Top 10 food trends in 2016

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Top 10 food trends in 2016

A round up of the ten healthy food trends that will help you eat well in 2016

Eating breakfast for dinner, buying ugly veg and making salads with scraps are just a few food trends to watch in 2016, says trend forecaster Martin Raymond from The Future Laboratory. Abigail Donnelly shares how some of these movements can help you do better things for yourself, your community and the planet


“Floral flavours are big, especially lavender,” says Abi. “Its distinctive flavour works well with lamb and is beautifully complemented by the nuttiness 
of burnt butter.” Use it sparingly, though, as a heavy hand could make your dish taste like a bath bomb. Some varieties of lavender are also better suited to cooking than others. Ask your local nursery for culinary lavender as opposed to the ornamental kind.

Lavender and beurre noisette

Try this recipe: Lavender and beurre noisette


One person’s trash can be another person’s culinary treasure, as proved by American chef Dan Barber last year. For three weeks, he converted his Blue Hill restaurant in New York ( into a pop- up eatery called wastED, where scraps and offcuts usually relegated to the dustbin starred on the menu. Diners ate everything from crisped-up carrot tops and burger patties made from the pulp of juiced vegetables, to Melba toast fashioned from day-old oats.

Try it yourself: “This is a great way to cut down on food waste,” says Abi. “Why 
not make a salad with the stalks of cauliflower and broccoli and the leaves of beetroot, radish, and even carrot tops?”


Artisanal regional cheeses are still trending but fresh, unaged cheeses such as ricotta, labneh, mascarpone and queso blanco are what you’ll be eating more of this year. Local restaurants dabbling in the trend include The Leopard in Johannesburg ( and Babel near Franschhoek (

Make your own cheese: “Make fresh cheese by spooning full- cream yoghurt into muslin cloth, tie up and suspend over a bowl in the fridge overnight. The moisture will drip out and leave you with a soft, creamy cheese”
– Abigail Donnelly

Indian battered brinjals with chilli oil


There’s a growing global appreciation for the myriad heady flavours of authentic Indian cuisine and one of its key components – turmeric. “It’s packed with antioxidants and is being hailed as the ‘new’ super spice,” says Abi of the knobbly root, which bears a striking resemblance to its cousin, ginger, but is harder to find locally than the dried, ground version. Apart from foodies having rekindled a passion for cooking with turmeric, there are Pinterest boards dedicated to juicing it, steeping it in teas, and even advising how to remove the distinctive yellow hue from your hands.

Try this recipe: Indian battered brinjals with chilli oil


These days, beauty is very much
 in the eye of the beet-holder. Gnarly, misshapen veggies are stealing the limelight from their streamlined, perfectly proportioned counterparts. And it’s about time. After all, “ugly“ veg boast exactly the same nutrients as pretty ones – not to mention way more personality. More importantly, eating them is another way to reduce food waste, says Abigail. According to Jordan Figueiredo, the food waste activist who created the Twitter campaign @UglyFruitandVeg, between 20 and 40% of produce
is wasted globally simply because
it’s perceived as imperfect.


Move over, almond milk! Made by soaking steel-cut oats in water, blending the mixture and straining it, oat milk tastes sweet and slightly grassy. It also has a full, creamy texture and is thick enough to use in latte art, making it a favourite among baristas in culinary capitals like New York and Stockholm where “cap-oat-chinos” and “macchi-oat-os” are now a thing. Locally, Stellenbosch baker Fritz Schoon is leading the charge with his Grains of Origin project, which sees him collaborating with farmer James Moffat to grow heirloom varieties like wit wol koring and hard red wheat (

Ancient seed granola

Try these recipes: Ancient seed granola and home-made oat milk

Try it yourself: “Ease into the trend by adding oat milk to a shot of espresso,” says Abi. This also works a treat with her seed granola. “Ancient seeds such as chia seeds, spelt and teff are now in the spotlight for their health benefits.”


Just when you thought the seemingly pedestrian peanut had been forever usurped by macadamias, cashews, pistachios and almonds, they’re back in all their retro splendour. It was hard not to notice, when, a year or so ago, peanut butter was suddenly a chefs’ favourite again and hipsters flooded Instagram with whimsically filtered images of everything from whisky-spiked peanut butter milkshakes to peanut butter cheesecake. More recently, the rise in popularity of authentic Thai food has put peanuts back in the spotlight. “Their crunch and flavour is central to Thai dishes such as green papaya salad and traditional satay,” says Abi.

Top tip: “Toast and chop peanuts and add to finely shredded cabbage with a soya, garlic and chilli dressing.” – Abigail Donnelly


Mexican ingredients are in vogue, so corn is having a moment, specifically, fresh corn juice.
 Not only is it touted as a refreshing, nutrient-rich drink, but it’s also trending in mixology circles, most notably in New
York. At West Side restaurant Wallflower (, head bartender Xavier Herit
is converting sceptics with
 his Cornelia, made with tequila, jalapeño-infused mescal, corn purée, lime and basil, while over in the East Village, Mexican
eatery and bar The Black Ant ( shakes 
up a Yum Kaax made with mezcal, corn juice and lime.

Try it yourself: “Corn juice is
 a great natural sweetener,” says Abi. “Simply purée the kernels in a blender with water and strain.”


Fresh fruit and veg juices – especially the cold-pressed, organic versions – aren’t going anywhere. in fact, recipes are becoming even more innovative, with juice gurus adding teas like macha and spices such as turmeric and cinnamon for flavour complexity. If this sounds just
a little too virtuous for you,
the good news is that bartenders are in on the juicing trend.

Top tip: “For juice-based cocktails, radish juice and gin, sweet melon and vodka, paw- paw and tequila or mango and rum are great combinations” 
– Abigail Donnelly

Skinny eggs with spicy Mexican tomato sauce


“We’re a lot more conscious about the amount of meat we’re eating and eggs are therefore becoming the preferred protein for many people,” says Abigail. Enter the #breakfastarian movement. Breakfastarians love eating breakfast any time of the day or night, and think nothing of cooking a good old English fry-up or eggs Benedict for dinner. Apart from being relatively quick and easy to whip up, these dishes are also the ultimate comfort food after a long day at the office. “A breakfast idea I recently spotted is something called ‘skinny eggs’, where you cook scrambled eggs using water instead of oil,” says Abi. “The eggs take on a beautiful airy, mousse-like texture.

Try this recipe: Skinny eggs with spicy Mexican tomato sauce

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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