Food Trend Predictions for 2019

Poke bowls. Avocado Toast. Matcha Lattes. Cauliflower Gnocchi.

The food trends of 2018 did not disappoint, but what’s in store for 2019? Based off new products on the market, consumer interest, health benefits, popular diets, and most importantly -TASTE- I came up with my own food predictions for this upcoming year. 🙂 Let’s take a look at what I’m envisioning. It’ll be fun to see if any of these are correct in one year from now.

1. Oolong & Rooibos tea.Don’t get me wrong. I am a borderline matcha addict. Okay, okay, I AM a matcha addict. I have one at least once a day, sometimes twice. But no matter how good a drink or meal is, it’s nice to switch it up from time to time. Tea is the number one consumed beverage in the world, and it is continuing to grow in popularity in the states.

Oolong tea reigns from China. It is a white tea with a light, floral fragrance, and in terms of health benefits, it is one of the healthiest teas one can consume. Oolong contains caffeine, and therefore, promotes weight loss. Some other benefits of oolong tea include: aids in regulating blood sugar levels, promotes healthy skin, acts as an antioxidant, relieves stress, sharpens mental focus, strengthens bones and enhances oral health (10 Nutritional Benefits of Oolong Tea).

Rooibos tea is red in color and is native to South Africa. It is caffeine-free and has a           light, nutty flavor. This tea is abundant in vitamins and minerals and is known for fighting cancer, diabetes, and heart disease (13 Amazing Health Benefits of Rooibos Tea). Believe it or not, rooibos is technically an herb, not a tea. It is semi-fermented and oxidized to transform it into a tea grade product. Many South Africans use rooibos in their cooking as well, which brings me to my second 2019 food trend prediction…

2. Grow your own herbs. 

Many of us have seen the “Grow Your Own Herb” kits at random stores, but have you given growing your own herbs a try? I live in an apartment in Chicago, and with the limited resources I have to fresh soil and ample sunlight, I thought it would be more difficult to grow my own herbs and plants in tight quarters. I am happy to report that I have successfully grown a variety of herbs on my windowsill. Right now I only have basil and kale going, but my long term goal is to get one of those light growers and plant all the herbal goodness! Most herbs need sunlight and water- that’s it! Instead of spending $1.99-$2.99 per week on each herb- grow your own, save money, and get the satisfaction in nurturing a plant for food!

3. Ashwagandha

Ashwa-what? Ashwagandha is an herb that grows on a shrub that is native to India, the Middle East, and parts of Africa. It was added to many food products in 2017 & 2018 and will continue to be highlighted in 2019 as a healthy brain supplement. Ashwagandha is known to improve memory, promote brain function, and optimize critical thinking. It is commonly used in Ayurvedic practices and is thought to assist in the following: arthritis, digestion, stress, insomnia, blood sugar levels, Alzheimer’s, and cancer (Top 10 Food Trends for 2019).

A few products you may see ashwagandha in are Four Sigmatic’s Adaptogen Coffee Mix, Pearl Butter’s Glow Getter and signature coconut butters, and Gaia Herbs Golden Milk mix.

4. Mushrooms

The health benefits this fungi provides is pretty extraordinary. It can fit into nearly any diet plan and is extremely easy to prepare. Mushrooms contain sufficient amounts of selenium, iron, vitamins A, B & C, and the antioxidant ergothioneine. They aid in regulating blood sugar levels, fighting cancer, have anti-inflammatory properties, and promote nutrient absorption. There are over 14,000 varieties, so the versatility you have with them in cooking is extensive. As mentioned with ashwagandha, Four Sigmatics offers several mushroom products- including a coffee infused with this magical food. And Trader Joes just came out with a new mushroom seasoning called Umami- very good!

5. Collagen

Another continuing trend of 2018 is the consumption of collagen. Collagen is the most abundant protein produced in the human body, but its production diminishes over time as we age. According to a study conducted in London, pairing a daily collagen drink with a hyaluronic supplement has been proven to reduce fine lines, wrinkles and other signs of skin aging significantly (Effects of a nutritional supplement containing collagen peptides on skin elasticity, hydration and wrinkles). I recently listened to a podcast episode that discussed collagen very in depth. The guest RD did thorough research to provide the best information to the listener. I highly recommend the listen!

