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July 5, 2014

New Food Trends and How to Add Them To Your Menu

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The hottest food trends for 2014 are in from the National Restaurant Association(link to: http://www.restaurant.org/News-Research/News/What-s-Hot-in-2014-culinary-forecast- confirms-sour) and everybody’s buzzing about them.

 

According to the survey, the hot new food trends for 2014 are:

-environmental sustainability

-nutrition, especially children's nutrition

-gluten-free cusine

Okay, great. They’re buzz words we’ve all been hearing about for a while. But how do you add them to your menu?

Here are just a few ideas:

-Think beyond French fries and chicken nuggets for kids. It can be as simple as adding fresh fruit or veggies as an optional side dish to your kids’ menu.

-Add quinoa to a salad with a mix of edamame, cherry tomatoes and a squeeze of lime.

-Grow your own garden or micro-garden. You’d be surprised what you can grow in a small space. Think herbs and microgreens.

--Add healthy items to your menu, like cheese plates with a drizzle of fancy oils, draped with nuts or hummus platters with tabbouleh, babaganoush, tzatziki.  

Other hot trends in cooking include nose-to-tail, pickling, ramen, dark greens and Southeast Asian cuisine.

We’re seeing ramen pop-ups all over the place. If you’re intrigued, think of adding ramen to your menu with a fresh spin, like with fresh veggies and pickled items.

Also on the rise are ancient grains like quinoa, faro and barley – all very easy to add to green salads or mix with chicken broth and vegetables. They add crunch and texture to a salad, as well as protein. And they’re a welcome item to add to your menu for the health-conscious.

Dark greens are making the rounds. Think kale, collards, swiss chards – dark leafy greens that pack a wallop. Kale salads are all the rage and can be paired with simple dressings. While collards and swiss chards are delicious sautéed or slow-cooked.

Gluten-free continues to be a hot trend for 2014, so continue to stock up on wheat-free pasta and veggie-friendly dishes. This is also where quinoa and ancient grains are making a comeback.

As for cocktails, micro-distilled spirits and artisanal drinks are making an impression in bars across America. Which coincides with the new job title “mixologist” instead of bartender.  Fancy cocktails are definitely a “do.”

But what’s goes up, must come down. Last year’s news in food trends include the foaming/frothing craze, bacon-flavored chocolate, fish offal and fun-shaped children food.

While classic dishes like fried chicken, Italian cuisine and barbeque are believed to go up in popularity next year.

It’s a fun time for food -- where you can get creative and put your own unique stamp on your dishes. Use these trends as a suggestion or a launching off point.

The trick is to stay ahead of the trends and do what you do best – keep cooking.

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