What's cooking? From fun to functional, predicting food trends for the year ahead

·7 min read

Jan. 2—It's the start of a new year.

That means it's time to make resolutions.

And it's time for predictions about what may — or may not ultimately prove to be — popular in 2022.

Food-wise, many of the expected trends are continuations of past ones.

For example, the anti-inflammatory spice turmeric continues to increase in usage and popularity as a functional food — a phrase that is bound to be nominated for Lake Superior State University's annual list of banned words (words that we tire of due to overuse) long before we raise a toast to 2023.

Functional foods are those which are said to provide specific health benefits beyond basic nutrition. And they're on the upswing, too, in this new year — especially pairings of ingredients that work better together, such as turmeric getting a boost from black pepper because piperine in the latter helps with absorption of curcumin in the former.

But don't worry: we're still having fun with our food. Comforting classics and childhood favorites are expected to make an even bigger splash as we continue to contend with the pandemic, but also venture bit by bit back out into the real world. We need a bit of solace.

Another health-related trend involves countering the lingering effects of the coronavirus, which in many cases can leave people with limited ability to taste for extended periods of time.

Spicy foods have continued to be increasingly popular in recent years, and are branching out beyond hot chile sauces into mustards and sweet heat combinations. These — with the tingling sensations they provide in the mouth, and in conjunction with crispness and crunchy textures — can add interest to eating for those still experiencing taste issues, helping to boost nutritional intake.

Veganism is becoming more and more popular every year, and along with it will come still greater variety in non-dairy milks. Barley, buckwheat, and pistachios will be joining soybeans, almonds, cashews, hemp seeds, and oats as a base for these substitute products.

Vegan baked goods, too, according to the Snack Food and Wholesale Bakery, are seeing huge growth. And those breads, cakes, cookies, and other treats are more likely to feature spices (both for heat and flavor) and international — particularly Asian, such as yuzu, for example — flavors.

For those who aren't quite ready to take the plant-based plunge, though, one of Whole Foods Markets' expected trends is reducetarianism: "reducing consumption of meat, dairy and eggs without cutting them out completely," and making sure those animal proteins are of the highest quality and environmentally conscientious.

Except, that is, when it comes to chicken sandwiches.

Creative Energy, a business consultant, jokes that people in the United States will "go for anything described as a spicy chicken sandwich today, no matter how it tastes." Their popularity, as evidenced by fast food chicken sandwich wars, shows no sign of waning.

With regard to beverages, "drysolation" has been practiced during the pandemic particularly among Millennials and Gen Z-ers, according to Whole Foods. So booze-less, buzz-less mocktails are all the rage.

Another hot trend in drinks is cold coffee: It's hugely popular, especially with those same Gen Z and Millennial consumers.

Other trends for the new year include kombucha's steady rise, tropical ingredients, drinkable mushrooms, and gorgeous pink sippers made with hibiscus. Many smoothies may include moringa, an herbal medicine that's quickly becoming the new matcha.

The recipes we're offering today showcase several of this year's predicted trends.

Cilantro and Mint Loaf is an Asian-inspired bread with a spicy Indian chutney swirled through it, and there's also turmeric in the dough.

Coconut Vanilla Iced Coffee with Coffee Whip is vegan and it features coconut milk creamer.

And Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Hot Mustard Sauce bring the heat, the crispness, and the crunch all in one delicious sweat-inducing bite.

So don't buck the trend — go try some of 2022's top tastes.

Cilantro and Mint Loaf

Chutney:

3 ounces fresh cilantro leaves

3 ounces fresh mint leaves

2 to 3 small green chilies

Juice of 1 lime

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar

3 tablespoons water

Bread:

1 pound 2 ounces white bread flour, plus extra for dusting

1 packet fast-acting yeast

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

1 ounce unsalted butter, softened

11 ounces warm milk

Oil, for greasing

6 to 8 tablespoons chutney

1 teaspoon Kashmiri chilli powder (or a mix of smoked paprika with cayenne pepper)

Make the chutney: Put all the ingredients in a blender or food processor and blend to a smooth paste.

Make the bread: In a large bowl, combine the flour, yeast, salt, and turmeric. Add the butter to the milk, then slowly stir in the milk — you might not need all the milk or you may need a bit more to make a soft dough.

Bring the mixture together and knead on a lightly oiled surface for 8 to 10 minutes (or use a stand mixer fitted with a dough hook). Put the dough in a lightly oiled bowl, cover the bowl with cling film and leave the dough to rise for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

When ready, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface into a square roughly 15 inches wide. Spread the chutney evenly over the top of the dough and sprinkle with the chili powder.

Roll up the dough from one side, like a Swiss roll, ensuring that the roll is nice and tight. Use a sharp knife to cut it into 12 pieces.

Lightly flour a baking tray or line it with parchment paper.

Stand the slices of dough on the prepared tray in a loaf shape, overlapping them to widen the loaf and create an attractive pattern. Put the tray in a large well-oiled plastic bag and leave the dough to prove for 1 hour or until doubled in size.

Heat the oven to 400F. Bake the loaf for 30 to 35 minutes or until the bread sounds hollow when tapped on the base. Transfer to a wire rack and leave to cool.

Note: The chutney recipe makes more than is needed. Keep the remainder refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12

Source: Adapted from Chetna Makan, The Cardamom Trail

Coconut Vanilla Iced Coffee with Coffee Whip

1 cup strong pour-over coffee

3 cups unsweetened coconut milk beverage

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

1/8 cup water

1/8 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon espresso powder or instant coffee granules

Pour the brewed coffee into an ice cube tray and place in freezer until cubes are solid.

In a pitcher, combine the coconut milk and vanilla. Store in the fridge until ready to use.

When ready to serve, place the water, sugar, and espresso powder into a large bowl and whip with a electric hand mixer for 4 to 5 minutes or until soft peaks form.

To serve, divide the coffee ice cubes between two glasses; top each with half the coconut vanilla milk and half the whipped coffee.

Yield: 2 servings

Source: Adapted from pickuplimes.com

Crispy Chicken Sandwiches with Hot Mustard Sauce

Sauce:

1 garlic clove, grated

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1/2 cup mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Tabasco sauce

2 tablespoons Colman's prepared mustard

2 tablespoon chopped chives

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Pinch of kosher salt

Sandwiches:

4 buns

Iceberg lettuce, shredded

Tomato slices

4 battered, fried chicken breasts or patties prepared according to package directions

Bread and butter pickles

Make the sauce: In a medium bowl, combine garlic, lemon juice, mayonnaise, Tabasco, prepared mustard, chives, and black pepper. Taste and add salt. Place in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour to let the flavors blend.

Make the sandwiches: Place the buns onto a work surface and spread both sides of each bun with mustard sauce.

Place shredded lettuce onto the bottom buns, then top with tomato slices and the prepared chicken. Drizzle more mustard sauce over the chicken, top with pickles, and form sandwiches with the top buns.

Yield: 4 sandwiches

Source: Inspired by localhaven.net

Contact Mary Bilyeu at 419-724-6155 or mbilyeu@theblade.com, and follow her at facebook.com/FoodMavenMary.

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