I don't know about y'all, but there's not one thing that I can think of that I don't like about this time of year. And while I typically cook, at least four times out of each week, there is something about the cool autumn air that beckons me to spend more time in the kitchen, coming up with dishes that will make me feel all warm and cozy inside.
While I was looking for a couple of new recipes to try, I happened upon some fall food trends that I thought some of you might be interested in hearing about. All of them are delicious. All of them are easy to come by. And, best of all, all of them are sure to make your autumn menus even more divine.
1. Edible Containers
While I definitely don't like a messy kitchen (yuck), I must admit that, unlike a lot of my friends, I am not the kind of person who is gonna have a coronary if a dish is in the sink when I turn in at night. That might be why I was so geeked when I saw that one of the current big food trends right now are edible containers. In short, it's basically what the phrase says—containers that you can eat once you finish eating whatever is inside of them.
For instance, I really like to put homemade soup into some bread. It's sooooo good. While it might look bougie, this is actually one of the easiest dishes on the planet to make. If you don't wanna make your own soup, all you need to do is get some round bread loaves from your local grocery store. Cut about 1/3" deep circle around the top of each loaf. Heat up some soup (or stew) and pour it into the hole. Whew, chile! By the way, if you wanna impress yourself and make some bread bowls yourself, I found a pretty cool recipe here so that you can do just that.
I actually grew up consuming more carob (at least in my home) than chocolate. While it doesn't quite hit the mark of the deliciousness of chocolate, it's honestly not all that far off and is a viable chocolate alternative.
On the health tip, carob is good for you because it contains no caffeine, is gluten-free, is super high in potassium and calcium, and it's low in fat and sodium. Carob is also high in fiber and antioxidants too.
I personally like carob in the form of a cup of hot carob milk or even carob brownies. If you want to take a stab at either one, a recipe for the drink is here; the ones for brownies is here. Having both of these on a cold autumn day while watching a throwback movie? Life doesn't get much better than that.
Something else that has been a big food trend, pretty much all year-long, has been drinks that are low in alcohol. Now before y'all completely side-eye me on this (because I KNOW y'all ain't giving up any red wine any time soon), this doesn't mean you've gotta totally go without. Again, we're just talking about actual trends here.
As far as wine goes, the kind that is super popular right now is Piquette. If you're not particularly familiar, in a nutshell, it's a wine that's made from the skins, seeds, stems and pulp that remains after grapes are processed in order to make wine in the first place. As a result, in contains somewhere between 4-9 percent alcohol while more traditional brands have somewhere between 12-15 percent. So, if you wanna still toss a couple of glasses back but you also want to be cognizant of how much alcohol you take into your system, Piquette is a really dope compromise.
4. Tajin Seasoning
If you're someone who likes to experiment with seasonings a lot—or you've just started cooking at home more and you want to learn about other ingredients that you can add to your favorite dishes—how about adding Tajin (pronounced ta-heen) seasoning to your pantry? It's a seasoning that is popular in a lot of Mexican cuisine. As far as what it tastes like, tangy lime is probably the best description. A lot of people use it as a meat rub, as a complement for any recipes that have foods like pineapples and cucumbers in it, and it tends to go in alcoholic drinks like margaritas and Micheladas as well. I don't know about y'all, but I can do some fish tacos or chicken quesadillas any time of year, so yeah…this seasoning trend is good news to know about. (You can usually find it at your local grocery store, by the way.)
5. Chocolate Chili
Chili is that stick-to-your-ribs-when-it's-freezing kind of meal and I'm totally here for it! Believe it or not, it's actually got its fair share of health benefits too. Thanks to the beans and/or meat in chili, it's filled with protein. The beans also mean that chili has quite a bit of fiber in it. Ingredients like peppers provide antioxidants, and chilies specifically, contain endorphin and serotonin that can help you to feel calmer and relaxed. As a bonus, believe it or not, capsaicin (an active component in chili peppers) can actually curb sugar cravings too.
While chili is pretty much "in" during any time of the year, a particular kind that is a big trend this fall season is chocolate chili. No, it's not about putting a couple of Kit Kats into an already-made bowl; it's about adding some pure dark chocolate into the mix. Health-wise, dark chocolate adds more antioxidants into your chili; taste-wise, it makes the recipe so much thicker and richer. If you wanna give chocolate chili a shot, click here for a "regular" recipe and here for a Mexican-style one.
