Everyone knows what a generally healthy diet should look like: plenty of whole foods that are fresh and good for your body and not too many processed treats. And though eating plain broccoli and chicken can be fine from time to time, variety is definitely the spice of life, which is exactly why so many of us get drawn in by whatever food trend is hot on a particular year.
Sometimes, it's a particular style of food that people just can't get enough of. Other times, it's a certain ingredient that you see popping up on restaurant menus and in the grocery store time and time again. While you shouldn't just hop from food trend to food trend, there's nothing wrong with incorporating a few new trends into your diet to shake it up. Who knows? You might even find something that you absolutely love!
There are some trends that stick around for ages and have us growing pretty darn tired of them. Then, there are some trends that we just can't get enough of and would gladly eat year after year. So, in honor of the New Year, we've gathered a few trends we're glad will stay in 2018, a few trends we'll definitely miss, and a few trends that you'll likely be seeing a whole lot more of in the year ahead. Who knows? Perhaps you'll find a few new favorites to incorporate! When it comes to food, anything that gets you to try new things and experiment with your diet is a total winner.
21 We’ll Miss: House-Made Charcuterie
Charcuterie boards were a trend years ago, but the 2018 twist focused on the contents of the boards themselves. It was no longer enough to simply assemble a delicious mix of meats, cheese, and accompanying things like jams and cheeses. In 2018, trendy diners would only eat charcuterie made in-house. This isn't exactly realistic for a charcuterie board at home, but we have to admit, we'll miss the innovative flavors that come along with making your own meats for a board. We can't wait to see what restaurants do with charcuterie boards for 2019—it'll probably be amazing.
20 Won't Miss: Algae Powder
Algae has a ton of health benefits, and when mixed with other ingredients, it can help create totally Instagram-worthy smoothies and spreads for toasts. I mean, who doesn't want a piece of toast that looks like it was made for a mermaid? However, at the end of the day, it's just a flavor that we're a little bit tired of. It has a very strong taste that many people just can't get behind—kind of like you're taking a bite out of the ocean—and it has a tendency to overpower whatever dish or drink it's in. We've just had enough of it.
19 Look Forward To For 2019: Imperfect Produce
You may be used to searching through the bin at the grocery store when picking your produce and trying to find the perfect apples or the most ideal carrots, but in 2019, there's a new trend we're loving: imperfect produce. Many companies are trying to encourage customers to enjoy produce that may not look as perfect but that tastes just as delicious and contains just as many nutrients. Food waste is a huge issue around the world, and consuming imperfect produce that may have previously been thrown out is a great way to combat the issue. Many companies are even selling imperfect produce at a bit of a discount to get people to try it.
18 We’ll Miss: Convincing Plant-Based Burgers
Whether you're interested in the health benefits, the environmental benefits, or the ethical reasons, there's no denying that plant-based eating has picked up some major steam over the past year. And one of the biggest trends for 2018 was convincing plant-based burgers. We're not just talking about your average veggie burger patties—those are so 2012. We're talking about burger patties that look and taste almost exactly like meat, giving even devoted carnivores the opportunity to try some plant-based dishes. The Impossible burger and the Beyond Meat burger were the two that most people tried in 2018, and we have to admit, we're low-key obsessed with both!
17 Won't Miss: Extreme Milkshakes
Extreme milkshakes became a huge trend because they're absolutely perfect for Instagram—who doesn't want to take a picture of such a fun, decadent drink? However, when it comes down to it, extreme milkshakes really aren't that great. Many places just pile on more and more snacks on the top, without much regard for whether they're actually good. You're left with a mediocre shake and a bunch of mediocre snacks that are a total calorie-packed monster. We'd much rather have a really delicious, regular milkshake made with high-quality ingredients, which is why we're glad this trend seems to be slowing down at last.
16 Look Forward To For 2019: Foil Pack Dinners
With the number of cooking shows on the air, you might assume that people are becoming total foodies, but the reality is, everyone lives really busy lives. So, any food preparation that makes life easier is one that most people are willing to try—which is where foil pack dinners come in. Based on the number of pins that foil pack dinners have received, Pinterest predicts it'll be a huge cooking trend for 2019. And no, we're not just talking about grilling—we're talking about year-round foil pack cuisine. You can combine tons of flavors and mix and match different ingredients, and there's minimal cleanup required. Sounds perfect!
