2018 was the year that I finally tried cooking with new foods like fresh figs, miso paste, and gnocchi, and these simple ingredients have really been game-changers when it comes to my time in the kitchen. I’ve always loved discovering new (or, you know, new to me) food trends and learning about the different flavors and health benefits associated with whatever’s currently taking over the Instagram explore page. If you’re as excited as I am to find out some of the 2019 cooking trends that’ll be popular come the new year, get ready to try your hand at some unfamiliar dishes, because I’ve got all the juicy (pun most definitely intended) details.
Each year, Kimpton Hotels and Restaurants forecasts some of the culinary and cocktails trends that are predicted to be big for the new year. For 2019, the hotel brand took a look at the ingredients, flavors, dishes, and drinks that chefs and bartenders across the United States are expected to wow us with come Jan. 1. The results were determined by a survey of over 100 food service professionals working at Kimpton restaurants and bars, and honestly, some of these ingredients are things I’ve never tried making, so I’m ready to jump in and get my hands dirty.
Bonus points to you if you’re able to incorporate every one of these trends into a single meal, Chopped challenge-style (extra bonus points if such a concoction actually tastes good).
Here’s what you have to look forward to in the kitchen come 2019, as well as what experts in the space have to say about these trends.
"Plant-centered meals is definitely a trend we’re seeing, and cauliflower is the star of the show," says Lune nutritionist, Jessica Campbell, NTP. But hey, that doesn’t have to mean salad after boring salad. In actuality, cooks are beginning to really transform fruits and veggies into filling, flavorful dishes for vegetarians and meat lovers alike. In other words, you can enjoy a plant-based loaded French fry plate and fill your body with tons of nutrients at the same time.
And as for cauliflower, things like cauliflower steak and cauliflower pizza crust can be both filling and healthy, Campbell tells Elite Daily.
If you’ve come across the plant yerba mate before, then you’ve probably encountered it in its tea form. But the Argentinian ingredient can actually be used in a variety of dishes, like desserts, or even in soups.
In addition to lending taste to whatever you’re cooking up (TBH, it’s said to be a bit of an "acquired taste," so just keep that in mind if you’re not a fan), according to registered dietitian Keri Glassman, yerba mate can help to protect your heart. "Yerba mate is capable of vaso relaxation, or the dilating of your blood vessels, meaning it increases your body’s healthy circulation," she tells Elite Daily. "Similar to red wine in this way, it has potential to lower heart disease."
Chefs who participated in the Kimpton survey also mentioned a growing use of floral flavors (especially rose and lavender) in the kitchen. I personally love using lavender in polenta or a savory pie crust, so I’m already onboard with this trend, but what might be even better than the taste is that there are some significant health benefits to enjoying the plants raw.
"The body needs a wide range of nutrients, and plant foods contain different nutrients based on their colors and how they are grown," Campbell explains. To reap the high vitamin C content that you can get from flowers, avoid cooking them, she suggests, and instead, eat ’em raw.
My family is Cuban, and when they were younger, my mom and her sisters used to fight over who got to eat the chicken heart during dinner. Although eating these types of foods hasn’t really been that mainstream in America in recent years, the Kimpton trends forecast expects offal-based dishes — i.e. organs and entrails of butchered animals — to explode in 2019.
Now, I know that offal might not sound or look that appetizing at a glance, but according to Campbell, "offal are some of the most nutrient-dense foods" you can eat. She tells Elite Daily, "Liver is loaded with minerals, essential amino acids, vitamins, and [it’s] one of the best sources of vitamin A."
If you want to start experimenting with liver in the kitchen, though, just make sure you’re buying it from a quality, trusted source. According to Campbell, the liver’s job of filtering toxins means it’s extra important to always buy the organic version of the meat.
If you’re looking to spice things up in 2019, look no further than sumac, a popular Middle Eastern spice that is rich in antioxidants, says Campbell. These antioxidants can help reduce the cell stress that can cause bodily damage and aging, and even potentially lead to cancer, she explains.
In case you want to start incorporating the spice into your 2019 dishes, sumac tastes very tart and citrusy to me personally, and it’s amazing when sprinkled on homemade hummus or incorporated into a flavorful marinade.
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