Flash Forward: Top 20 Trendiest Foods On The Map For 2019

There have been many predictions about 2019 and what it will bring, and anything from clothing to technology has been foreshadowed at this point. What we don't hear much about is cuisine, which is always ever-changing behind the scenes. A new year brings with it the excitement of innovative methods, new palates, and exciting ways to showcase ingredients. Many of these will become popular and even make it to grocery stores, while others will remain locked behind restaurant doors, only available to those daring enough to make a reservation.

Whether or not any of the forecasted trends for 2019 will be long-lasting is irrelevant; the fact is that they exist now, and we'll definitely be seeing them at some point or another throughout the next year. We've done our research and sifted through everything from donuts to meatless meat in order to find trends that are already on the map. Food is getting the overhaul it deserves, and with the last teen year of the 2000s, out go the traditional snacks, and in come those that intrigue and delight us... Hopefully. Here are 20 food trends that will inevitably make a splash in the upcoming year and have garnered enough attention to deserve a spotlight from us.

20 Donuts Are Finally Getting The Attention They Deserve

via eater.com

Donuts have spent their fair amount of time being under attack for being too "high calorie," "too sugary," and overall "bad for you." The time of their rising (pun absolutely intended) is now, and it's happening quickly. Not only have some pretty brilliant bakers figured out how to create these delectable delights with half the amount of sugar, but some are even crafting vegan and gluten-free options. Additionally, donuts are getting a much-needed facelift. Rather than finding traditional stale, frosted-with-sprinkles donuts, we'll be seeing much more from exotic fillings, unique frosting flavors, and topping partners such as maple frosting and crispy bacon... Start loosening those waistbands.

19 Restaurant Gardens Will Be Growing

via marie-gabrielle.com

That's right—all of the farm-to-table love that was so heavily embraced in 2018 will be pushing its way into 2019 as well. In the midwest, there are several restaurants that are embracing the idea of starting their own gardens for self-sufficiency as well as creative reasons. Rooftop gardens are also gaining in popularity, allowing chefs to be no more than a short walk from fresh produce. This allows more diverse menu specials, a self-grown menu, and healthier options for those looking for plant-based cuisine. It's one trend we can definitely get behind and are happy to see making its way into the new year.

18 Celtuce - And No, That's Not A Typo


This strange veggie is definitely familiar-looking yet completely foreign. Hosea Rosenburg, a winner of Top Chef, calls this veggie "celtuce," and it's clear to see why. The vegetable has the top half of a lettuce leaf with a bottom half that somewhat resembles celery... but not quite. It's supposedly comparable to kale and provides many of the same health benefits. If one is brave enough to try this new veggie creation, it can be used in salads and juices just as kale would. We can't help you out as far as the flavor profile, but we can imagine it would be very similar to a dark leafy green... Interesting.

17 Faux Meat Snacks Are Gaining Speed


We know it seems as though a meatless lifestyle is far outpacing the rest of the food trends for 2019... and that's because it is. While it began early on as something that many people didn't understand, as soon as vegetarian and vegan dishes started making their way into restaurants, people stopped turning their heads. Now, it's common to find that many families eat at least one plant-based meal a week. Even Gordon Ramsay recently added a vegan dish to his menu for vegan January! Faux meat snacks are going to play a huge role in preventing people from grabbing a Slim Jim or pack of beef jerky on their way through the checkout line. These snacks are high in fiber and protein, giving you all the necessary benefits without being anti-animal.

16 A Classic Revolutionized: Cheese Pairings


Cheese lovers unite! Along with cocktail and dinner parties, cheese is also making a wicked comeback. The days of old-fashioned cheese platters are out, and in are elegant and quirky cheese plates. Chutneys, exotic jams, mixed nuts, avant-garde pickled veg, and international aged meats are making their way onto the appetizer scene. With the rise in breweries around the country, so comes with it the rise of pairing snacks. Cheese and meat plates have always been traditional, and now, cheesemaking is simply exploding in popularity in the US. Everyone seems to be looking for that unique flavor that'll impress their friends, and cheese plates can be easily arranged and packed up and are super fun to eat. All hail the dairy cows (and goats and sheep)!

15 Nitro Coffee Is Changing Mornings As We Know It


Along with the pop in breweries, the pop in coffee brews is also gaining speed. Coffee will never go out of style, and while 2018 saw the rise of canned coffee blends and ice coffee twists, 2019 is paving the way for caffeine blends such as nitro coffee. This innovative way of brewing coffee is incredibly simple: by adding a bit of nitrogen (it's safe, don't worry) to coffee, it creates a unique foam that adds the illusion of sweetness. This has since been used experimentally with other beverages, but coffee remains its most popular success. The added foam is similar to a latte but with nothing else added, making for a latte-like experience with sugar or cream and making a traditional coffee much richer and dense.