15 We’ll Miss: Poke Bowls
Most people have heard of sushi, but for quite some time, poke was something you really only knew about if you were familiar with Hawaiian cuisine. In 2018, though, poke bowls were everywhere, from fast-food menus to restaurant menus, and we couldn't be happier about it. Poke is basically the perfect healthy meal—it's packed with protein and nutrients, and in many places, you can actually customize it to your taste by selecting the bowl components that you really enjoy and the fish that you like the best. Part of the popularity of this dish likely came with people trying to eat low carb, but even regular healthy eaters fell in love with the island flavors.
14 Won't Miss: Smoked Desserts
The first time you had a dessert with a smoked component, you were probably fairly intrigued. After all, you don't usually get those flavors paired with the sweetness of dessert. However, once you've had a smoked ice cream, a smoked creme brûlée, and smoked puddings, it all becomes a bit too much. It seemed that more and more chefs in 2018 wanted to show off their technical skills and ability to smoke things, but it wasn't always necessary—which is why we're glad this trend seems to be fading away for 2019. We're not sure what the trending dessert preparation will be for 2019, but it'll be a lot less smoky.
13 Look Forward To For 2019: Seed Butters
There are many people who've just about entirely given up peanut butter, instead opting for almond butter on their daily slice of toast. However, for 2019, there's a different category of butter that you'll spot everywhere: seed butter. Seed butters can be used the same way nut butters are and incorporate a wider variety of options, from pumpkin seeds to sunflower seeds to watermelon seeds. They're a great way to incorporate the creamy butters if you're trying to avoid nuts (or have a nut allergy) or simply looking to mix up your butter game. We'd love to enjoy a decadent layer of seed butter on some crackers or apple slices!
12 We'll Miss: Ancient Grains like Kamut, Spelt, And Amaranth
Unless you're on a super low-carb diet, chances are, you eat your fair share of grains alongside your protein and vegetable choices. The vast majority of people go for the standards like rice or quinoa, but in 2018, a new trend emerged—other, less conventional ancient grains. All of a sudden, people were incorporating grains like spelt and amaranth into their meals. Each grain has a slightly different texture and taste, and mixing up which ones you consume can bring a lot of variety to your meals and ensure you never get bored of eating the same old rice bowls day in and day out.
11 Won't Miss: Egg White Omelets
There's absolutely nothing wrong with opting for egg whites for your omelet if that's what you truly enjoy or if you'd rather save your fats for a huge pat of butter on your toast. However, we're a little bit over people being terrified of egg yolks. Yes, egg whites are a great sense of protein and make your omelet virtually fat free and super low calorie, but there's nothing wrong with incorporating a yolk or two in the mixture. Yolks add a ton of flavor and have additional nutrients that the whites lack, such as vitamin B and choline. Don't be afraid of the yolk!
10 Look Forward To For 2019: Oat Milk
It seems that every year, there's a new trending alt milk. First, it was soy, then almond, then coconut. Then came the other nuts and seeds, like hemp milk, macadamia nut milk, and cashew milk. For 2019, it seems that we're looking away from nuts and seeds and toward the world of grains—it's all about oat milk. Oat milk has a super-rich, creamy consistency that makes it the perfect pairing for lattes, which is why we're so excited to see it trending for 2019. Trust us—no matter how much you love your almond milk latte, you need to give an oat milk latte a try at least once.
9 We’ll Miss: Bone Broth
When a trendy food is a food that's also really good for you and has a ton of health benefits, it's kind of a win-win—which perhaps explains how popular bone broth was for 2018! The simple broth is packed with nutrients and has a ton of collagen, which can help make your joints feel better. It also has a ton of other benefits, from reducing inflammation to even healing your gut. Given how good for you it is and how easy it is to incorporate a cup or two a day, it's no wonder so many people got on the bone-broth train for 2018.
