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June 19, 2018
Pita cut in triangles with jars of hummus and other dips
 

As the new year is quickly approaching, it’s time to reflect on the food trends of the past and look forward to digging into new ones in 2019.

FORKS OVER KNIVES

2018 was a big year for more sustainable foods and practices. More and more people are saying no to processed, genetically modified ingredients and are pushing for fresher, locally grown foods. This trend will continue in 2019 as we see fresh ingredients popping up in recipes and locally sourced ingredients used more often.

Chefs are experimenting with more sustainable, and plant-based options for the growing number of vegetarians, vegans, and people simply being more environmentally conscious. Plant based proteins like quinoa, lentils, and chickpeas are on the rise as both restaurants and consumers cut back on their meat consumption.

To compliment this trend, many restaurants are now offering a larger selection of vegetarian and vegan friendly items. Order a yummy veggie scramble for brunch or enjoy savory vegetable and wild rice dish plated with broccoli puree and a pumpkin pesto for dinner, just a few of the veggie options offered in JRDN at Tower23 Hotel.

“Many consumers consider themselves “flexiterian or lessitarian,” meaning they consciously have cut back on animal products” ”

 

GOT MYLK?

Almond, soy, coconut, oat, cashew, you name it, they could (probably) make a milk out of it. Whether you are lactose intolerant, prefer the taste of non-dairy milks, or are trying to save the planet, non-dairy milk options are offered almost everywhere. Although vegans and vegetarians only account for about 15% of consumers, many consumers consider themselves “flexiterian or lessitarian,” meaning they have consciously cut back on animal products and it is this group that is responsible for the sudden outbreak in so many non-dairy milk options.

Milk alternatives are being widely used in our day-to-day lives. Whether you are grabbing your coffee with coconut milk, or using almond milk in your recipes and smoothies, non-dairy milk sales have grown over 61% in the past five years and will continue to do so.

GUT FEELINGS

Probiotics provide health benefits to our digestive system. They are full of “good” bacteria and restore the natural balance of our gut. While in the past most people found this in supplements or yogurt, nowadays, there are many other probiotic rich choices.

Fermented foods are a staple in many diets now because of the probiotics they offer. Popular items include pickled veggies, kimchi, and miso. These fermented foods are adding a different flavor to normal menu items with their salty-savory kick and with being high in probiotics they are gaining in popularity among diners and chefs alike.

Speaking of fermentation, kombucha is a fermented tea that is full of probiotics to promote a healthier inside. You can also get your probiotics in while you’re enjoying a drink - enter JuneShine, the world’s first Hard Kombucha bar located in San Diego, California. This probiotic packed, liquid treat prides itself in being an alcoholic drink you can enjoy while still feeling good about yourself because it’s brewed with organic ingredients providing probiotics, antioxidants, and vitamins with no added sugar. But if that isn’t your cup of tea, you can also get your probiotics in other ways. There are probiotic oatmeal, smoothies, powders, and even sparkling waters.

 

“California will be the first state to ban plastic straws at sit-down establishments, unless a customer asks for a straw.

 

MOCK-TAILS

Hard kombucha sounds like a perfect drink when you have to wake up early the next day. But maybe you’re wanting a non-alcoholic option, that is a little fancier than soda? Enter mocktails. Think cocktails, minus the alcohol, but still made with several different, fresh ingredients making them refreshing and satisfying. These drinks are popping up more frequently and are prepared with the same careful craft and art of making a cocktail, just sans alcohol.

Popular mocktails include “no-jitos”, a mojito, minus the alcohol, or a mule that combines ginger beer, lime, and bitters. JRDN features a refreshing strawberry lemonade made with house-made grenadine, house-made sour, strawberry puree, and soda for a refreshing twist. Gone are the days of only having a soda option!

THE FINAL STRAW

We’re eating cleaner, we’re drinking cleaner, and now we are cleaning up the environment thanks to the plastic straw ban. The plastic straw ban has begun this year and will take full effect beginning in 2019. California will be the first state to ban plastic straws at sit-down establishments, unless a customer asks for a straw. However, many restaurants in California have already gotten behind the movement and have said good bye to plastic straws altogether. We are now seeing paper straws, or another more popular alternative, bamboo straws showing up in drinks.

Sustainable food and drink options will continue to rise and dominate the food scene in 2019. Diners are wanting environmentally friendly and healthier options, and restaurants are listening! Keep an eye out for alternatives to your typical proteins and a larger selection of plant-based products, and don’t forget to bring your reusable straw with you.