The Top 10 Foods You Need in Your Life in 2017
Healthy food is BIG business and you only have to look on Pinterest and Instagram to see just how influential the latest ‘in’ foods can be. Our predictions for the food trends this year.
1. Nordic Nosh
Taking inspiration from the eating habits of Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Finland and Iceland, as well as adopting some of the traditional dishes of the Vikings, the Nordic diet is all about eating seasonal, sustainable and super healthy food. The kind of food you can expect to see cropping up in trendy London restaurants include: wild salmon, salted fish, langoustine, buttermilk, beetroot and even goat. Food will be predominantly raw or ‘cooked’ by smoking, fermenting or curing. The underlying philosophy is to take traditional ingredients and present them in an interesting and experimental way, without taking away too much of the natural taste or depleting the nutritional benefits.
If you’re a vegan this won’t be anything new to you, but to the rest of us nooch is set to revolutionize our meals. So what is Nooch? Well, it is far less fancy than the name would suggest. Nooch is in fact nutritional yeast and although it doesn’t look like the most appetizing thing you’ve ever seen, it holds the key to one of the most powerful tastes in the human palate… umami. Umami is that special taste that no one can really quite put their finger on, but we all love it. It is most similar to the taste, and addictiveness, of MSG, which is prevalent in so many of our foods these days and is so, so bad for us. Umami on the other hand is just fine. Most commonly found in things like miso, green tea and nooch, umami helps us retain that naughty MSG flavour without all that guilt! Nooch is a great source of vitamin B12, which is fab for optimizing metabolism and the cellular function of the body.
3. Plant Waters
Plant waters have been everywhere this year and we predict that this trend will continue in 2017 with even more botanical beverages set to quench our thirst. It started off with coconut water, still the main player in the natural water premier league, then there’s been maple water, birch water, cactus water and aloe water. In fact you think of a tree, shrub or plant, chances are someone’s already thought about how to tap into the nutritious liquid within. The health benefits of drinking plant water are numerous. Most are jam packed with antioxidants, natural minerals and most importantly, all are a far better drink option than the sugary, carbonated energy drinks that are rife in our supermarkets.
4. Plant Power
You don’t have to be vegetarian or vegan to appreciate good tasting vegetables, and 2017 is all about the power of plants. In the past, standard restaurant practice has tended to focus mainly on the meat, with meat taking up a big part of the plate and the vegetables viewed as merely an accompaniment, or worse, as a garnish. However, veggies are getting their own back and now the meat to vegetable ratio is starting to shift. ‘In’ vegetables to look out for next year include broccoli, daikon, dandelions, and moringa.
5. Sweet Potato Flour
And whilst we’re on the subject of flour substitutes, have you ever heard of sweet potato flour? That’s right, the orange root vegetable that has become a kitchen staple can also be bought in flour form. It’s gluten free, paleo friendly and is one of the least allergic foods on earth!
Teff is the Ethiopian gluten-free grain that is set to give popular ‘super grains’ like quinoa, bulgur and barley a run for their money. These seeds may be small but looks are deceptive, as they pack a mean nutritional punch. They’re high in calcium, iron, protein, copper, fiber, manganese, zinc as well as a whole host of vitamins and amino acids. Teff is incredibly versatile and can be used as a flour substitute, meaning it works well in bread, pasta, waffles, pancakes, cakes, and pizza bases, anything your baking brain can think of.
7. ‘Poké’ Bowls
Pokè is basically the Hawaaiian version of sushi, only it's way, way more on trend. Pronounced 'pohkay', pokè is raw cubes of marinated seafood that is usually accompanied by rice, seaweed, cucumber, avocado or fish roe. It's already hugely popular in place like New York and Los Angeles so it's only a question of time before London jumps on this bandwagon. It's healthy, it's tasty and it's versatile, and we predict it's going to be massive in 2017.
8. Avocado Oil
First it was olive oil, then came coconut oil, and now there’s a new healthy oil on the block. Avocado oil is pressed from the fleshy pulp of the fruit rather than the inner stone and tastes like a mild, creamy version of the fruit we know and love. In the last couple of years the popularity of avocado has literally sky rocketed. Just like the fruit, avocado oil has a high vitamin E content, which is great for the skin and immune system, and has also been shown to reduce glucose levels, fantastic news for diabetics. It can be used raw in salad dressings, and because of its high smoke point (400°F/204°C) it also works really well when baking, frying, roasting and grilling.
9. Savoury Yogurt
The flavoured yogurts we have become so accustomed to are not as healthy as they seem. If you opt for the diet, fat free versions thinking you’ve chosen the healthier option, then you’d be very much mistaken, as the flavour that is lost through fat is made up by adding lots and lots of sugar. So, when we heard the news that savoury yogurts could be the next big thing we were very interested to find out if these would involve added sugar too. Flavours such as, beetroot, sweet potato and butternut squash are popular, and the all-important question of whether or not they contain sugar…they don’t! Yogurt has gone back to its traditional savoury roots, relying on spices and natural vegetable flavourings/purees to give the taste. The Greeks have tzatziki, the Indians have raita, so savoury yogurt really isn’t anything new, but with vegetable yogurts coming into the mix, it’s bound to cause a stir among foodies.
With the war on sugar raging, and many of us becoming more mindful of our health habits, it’s no surprise that mocktails are set to be the drink to be seen with in 2017. Cocktails without alcohol have traditionally used sweet sugary juices and syrups to make up for this fact, but drinkers are now after something healthier. Demand calls for a drink that look as flashy as a regular cocktail, but also tastes refreshing, light and sophisticated. London mixologists are concocting things from fermented tea, vegetable juices, savoury extracts, herbs, raw vinegar, kombucha and even alcohol free spirits.