What’s new in the world of food and healthy living? Here are the trends for 2016 that are influencing our attitudes to food, eating and health.

Food and drink are as subject to fashion as ladies outfits on the Paris catwalk or the latest celebrity twitter feed!

This year the trends seem topsy-turvy as trash is now the new tasty. Wellness is influencing both wines and even fast food as that industry reinvents itself for the health aware millennials.

Bone broth is the new black for health and beauty conscious people 

Move over kale smoothies and juice cleansers. Bone broth is going mainstream as pop up health bars offer bone broth drinks and dishes along with the ubiquitous cups of coffees. And now, the trend has spread from Manhattan to cities across the globe.

Where animal bones were once a kitchen toss away, they have now taken on a new importance. Made by boiling poultry, beef, or fish bones very slowly until they break down, the bone broth craze is not a novelty, but a reworking of the hearty stocks found in countless food cultures, from Italian to Vietnamese. And while it started as a way to prevent food waste, people have rediscovered the nutritional (and economic) benefits of bone broth. It is naturally gluten- and dairy-free, easy to make at home and thrifty to boot. The broth buzz has everyone throwing bones in their soups once again.

Fans of the meaty soup broth claim it boosts energy more than caffeine – and

  • reduces insomnia
  • can ward off illnesses
  • ease joint and stomach pains
  • boost the immune system
  • brighten the skin
  • makes the hair shiny.

So how is bone broth made?

Although it slow cooking, making bone broth is actually very easy!  There are tons of recipes online, but here is a basic recipe for chicken broth:

1) Use two ORGANIC (preferably grass fed) chicken carcasses to 4 litres of water in a stock pot. Some people like to add 2 chicken feet as well (for the extra gelatin and collagen).

chicken bone broth

ingredients for bone broth

2) Add 1-2 tablespoons of apple cider vinegar to the water, and let it sit for 15 minutes.

3) Roughly chop 1 onion, 2 carrots and 2 celery stalks and add to the pot.  I like to add a small amount of sea salt and cracked black pepper at this point as well, but that is optional.

4) Turn the heat on as LOW as it will go, cover your pot, and allow to simmer for at least 22-23 hours.  It should barely simmer.  You don’t want to cook it too fast!

5) After the 23 hours have passed, add in some parsley, thyme and a couple cloves of garlic.  I also like to add a bit more salt and pepper during this last hour.

6) After 24 hours, strain the liquid into glass jars and store in the fridge or freezer until you’re ready to drink it!  If you plan to freeze, only fill the jars 3/4 full, and cool completely in the fridge before freezing.

Cauliflower crazy – why prices are skyrocketing

Cauliflower is all the rage in the healthy cooking world right now. The once humble ingredient that adorned our tables as a simple but delicious winter cheesy bake has redefined itself. It’s healthy, versatile and delicious and has made its way into the hearts of the carb-conscious as an alternative to potatoes, rice and even bread. Think cauliflower base for pizzas.

Because versatility is one of the big advantages of cauliflower, it can be utilized as either a side or a main dish and “imitate” steak or chicken because of its unique texture. It’s even being used as a vegetarian steak alternative where thick slices of the vegetable are topped with mozzarella cheese and marinara sauce to create a healthier spin on a classic Italian comfort food.

Cauliflower is big because it’s low-calorie and high in vitamin C and antioxidants. Cauliflower boasts numerous health benefits ranging from its role in detoxification and antioxidant properties to its anti-inflammatory benefits. Many believe it to be good for cardiovascular health as well as for the digestive system. It supports the liver, is good for high blood pressure and constipation. What more could one ask for?
From a nutritional standpoint, the cauliflower has a very strong profile and is therefore very well respected and sought after.  It is an excellent source of vitamin C, K, B6, B2 folate, fibre, omega-3 fatty acids, and biotin to name just a few of the many properties.

Watch out for these further trends

  • fast food outlets scramble to offer healthy options and the dumping of some artificial ingredients and additives from their menus. For example many companies are being forced to remove all GMO sources from their fast food driven by consumer demand.
  • fermentation of everything – fermented foods and probiotics are being becoming a favourite for their gut health benefits as well as with chefs looking for new flavours with extras.
  • wellness trends are also driving chefs to create more dishes incorporating energy-packed powerhouse seeds like chia, hemp and flax.
  • sugar is enemy du jour – health-conscious Baby Boomers are cutting back on soft drinks and fruit juices and are turning to more products with less sugar or sugar alternatives of stevia, agave syrup or coconut palm sugar.
  • eggs and good oils (avocado, coconut) are back on the menu as research has shown the nutritional benefits of certain fats.
  • increased use of vegetables and fruits
Beetroot

Beetroots for health

especially in fresh unprocessed smoothies or juice form. Beet juice—alone and combined with passion fruit juice—along with beet hummus and beet-infused sports drinks is one example. Consuming more beets is seen as a good thing, because they’re rich in betalains, antioxidant compounds; folate; fibre; and the minerals manganese, potassium, copper, and magnesium.

 

Ultimately progressive health and wellness consumers are increasingly influencing and redefining our food culture. Add the element of sustainability and the ‘new healthy’ becomes a consumer journey of discovery and making strategic choices forcing the marketplace to innovate or fall behind.