When it comes to food trends, 2017 has been particularly exciting. New restaurants opened and downed their shutters just as quickly, because with so much variety at our disposal, we never have to go to the same eatery twice. Restaurateurs and chefs are compelled to constantly innovate their offerings and keep the growing tribe of discerning foodies hooked.
Last year, we had our Instagram feeds choking with pumpkin spice, avocado toast and freakshakes. The need for food to be as visually engaging and pretty, as it is flavourful, has brought on a whole bunch of click-worthy food trends this year as well, most of which claim to have some amazing health benefits. We’ve rounded up some of our favourites for you!
1. Activated Charcoal
At a time when unicorn, rainbow and mermaid foods were taking over the Internet, activated charcoal came as a rebellious shift. Almost anything and everything was turning goth with activated charcoal in the picture, whether it was ice creams, burger buns, cocktails, bagels or even face masks.
The jury is still out on many of the health benefits, but there are claims that it helps reduce cholesterol levels, whiten teeth, improve skin and even prevent hangovers (explains why bars started serving it up as a ‘no hangover cocktail’). Even Raw Pressery recently came out with its goth form of this detox drink.
If the colour deters you from trying it, we’ll have you know that the taste has been described as rather fruity and lemony.
2. Turmeric Lattes
The cult name for which is ‘golden milk’, and in India we call it ‘haldi doodh’, is now being cashed in on by the likes of Starbucks, claiming it is a magic potion for all health problems.
While the rest of the world has been crushing on this miracle drink, the Indian folk aren’t as convinced; because let’s face it, we all grimaced at the sight of it when we had the flu and our mothers served it up right before bed.
3. Poke Bowls
‘Umami’ is the word used to describe the taste. Think of sushi done like a burrito bowl, and you’ll have a poke bowl. But be sure you pronounce it the way it was intended, ‘poh-keh’. Poke bowls have the three ingredients you can’t go wrong with—fish, rice and seasoning, aka sushi.
They originated in Hawaii, where poke means to slice or cut, and they’re referring to raw pieces of fish that are marinated/ cured and thrown into a bowl with rice, vegetables and sauces or seasoning.
4. Purple Foods
The colour has been the theme of the year, it seems. The trend began with acai breakfast bowls that looked so pretty, even ‘food photography-averse’ people couldn’t resist. Since then, we’ve had purple cabbage, purple carrots, aubergine, purple potatoes and purple brussels sprouts, stealing the limelight.
Aside from adding a stunning burst of colour to an otherwise dull-looking plate of vegetables, they are supposedly heart healthy, gut and immune system boosting, anti-inflammatory and even play a role in slowing down the ageing process.
5. Buddha Bowls
Buddha bowls are the newest food mantra for the yogis, the hippies, the vegans and the health food bloggers alike. A Buddha bowl essentially requires balance for it to qualify as a Buddha bowl. In this case it means creating a balance of macronutrients—carbs, proteins and fats.
So what usually goes in is some form of grain like quinoa, millet or brown rice for carbs, a bunch of colourful vegetables, beans or tofu for proteins (yes, it’s meant to be vegan) and nuts and seeds for healthy fats.
What we’ve gathered is that for any food to become a trend, Instagrammable visual aesthetics are a must! Health benefits follow a close second. We can’t wait to see what 2018 has in store for us.