Trends come and go as the seasons change. They appear in different forms, whether they are fashion, food, or business-related. One thing is for sure, when trends surface, you can not help but notice them all around you. That “trendy” new pair of shoes suddenly seems to follow you everywhere.
And when it comes to food trends, suddenly everyone seems to have a deep love for superfoods right? It is safe to say that some trends are more beneficial for the masses, while others may be harmful.
Fortunately, many of the culinary trends appearing in recent years involve nutritionally dense foods that are extremely good for the body, such as kale, cacao, and acai. Whole Foods recently published their Top Food Trends Report, which gave their forecast on up-and-coming flavors that are predicted to be found in the mouths of the masses.
The full list of food trends can be read below, but the standouts include:
- Floral Flavors (including edible flowers)
- Middle Eastern Influences
Have you ever seen a flower so beautiful that you considered eating its petals? While this may sound strange to some, in addition to looking attractive in our gardens, many flowers can be eaten! (Disclaimer: Not all flowers are edible! We will identify criteria for eating flowers safely later in this article.)
Incorporating your favorite flowers into your dishes will not only make all of your meals worthy of an Instagram post, but they also add delicate, subtle tastes, beautiful colors, and fresh fragrances, as well.
This idea of using flowers when cooking is not a new idea. Spicing (or sweetening) dishes up with flower petals have been around for thousands of years amongst the Chinese, Greek, and Romans. Whether for adding colors, garnishing, or flavoring the plate, edible flowers are a treat for our senses. The flowers look, smell and feel appetizing, so they must taste amazing too, right?
Cautions: Not Every Flower Is Edible
Before running across your neighbor’s yard to their beautiful, enticing garden to begin your flower-eating diet, there are some precautions that you must take.
To be clear, NOT every flower is edible.
- Never eat flowers that have been sprayed with pesticides and other chemicals. Flowers purchased from floral shops, for example, are usually sprayed with chemicals, so do NOT eat these.
- Never pick random flowers and assume that they are edible because you can end up becoming very sick. A good rule of thumb is: when in doubt, do NOT eat it!
- Only eat flowers that you know are consumable. A quick Google search, or using a book on edible flowers and plants as a reference should clear any confusion you have.
- If you have allergies, you may also want to consult with your doctor before introducing flowers into your diet.
- Only eat the petals, and remove pistils and stamens on the flower.
You May Also Want To Read – How To Break Your Bad Habits Using Flower Remedies?
Flowers You Can Eat
Now that we have addressed the precautions to take before consuming flowers, let’s eat them!
Not only do the shapes, sizes, and colors of flowers spread across a spectrum of nature’s creativity, their tastes range as well. Angelica, Anise hyssop, clover, and fennel, for example, have a licorice-like flavor, whereas arugula, calendula/marigold, chrysanthemum, nasturtium, and radishes have more of a peppery taste.
Many flowers elicit a sweet sensation in the mouth, complementing their pleasing appearance. Carnations/ dianthus, chamomile, citrus blossoms, jasmine, lavender, and violets are all edible flowers. Beyond using them for teas, they serve as excellent garnishes and can be used (sparingly, depending on your taste preferences) in sweet or savory dishes.
Incorporating edible flowers into your diet enhances the visual aesthetic of your plate, which only compliments the floral tastes. Simply garnishing your meal with them will have you eating with your eyes!
Yucca, or as it is called in Central America, Flor De Izote, the beautiful, white flowers are often found in the dishes of many delicate meals. This specific can be found in some Latin Markets, and is possibly already growing in your backyard! If it is within your reach, a garden of recipes can blossom from this exquisite flower.
Simple Yucca Dish (from José Manuel-Los Angeles)
- One teaspoon olive oil
- 1/4 cup diced onions
- Four eggs beaten with a fork
- Salt and pepper to taste.
Remove the individual yucca flowers from their stems, and remove the pod from the center of the flowers. Next, soak them in water for 10 minutes, then rinse thoroughly. Bring a quart of salted water to a boil. Place the yucca flowers in the boiling water. Allow them to boil for 4-5 minutes, and then drain.
In a saucepan, heat the olive oil and add the chopped onions. When the onion begins to simmer, add the yucca flowers, and stir together.
Pour in the beaten eggs and stir over medium-high heat, until they reach the consistency you prefer.
Decorate your plate with some fresh yucca flowers and put your Yucca Omelets on a large lettuce leave to add additional color to your dish.
Israeli/Middle Eastern Influences
America, being the melting pot it is, is usually quick to adopt and appreciate cuisines from around the world. Diets hailing from the Middle Eastern regions of the planet, in particular, are generally praised for their simplicity.
This is an example of a trend that many Americans can benefit from, being that Middle Eastern diets are known to be extremely colorful and simple, yet very healthy.
We will begin to see more and more dining restaurants incorporating these tastes onto their menus. Shaya in New Orleans for example, has received the Best Restaurant award last year and was awarded the James Beard Foundation Award of Excellence for creating a delicious menu of Israeli food with a Southern twist.
Following this food trend promotes a diet that uses whole, plant-based ingredients like cucumbers, tomatoes, and radishes. Since these diets are high in healthy fats, whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and legumes, the saturated fats and cholesterol contents are very minimal, if present at all.
Armenia, Israel, and Iran are all examples of nations whose dishes often replicate rainbows from the abundance of nutritious foods.
Raw Israeli Salad Recipe (Vegan-Friendly)
- One finely diced cucumber
- Four diced tomatoes
- One diced red onion
- Two tablespoons olive oil
- Salt and pepper to taste.
To prepare this salad, pour chopped cucumber, tomatoes, and onion into a bowl. Add olive oil, salt, pepper, and voilà!
Flowers and Middle Eastern influences will be accessorizing the plates of many in this upcoming year. Look ahead, and begin your journey to more plant-based eating now so that you can be ahead of the trend!
Feature Image Credit: shutterstock.com
Inpost Image Credit: shutterstock.com & smittenkitchen.com