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Everyone enjoys predictions this time of year, but some of the best ones belong in the kitchen. That’s how we view this newest batch of food trends for 2020. Whether you’re cooking up a storm at home or running a busy restaurant, put down the spatula for a moment and let’s take a peek around the culinary corner.
2020 Food Trends: 9 Ways to Refresh Your Kitchen
It’s always exciting to see new food trends emerge. As lifestyles get healthier, our tastes change and expand. Restaurants refresh menus with a focus on nutrition and freshly sourced ingredients. Home chefs explore unique ingredients on grocery shelves. These nine delicious 2020 food trends are sure to find their way into your kitchen this next year.
1. New Take on Plant-Based Foods
Veggie burgers paved the way several years ago. The options for plant-based dishes continues to grow, and that’s good news for health-conscious chefs. Try some fresh ideas like veggie spaghetti or “no-tuna” salad. With a just few ingredient changes, you can transform almost any meat-based recipe into a healthier dish for 2020.
2. Meal Planning with Better Balance
Future food trends shouldn’t leave you wondering, “Where’s the beef?” Instead, ask yourself, “Where’s the balance?” This next year will see home and restaurant chefs blending vegetables and proteins into flavorful, healthy meals. Strike a balance in your kitchen with recipe ideas that pair veggies and meats in one easy dish. For example, serve your next pork tenderloin sliced on a bed of fresh romaine hearts.
3. Fruit and Veggie Baking Flours
Some of the best ingredient trends of 2020 are headed for the shelves at your grocery store. Be on the lookout for banana and coconut flours. Make room in the pantry for gluten-free baking flours made from peas and beans. These trendy ingredients deliver unique flavors, healthy fiber and plant protein.
4. No Fillers and Less Sugar in Dairy-Free Milk Options
The popularity of non-dairy milks will continue to grow and evolve thanks to consumer influence. If you’re unhappy with the added sugars and fillers in some of these products, you’re not alone. Many of them derive their creamy consistency from carrageenan, binders and other fillers. Look for plant-based food and beverage companies to bring the basics back to consumers. For example, Elmhurst in Queens, New York, offers an almond milk made with nothing more than almonds and water. Expect your opinion to continue to shape this healthy food trend going into 2020.
5. The Power of Purple Veggies
This healthy 2020 vegetable trend will bring more than vibrant color to the table. The antioxidant pigments in purple vegetables are beneficial in controlling inflammation, fighting heart disease and improving brain health. Put purple Brussels sprouts, carrots, yams and cauliflower on your New Year’s shopping list.
6. Exotic Protein Alternatives
How would you like a tasty bowl of crunchy crickets? Edible bugs have always been a part of many ethnic cuisines, and they’re finally gaining widespread acceptance. On your quest for healthy alternatives to animal protein, don’t overlook this 2020 food trend prediction that includes nutritious grasshoppers, beetles and ants.
7. Savory Smoke Flavors
Restaurant food trends for 2020 will include the sweet aroma of smoked meats and vegetables. You don’t have to dine out to enjoy the savory flavors of slow-smoked dishes. These are just a few side ideas for firing up the backyard grill.
• Smoked onion slaw
• Savory mac and cheese
• Smoky Brussels sprouts
• Smoked stuffed jalapenos
• Smoky deviled eggs
8. Your Heirloom Recipes
Recipes passed down from one generation to the next become culinary treasures and often re-emerge as new trends. Call them heirloom or vintage, but let’s free those family specialties from the back of your recipe files. Celebrate 2020 with your grandmother’s chicken and dumplings. Sweeten dessert plates with a favorite aunt’s strawberry shortcake. From buttermilk biscuits and green tomato pie to baked elephant ears, revive your family’s legacy recipes as new classics for 2020.
9. Strong Support for Sustainability
This is perhaps one of the most positive and far-reaching food trends heading into 2020. A commitment to sustainability is a solid investment in the future, and it promises to become more widespread in the coming years. Consumers and foodservice professionals will favor farming operations that follow best sustainability practices. That preference will be reflected in products on grocery shelves, selections in produce aisles and items on restaurant menus. It’s a trend that’s sure to become permanent.
Wishing You a Happy New Year
We always enjoy predicting new and emerging food trends, rounding up the best and sharing them with you. Cheers to a healthy and happy new year!
Dan Holt is an experienced produce professional who started in the industry as a quality assurance inspector in the early 1990s and leads sales at Hitchcock Farms as Vice President. Prior to joining Hitchcock Farms, Dan enjoyed success in organic, specialty and conventional produce and with independent operators, regional and national chains in North America and abroad. Dan continues his passion in produce through collaborative inspiration and promoting healthy and sustainable food.