Old-school sheet cake, alcohol-free spirits, plant-based diets — this year's predicted food trends have 2018 looking good.
Image by Canadian Living
The Loblaw Food Council kicked the year off on a high note by suggesting that in 2018 we consume our cake at breakfast (thereby allowing us all day to digest our dessert). This early morning indulgence should be even easier to achieve with the comeback of the old-school sheet cake. You can’t beat it for nostalgia and simplicity—there’s a reason they’re the hit at almost all children’s birthday parties—and they taste every bit as great as their fanciful counterparts.
2. Middle Eastern Flavours
Image by Maya Visnyei | Food styling by Michael Elliott | Prop styling by Jennifer Evans
Move over, sriracha: the hottest new sauce in town is harissa. This chili paste is a Middle-Eastern pantry staple, and adds a wonderful smoky bite to recipes. Expect other flavours from the same region to gain popularity in Canadian kitchens, especially pomegranate molasses (a sweet-tart syrup made from reduced pomegranate juice), rosewater and za’atar (a spice blend made with sesame, thyme, and sumac).
3. Fermentation Nation
Image by Maya Visnyei | Food styling by David Grenier | Prop styling by Catherine Doherty
A few years ago, "fermented food" was likely to conjure up images of a work lunch left in the fridge for too long, but these days, deliberately fermented foods are becoming all the rage. Mounting evidence suggests that consuming fermented foods has a positive impact on our digestive health, and despite their somewhat unfortunate name, fermented foods happen to be truly delicious. Yoghurt and sourdough bread are already household staples, but expect to see rising interest in kombucha, kvass, kimchi, miso, natto and kefir.
4. Plant-Based Diets
Image by Jodi Pudge | Food styling by Claire Stubbs | Prop styling by Laura Branson
Due to increasing awareness of the environmental and ethical concerns surrounding meat consumption, more and more households are switching—partially or fully—to vegetarian and vegan diets. Companies are rising to meet their needs, with a roster of 100% plant-based foods including butter, milk, ice cream and even a hamburger that "bleeds." If it tastes as good as the real thing, we see no reason not to hop on board! These Meatless Monday recipes are a great place to get started.
5. Root-to-Tip: the New Nose-to-Tail
Image by Maya Visnyei
Did you know that, on average, Canadians waste $31 billion in food annually? One of 2018’s hottest trends, which involves using all the parts of your produce, is a great way to help combat this. Foods like broccoli stems, celery leaves and watermelon rinds that used to go straight into the organics bin are getting a second chance as slaw, garnishes and pickles. This risotto uses both the beet root and the leaves (to delicious effect) and is a great place to start.
6. Power Powders
Last year, food and drinks took on technicolour hues as the "unicorn" craze swept across the continent, culminating in the infamous themed Frappuccino from Starbucks. This year, however, consumers are prioritizing function over form by adding powders to their smoothies, oatmeal and lattes that are meant to enhance their energy levels or have other health benefits. Turmeric and matcha are as popular as ever, with powdered algae (such as spirulina), maca, cacao, bee pollen taking over the market as well.
7. Dynamic Drinks
Image by Steve Krug | Food styling by Noah Witenoff | Prop styling by Jennifer Evans
There’s been a push in recent years for better non-alcoholic drinks to be served in Canadian bars, so that non-drinkers can enjoy a night out with friends without being limited to cranberry juice and soda. Flavoured, carbonated waters like La Croix and non-alcoholic spirits like Seedlip recently emerged with a boom on the Canadian market, making it easier than ever to enjoy your drink and stay sober, too. Want to try it out for yourself? Swap your favourite flavoured sparkling beverage for the sparkling wine in this Winter Sangria.
Were there any food trends you especially loved last year, or were relieved to see blow over? Let us know with a comment below!