14 Street Food Using Exotic Spice Blends


Another cuisine that we saw rising to the top in 2018 was street food, whether it be served from a food truck or a street cart. This traditional yet new style of cooking has been well loved and continues to thrive, and scratch cooking can be thanked for this. The addition of seemingly "new" spices has elevated the flavor of traditional foods like never before. Using the technique of fusion can also enhance a dish, as it's combined with another culture's method of cooking or flavoring. Exotic spice blends are on the rise as far as cooking goes, though, with chefs looking for more ways than ever to ramp up a dish and push the bounds of flavor.

13 Strange Yet Intriguing Seafood Snacks


In 2018, we saw the rise of nori, or seaweed, lining the snack shelves. It had a taste similar to pure ocean water with a slightly salty bite and packed a wallop when it came to nutrition. This year, we're likely to see even more of that. Algae and kelp are both making their way (slowly) to snack shelves and provide the same health benefits as, if not more than, their seaweed cousin. Additionally, things such as salmon skin can provide a decent amount of omega-3 without any vitamins necessary. For meatless eaters, algae-based snacks might soon be replacing traditional tuna in a can, which is great news for those looking for a healthy on-the-go snack.

12 Vegan Options Will Be Everywhere


This was to be expected following the vegan food explosion we saw in 2018. Throughout 2019, there's no denying that vegan and plant-based food will be on the rise. The only difference is that it'll likely be overwhelmingly present in grocery stores and in major chains as well as specialty stores. This is obviously great news for those who practice veganism, but it's also an excellent tactic to get those who have little experience with it to try the new lifestyle. It never hurts to get a veggie in now and then, and going vegan or vegetarian for one night a week (aka "meatless Monday") can help boost a well-balanced meal plan. The options will be endless, and who knows? One day, vegan patties could be as normal as grilling up a bison burger at a BBQ.

11 International Breakfast Menus


Over the last year, we seem to have watched brunch come back to life with vivacious and brilliant menus. Eggs Benedict was on every menu and served in every creative way possible, eggy bread was stuffed with every available ingredient, and pancakes became gluten-free, carb-less, and reached previously unseen levels of flavor. For fans of the popular not-quite-breakfast but not-quite-lunch meal, this was exciting and refreshing. No longer were we required to wake up at 8 AM for breakfast before coffee; we could lounge for an hour or two and then casually meet up with friends and still expect a glorious breakfast. Many restaurants are accomplishing this allure by taking from other cuisines, providing international brunch buffet menus clear into 2019... We're totally here for it.

10 The Hummus Craze


Hummus is on every street corner, it seems, and in every variation possible. Spinach and artichoke, caramelized onion, roasted red pepper, lemon, and even chocolate-flavored hummus—you name it, there's a corresponding flavor for it. Chickpeas are even openly embraced in vegan recipes now, lending themselves to recipes such as dairy-free "cookie dough" (that actually works and is bakeable). Hummus is an excellent source of protein, and restaurants are now learning the perks of slathering it on sandwiches and wraps, giving lunch that extra boost of flavor we all crave. Hummus platters seemed to be on every hip restaurant the last year, and it's definitely making its move in 2019 as well.

9 Beverages Will Be Innovative And Fun


We're not even talking about adult beverages (although this has gotten a total remaster as well)—we're talking things such as Kombucha, bubble tea, smoothies, coffee, etc. Throughout 2017 into 2018, coconut water seemed to be the hottest trend, but now, exotic fruits and added veggies are making their way onto the scene. While juicing was at one point the norm, we're not seeing elevated and updated versions of this classic fruit bar beverage. Molecular gastronomy has been playing a slight hand in these updates in some restaurants, lending itself to innovative presentations and fun twists on classic and traditional beverages. This is seen overwhelming in places such as Japan, where drinks are just as visually pleasing as food dishes.

8 Food Experiences Over Food Dining


Restaurants such as Alinea, owned by world-renowned molecular gastronomy chef Grant Achatz, started this notion of transformative dining. Rather than walk into a restaurant expecting a traditional seating and ordering, these restaurants are turning meals into something interactive. Whether it be desserts or a tantalizing main course, chefs have gotten the idea in their heads to encourage customers to explore their food before diving in to devour it. This is overwhelmingly popular with desserts, and anything from crackable shells to sugar cages set on fire has been fair game. This interaction gives customers an appreciation for the art of cooking and allows the chefs to get creative with their skills.

