Every year, new trends emerge in the online world of food blogging. 2013 was the year of the green smoothie. 2012 was the year of using Pinterest to make dinner every night. But what are the food trends of 2014? After some careful research and planning, I’ve identified five key trends that I think will be the center of attention for food blogs in 2014.
I didn’t hear about this Vietnamese dish until this past winter when a guy I’m seeing took me out for my first official pho date. At first I was skeptical about eating soup for dinner (Where’s the protein people?!). But as I sat down and ordered, I realized that pho is surprisingly healthy, not to mention delicious. Sure, it has a decent amount of salt in it. But that delicious stock used as the base for all the soups is surprisingly rich in calcium and magnesium. After all, what do expect when you let bones and their marrow simmer slowly for 8-10 hours?
Pho also uses lots of fresh herbs like bean sprouts and cilantro. For those of you who avoid wheat and/or noodles, not to worry. You can often order pho with rice noodles which are already gluten free! Between the stock, the lean meat, and the vegetables, I see pho becoming the hot new item for restaurants and diners alike. I wouldn’t be surprised if people also started doing their own pho fusions, such as a Latin or Indian infused pho.
2.Crock-pots & Slow-cookers
2014 is going to be one busy year. And the busier we are, the less time we have to cook. What better tool than a slow-cooker to do the work while you’re at the office? No longer is the crock-pot a thing of the 90’s that your mom used for PTA meetings and book club gatherings. Crock-pots and slow-cookers are making a comeback! I also have a feeling that bloggers will become much more innovative this year with their crock-pot recipes, making other foods besides your standard meatballs, soups, and chilies. The crock-pot phenomenon was a trend that started to pick up in the winter of 2013, but I think it will stick around as a top food blog trend of 2014.
Restaurateurs and critics alike are making cauliflower the new kale. While at first I was skeptical about this being a food blog trend for 2014, it’s actually a lot easier than I thought. Cauliflower is a very versatile vegetable. Paleo dieters and low-carbers are avid fans of using it as a substitute for starches and other grains. That’s because you can do a million things with cauliflower! Whether it’s making a casserole, adding cauliflower with other veggies to your stews, or just steaming it, the possibilities are endless. When all else fails, try my French-inspired roasted cauliflower soup.
4. ‘Designer’ Grains
There’s no doubt that going gluten free will still be a hot trend in 2014. But I think our perspective and attitude towards gluten will change. 2013 was really a year about bashing the hell out of gluten, and condemning everyone who ate it. 2014 will be a year about offering alternatives to wheat and gluten-based products. Everyone knows about quinoa and brown rice. But what else is out there? Enter grains like buckwheat, amaranth, black rice, kamut and teff–the ‘designer’ grains. In 2014, you’ll start seeing more products with these grains as well as more restaurants making dishes out of them.
5. Post-workout Nutrition
Many fitness freaks and gym rats already know about the importance of post-workout nutrition, specifically protein shakes. While I’ve already stated how I’m not the biggest fan of protein shakes, I do think it’s important to eat a healthy post-workout meal rich in protein. I hope more people will become more educated about post-workout nutrition. Realize that abs aren’t made at the gym; they’re made in the kitchen. Eating a clean meal rich in protein following a workout is a surefire way to boost your metabolism, promote fat loss, and enhance muscle mass.
And there you have it! I could be wrong, I could be right.
I really really really hope I’m right. 2014 will be a great year for foodies all around. Hang tight to see what trends emerge!