8 Won't Miss: Fried Chickpeas
Chickpeas are absolutely delicious and a really healthy way to get a dose of protein into your diet. However, in 2018, more and more people opted to slather their chickpeas in oil and either fry or bake them. While baking is marginally better than frying, that's still a lot of oil on something that was meant to be a healthy snack. We obviously want chickpeas to stick around for 2019, but we wouldn't be upset if people stopped tossing them in oil and frying them before using them in dishes—it's just a bit unnecessary, and it's really tough to get the texture just right.
7 Look Forward To For 2019: Nootropics
Okay, before you go scouring your grocery store shelves in search of this item, know that it's not a specific food—it's a category of food. Nootropic foods are foods that allegedly have some type of cognitive benefit—basically, they help keep your brain strong and healthy. Obviously, everyone wants to be functioning at their optimal level and have their brain firing like a well-oiled machine, so why not incorporate a few nootropic bites? Many nootropic foods may even be a part of your diet already, such as salmon, turmeric, and dark chocolate. They're easy to incorporate and oh-so-delicious.
6 We’ll Miss: Overnight Oats
Oats aren't really a trendy food—they've been around for ages. However, overnight oats definitely reached the height of their popularity in 2018, and it's no surprise why: everyone is really busy and just wants to find meals that can be prepared quickly and eaten on the go. That's where overnight oats are so perfect. While regular oats take a while to make, especially if you're making them with steel-cut or rolled oats, overnight oats essentially make themselves. You just combine everything in a jar or container, let them sit in the fridge while you sleep, and then grab them for breakfast the next day—it couldn't be easier!
5 Won't Miss: Pulled Jackfruit
Here's the thing: we're absolutely loving that there are so many plant-based substitutes that mimic the texture of real meat. It makes it way easier to convince carnivores to participate in the occasional Meatless Monday, and it's just a nice way to mix up your meals. However, pulled jackfruit was all over the place for 2018, and we're just a little tired of it. Sure, it's a great substitute for pulled pork, and it tastes good when smothered in barbecue sauce, but... we don't want to eat pulled pork every day. It can be tough to prepare right, and the taste isn't for everyone.
4 Look Forward To For 2019: Frozen Treats Made With Things Besides Dairy
You may have spotted a few exciting dairy-free treats in the frozen foods aisles of your grocery store in 2018. There are several brands who came out with ice cream that's made with almond milk or coconut milk rather than cream. However, in 2019, you'll want to keep your eyes peeled for something totally different: frozen treats that don't use any milk at all. Brands are trying out ice cream treats that have bases made from avocado, tahini, and other thick, creamy substances that can work as a great swap for cream. We're super intrigued to see what kind of flavors hit the market!
3 We’ll Miss: Gut-Friendly Food
Gut health has been one of the trending terms for 2018, and it's no surprise—more and more people are recognizing that the foods you put into your body have a profound impact on how you feel on a daily basis. Picking and preserving have been around for ages, but more and more people in 2018 became interested in foods that include probiotics and help with gut health, including kimchi, kefir, and miso. The best thing is, they're easy to incorporate—you can add a cup of kefir to your morning meal or top your rice bowl with a bit of kimchi, and you'll get all the gut benefits.
2 Won't Miss: Veggie Carb Substitutes Like Cauliflower Rice And Zoodles
Okay, here's the thing: there's absolutely nothing wrong with trying to incorporate more vegetables into your diet or even trying to cut back on your carb intake. However, there's also absolutely nothing wrong with having regular rice or noodles in moderation. With the trend of vegetable-based carb substitutes such as cauliflower rice and zucchini noodles in 2018, it seems like it was almost impossible to get a plate of spaghetti with regular noodles or a dish with regular white rice. You shouldn't feel bad just because you're craving actual pasta rather than steamed zucchini noodles for a meal—it's all about moderation and variety!
1 Look Forward To For 2019: Harissa
You may have heard the word "harissa" before but never really known exactly what it was—well, you want to find out before 2019, when you'll be seeing it everywhere! Harissa is a paste that's made with red pepper, tomato, chili, and a few other spices and aromatic herbs and is a fantastic way to add a punch of flavor to just about any dish. It has a slight kick to it but is a pretty versatile flavor, which means you can incorporate it in a variety of ways. If you're nervous, simply try a bowl of pasta with a harissa tomato sauce—you won't regret it.