My favorite collagen products are made by Primal Kitchen (Vanilla Coconut flavor) and Vital Proteins. I have personally seen a difference in my skin due to this daily regimen.

6. Artisan bread.

Y’all, we have shunned bread and carbs for way too long time now. Some of us even completely eliminated it them from our diet. Well guess what?! Carbs are NOT bad for you! -especially in moderation… It is a common misconception that they are, and as a nutrition student, I would be happy to debunk carbohydrate myths to try to undo the damage done to bread’s reputation. For now, let me just say that bread is on the “rise” again- get it- rise? Hehe. But really. With the FDA changing nutrition label standards, another requirement is to provide the amount of whole grains in bread! Yahoo! Look out for these labels to be more mindful in consuming whole grains over refined carbohydrates. Once you get adjusted to whole grain products, you won’t want the over processed stuff. And artisan bread? C’mon, need I say more about it’s delectable goodness and why people want to eat more of it?!

7. Sushi burritos.

Similar to poke bowls, sushi burritos offer an easy and satisfying on-the-go meal. You can create your own flavor profile by adding whichever ingredients you desire. Sushi burritos contain rice (carbs), and I would recommend choosing brown rice over white. The remaining ingredients should be fairly healthy- fish & veggies- so don’t worry about that! The only other thing I will note is to be mindful of the amount and kind of soy sauce you’re using (if any). Soy sauce can be high in sodium, so either use less or opt for the low sodium version.

8. Earth Bowls

Earth bowls, as I like to call them, have also been referred to as Buddha Bowls, Energy Bowls, etc. They usually contain a grain (rice, faro, quinoa), a plant-based protein, and mounds of veggies! They are SOOOO nourishing and surprisingly satiating! There is just something so comforting in eating warm plant-based food from a bowl, ami right?

8. Non-dairy Dairy

Okay, here me out. Even if you are not a full time vegetarian or vegan, a good non-dairy cheese or milk is worth trying out. I have been on a cashew milk kick lately, and I’m starting to dabble in buying, trying, and making vegan cheeses. I’ll share the brands and recipes as I come across them. The health benefits of decreasing dairy intake and increasing non-dairy dairy intake is the reduction of inflammation in the body. Dairy tends to produce mucous, phlegm and causes slight inflammation in the digestive tract and other parts of the body. As far as benefits, many plant-based milks are now fortified with vitamin D and/or calcium (check nutrition labels for this). Vegan cheeses can be very filling and provide many nutritional benefits as well, especially since many of them are nut based. For this reason, they are also higher in calories, but eat mindfully and until you feel full and you’ll be fine! Enjoy, and please share your experience with non-dairy dairy in the comments below. I’m fairly new to the vegan cheese game, so I’m all ears!

9. Decreasing Food Waste.

I’m sure most of you have heard of Imperfect Produce by now. This company was started by a couple of college kids in Maryland in 2015, and it has gained tremendous traction since. The premise? You sign up to receive a box (you can choose the size) of produce that may or may not look different than the produce you would purchase at the grocery store. Grocery stores only seek to display what they think consumers will buy, that is, “perfect” looking food. However, that shiny red apple isn’t supposed to be THAT shiny. It’s coated in wax to look more appealing to you, the consumer. Imperfect Produce purchases and sells irregular shaped and fun looking produce for a decent price. Help eliminate food waste in America and sign up in 2019!

10. Food Policy Education.

I am minimally educated in food policy and programs in America simply because I’m a nutrition student. How can we live in a country where MILLIONS of people are hungry on a daily basis?! That is flabbergasting and completely unacceptable to me. When you think of people starving, many think of the homeless and people in Africa. There are people here, in America, who are living paycheck to paycheck and decide to pay a bill instead of eat, or feed their child instead of themselves. If we educate ourselves on food policy, government funded programs, and local farms/farmer’s markets/CSAs, etc in your local area, we can begin to learn ways we can assist in solving this problem, making a difference and creating change.

Well, those are my top 10 food predictions of 2019! I hope you enjoyed reading through them. I’d be interested to hear what you think of them, so feel free to comment below! 2019 is going to be an AMAZING year- one of hope, creativity, determination, and love. I hope you all feel this way, open your hearts to all of the possibilities, and either praise or correct me for these food predictions of 2019!

H A P P Y   N E W    Y E A R!!!

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