest of the UK in 2017.

Less alcohol. Mocktails and fancy juices are becoming more popular to drink, with many people choosing non-alcoholic options when they’re out, and restaurants are responding to this new market with a wide variety of virgin drinks. Try the gorgeously designed and tasty Seedlip – the world’s first non-alcoholic botanical spirit. It’s not confined to restaurants or bars either; try making your own lemonade or limeade, a homemade cordial or growing yourself a ginger beer plant.

Seedlip

That brings me nicely onto the next prediction, for DIY foods. More people have their own pots of fresh herbs on their window sills, or a small patch of earth in the back garden for radishes and other easy vegetables. While ‘Dig for Victory’ is a little outdated, you can bring this trend firmly into 2017 with your own hydroponic unit. It also doesn’t have to stop with your own fresh foods; you can pickle vegetables, or make your own kimchi, sauerkraut, and jams.

Free-from foods will become even more popular in 2017. Previously, these have been only enjoyed by people with intolerances or allergies, but recently many people have started choosing to eat foods which are free from gluten, dairy or nuts. They’ve also never been more accessible, with supermarkets and even corner shops adding more and more variety to their free-from range. Keep an eye out for tiger-nut milk making a splash!

Vegetables. We’re set to see an increase in vegetables on our plates, changing the British staple of meat and two veg to just… veg? Veganism is still on the rise, with half a million people in the UK now a vegan. This means we’ll be seeing more vegan and vegetarian dishes, as restaurants open themselves up to the diversity of fruit and vegetables – from okra to tomatillos and loquats. Need some fresh inspiration? Check out New Covent Garden Market’s seasonal Market Report.

Finally, bowls. No, I’m not kidding. There’s already an entire restaurant in Berlin which is seemingly dedicated to serving breakfast in bowls. Some things already make a lot of sense in bowls; soup, for example. But bowls and comfort foods are a match made in heaven, plus bowls are far more Instagram-friendly than a boring, wide plate. It’s not just comfort food either. Healthy, well balanced meals seem more appetising in a bowl, and it’s an easy dieting tip as well; you can trick your brain into thinking there’s more food in a bowl than the same meal on a flat dish.

For even more gazing into the foodie crystal ball, read these expert articles:


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