Love to cook and try new things? Here are some food trends and techniques to put on your radar in 2014. From sun-kissed citrus and homespun condiments to gastro pub foods and more, Better Homes and Gardens gives you the newest ways to spice up weeknight meals and inspire your restaurant choices.
We're sweet on citrus. Once limited to lemon bars and pastry fillings, citrus is becoming a cooking essential in everything from dressings and pastas to flavored chips and DIY limoncello. The tangy, versatile fruit offers refreshing health benefits like vitamins and zero fat, making it a great replacement for high-sodium salts and seasonings. Whether it's limes or grapefruit, zest or freshly squeezed juice, citrus is sure to brighten up the 2014 flavor forecast.
Get your Mason jars ready! Home cooks are getting crafty in the kitchen as they take on pickling, canning, and fermenting. Whether it's DIY yogurt, pickled watermelon, or homemade sauerkraut, preserving is the perfect way to enjoy your favorite produce year-round.
2014 is putting a gourmet spin on bar basics like burgers, fries, and beer. Ordering a cheeseburger? Expect artisanal cheese and specially made sauces like aioli or chipotle mayo. Oh, and your simple side of fries will come coated in truffle oil and creamy Parmesan. As for thirst-quencing beers, menus will feature locally brewed and craft beer options.
Popcorn is more than a buttery movie snack. It's now an everyday treat and an indulgent dessert that welcomes toppings like chocolate, maple, bacon, seaweed, herbs, sea salt, and cinnamon. Healthy whole grains such as barley, bulgar, quinoa, and sorghum will also be popping on your stove top in 2014.
Drinks are no longer limited to water, milk, and soda. Made-to-order beverages will cater to individual palettes and provide personalized flair in 2014. Juice bars will also pop up, offering healthful and wholesome blends of fruits, veggies, and add-ins such as wheatgrass and mint. Other drink trends to expect: even more flavored waters, the rise of gin in cocktails, tea used in cooking, and the ever-popular Blue Curacao mixed drink.
Processed foods often contain unhealthy ingredients with names that sound made up. So in 2014, we're swapping long ingredients lists containing words we can't pronounce for all-natural whole foods. Whether it's buying local from the market or double-checking grocery store packages, people are paying more attention to where their food comes from and what's in it.
Forget the bottled stuff. The whole-foods movement is influencing condiments as well. Made-from-scratch sauces like zippy salsa, moscato-infused jam, and jalapeno ketchup will take over pantry shelves and restaurant menus in 2014. With custom ingredients, chefs of all kinds are celebrating the original over the generic by experimenting with new and exciting flavor combinations.
The new year brings nostalgic sweets and treats to upscale dessert menus, including homemade hard candies, gumdrops, marshmallows, doughnuts, and pudding desserts of all kinds. New York City bakeries have adopted dishes like caramelized tapioca and banana bread pudding, while restaurants are shaking things up with dougnut-flavor milk shakes.
It's no surprise that on-the-go Americans love to snack. According to The Hartman Group, over half of people say healthy snacks are important, yet the most common snacks remain chips and soda. 2014 will help you put a natural spin on your favorites with earthy veggie chips, homemade granola bars, and sweet, satisfying smoothies.
Kale is having a moment, but it's not the only veggie we have eyes for. We're revamping childhood classics like carrots, cauliflower, and peas as they take center stage on our newly balanced plates. Look for them barbecued, broiled, raw in salads, rubbed with spices, roasted, in sandwiches, and more. Root veggies like rutabaga and parsnips are also on the rise, along with charred veggies of all kinds. Charring is the perfect way to add smoky notes to your BBQ veggies.
Charcuterie -- a fancy word for a meat-and-cheese tray -- is popping up everywhere, from French restaurants to personal party menus. We fill ours with cold cured meats like prosciutto and pate, artisanal cheeses, baguette slices, and olives for the perfect ooh-la-la appetizer.
Thought your only options were potato and sweet potato fries? Think again! 2014 is transforming produce of all kinds -- zucchini, apples, avocados, and more -- into delicious fry favorites. Try banana fries with pico de gallo or jicama fries with Sriracha. Toppings like poutine will also bring fresh flavors to fries.
2014 makes way for Mediterannean and Peruvian cuisines, with dishes like hummus, polla a la Brasa (roast chicken), and fish stir-fry. Expect bold flavors from the Middle East such as sumac, za'atar, and aleppo peppers. Ramen, once a college favorite, is also trending in new incarnations.
Introducing the fifth taste: umami. Its tangy, briny flavor can be found in foods like anchovies, olives, tomatoes, cheese, and tapenades. Umami adds deep flavor dimension and a pleasant lingering finish to menu items of all kinds, from sushi and steaks to cookies and jellies.