7 Keto Cuisine Is Taking Over


Whether you were a fan of the Keto train or not, there's no denying that it's forcing its way into 2019. Keto, short for "Ketosis," is a new type of eating style that eliminates nearly all carbohydrates from a meal plan in order to push one's body into a state of ketosis, naturally burning fatty tissue. This is the (extremely) short explanation, as there's plenty of detail involved, including "good" carbs vs. "bad," number of carbohydrates allowed per day, balance of proteins, fiber, sugar, etc. Regardless, it's a trend that many people are using to successfully allow them a healthier lifestyle, and it's slowly making its way up to the big guys in the kitchen. We can expect to see this consistent upward trend through the next year as it gains popularity.

6 Anything With Hemp


Surprise! Hemp is no longer used only for making those crazy bracelets we all had in the early 2000s. Hemp, not to be confused with its derivative that's not yet legal in all 50 states, is actually legal everywhere. This is most useful in seed form, where it's comparable to chia seeds. Hemp seeds provide a high source of fiber and protein, but the benefits don't end there. Studies have also shown that they might be beneficial in cardiovascular health, might lessen PMS and menopausal symptoms, and can promote healthy digestion and overall gut health. Although hemp seeds can be eaten, they're also used to create products such as hemp milk and hemp tea, both of which offer the same health benefits.

5 More Frozen Options


It might seem counterproductive to the healthy food trends that everyone is on board for in the new year, but this isn't necessarily true. Frozen foods, once known to be belly-bomb burgers and fried appetizers, have been transformed over recent years. Frozen options now include anything from low-calorie sides to gluten-free options and premiere veggie burgers. Additionally, frozen entrees have been cleaned up to now be made healthier and more family friendly. Stores such as Trader Joe's and Target have been improving and expanding their personal frozen food lines for years, and it's beginning to show. No longer is it considered giving in to buy a frozen entree; it's viewed as time saving and efficient.

4 Environmentally Thoughtful Snacking


This is a happy moment in 2019's history. Being environmentally conscientious is no longer just an idea; it's a lifestyle. Over the previous year, we saw the rise of snacks that took into account the impact we're having on our environment. Food became a way to spread a message, and some of the population began listening. Whether it was by way of donating proceeds to an environmental organization or by using environmentally friendly or recyclable packaging, the point got across that we needed to start changing our lifestyles. Many companies jumped on the bandwagon, which is a great thing in this case, and because of it, we're seeing more and more eco-friendly methods in the food industry.

3 CBD Oil Is Holistic And Healthy


There's little debate now about whether or not CBD is actually good for you. The addition of CBD oil to just about everything nowadays isn't just a trend; it's something that's actually beneficial to nearly every aspect of the human body. It's a cannabinoid and comes with a myriad of properties that are too long to list here, but many include anxiety relief, natural pain relief, heart health, skin repair, digestion aid, cardiovascular control. It's essentially a natural cure-all for whatever ails you, depending on how high a dosage you're using. We've seen it used in nearly anything: coffee, smoothies, and even in foods. It will likely continue to be used most commonly for stress relief.

2 The Idea Of "Peganism" (Paleo + Vegan)


Paleo cuisine and vegan lifestyles seem to go hand in hand with each other. They're both highly regarded as being much healthier than any typical meal plan, and although one cuts out meat and the others encourages it, they can be easily adapted to be one and the same. Paleo consists of eating natural plant-based foods and avoiding anything processed, while veganism entails avoiding anything animal based. When combined, the result has been called "peganism" and is something that's rapidly gaining attention and popularity. Whether or not we'll find this combination lifestyle displayed on any restaurant menus is questionable, but it's been spotted in smaller cafes that cater to a healthier lifestyle.

1 Kombucha Will Still Be Going Strong


That's right—the beverage that most people either love or hate will still hold its reputation well into 2019. Kombucha has been highly regarded as being one of the top healthy choices for strong gut health, and it's easy to see why. Not only does it slide down easily and provide a ton of great fermentation for your overall digestive health, but it's also readily available in almost every grocery and convenience store. Something we're likely to see in 2019 is the addition of homemade Kombucha, which is both a fun and rewarding process. Many have already taken this challenge on, especially those who cater to a vegetarian or vegan lifestyle and ensure all their food is procured from scratch. Rock on, Kombucha fans.

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