6. Honey Butter
Now, if there is something that I can testify about, it's honey butter! If you want to know the difference between butter vs. margarine, Medical News Today has a good read on it here. Anyway, if you like to have a slice of toast or a bagel in the morning, putting a little honey butter on either one is about as good on the cinnamon toast that a lot of us adored as children. Not only does honey butter taste really good, honey has all kinds of health benefits. Some of them include the fact that it's also a food that is high in antioxidants (the kind that can help to keep your blood pressure low), and it can help to improve your cholesterol levels and suppress coughing; especially in children. As far as the kind of honey that's best, raw or manuka are your best bet because honey offers more nutrients whenever it is in its purest form.
7. Chickpea Crust (or Pinsa)
I don't know about y'all but, to me, it seems like the past couple of years, all I've been hearing about is cauliflower rice and crust (both ain't half bad either). Well, as we're easing into 2021, what is getting its time to shine is chickpea flour (which is how you can make chickpea crust). Chickpeas are good for you because they're a good source of protein and fiber, along with folate and manganese. If you're looking for something that will help to regular your blood sugar levels, keep your weight in check, support digestion and even help to fight against heart disease and cancer, chickpeas will do it.
The reason why it's on the list of fall food trends especially, is because another popular food for this season is pinsa. What's that? It's a kind of pizza that is lighter and healthier than more popular kinds. If nothing makes you happier than a slice of pizza on a cool autumn day, you can get a recipe on how to make traditional pinsa here and a recipe for how to make gluten-free chickpea pizza crust here.
8. Blue Tea
While I was checking out 2020 food trends, my something new for the day that I came across was blue tea. First, a part of the reason why it makes the list because Pantone's color of this year is blue. From a color psychology standpoint, I'm a fan of blue because it symbolizes things like calm, wisdom and tranquility so, already I'm down to give blue tea a shot.
From what I've read, it's a drink that is loaded with antioxidants and anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, it helps to regulate blood sugar levels, it helps to reduce anxiety and stress, it detoxifies your system and (get this) blue tea also can help to reduce a fever too. So clearly, you can see why a warm cup of it would be perfect during the autumn and winter seasons.
(A reportedly great brand is Wild Hibiscus Flower Co. Heart-Tee Blue Tee.)
Pretty much, no matter what article that I read on this year's food trends (including the ones that specifically referenced the fall season), lasagna kept on coming up. From what I researched, there's no real rhyme or reason for why this dish is such a fall fan favorite. It's simply a comfort food that restaurants and home-cooking folks alike are serving up quite a bit right now.
By the way, if you want to try a take on lasagna that doesn't include pasta noodles, I sometimes make mine with zucchini instead. You can use a vegetable peeler to remove the hard skin and then to create "noodles" with what's inside of it. Zucchini is an awesome alternative because, health-wise, it's low in fat while being high in Vitamin A and also containing a good amount of manganese, fiber, potassium, magnesium, antioxidants and vitamins C and K. Zucchini aids in health digestion, improves heart health, helps to keep your vision strong, lowers cholesterol levels and, thanks to the lutein, zeaxanthin and beta carotene that's also in zucchini, it's the kind of vegetable that helps to delay aging signs too. If you'd like to try this twist to traditional lasagna, you can check out a recipe here.
A lot of people in my world are flexitarians. Those are individuals who are vegetarians most of them time, but they do eat meat and/or fish from time to time. While veganism has been all the rage for the past few years, it's actually flexitarianism that is creeping its way onto the scene. It can consist of putting some meat on a salad sometimes, enjoying salmon with your grilled veggies or doing something like making homemade turkey burgers with vegetables like mushrooms and sun-dried tomatoes in them.
Flexitarianism is a great way to stay on top of your fruits and veggies without feeling guilty about enjoying a turkey leg, some pot roast or anything else your heart desires this holiday season. So, enjoy it and all of these fall food trends, sis. Fully.
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After being a regular contributor for about four years and being (eh hem) MIA in 2022, Shellie is back penning for the platform (did you miss her? LOL).
In some ways, nothing has changed and in others, everything has. For now, she'll just say that she's working on the 20th anniversary edition of her first book, she's in school to take life coaching to another level and she's putting together a platform that supports and encourages Black men because she loves them from head to toe.
Other than that, she still works with couples, she's still a doula, she's still not on social media and her email contact (email@example.com) still hasn't changed (neither has her request to contact her ONLY for personal reasons; pitch to the platform if you have story ideas).
Life is a funny thing but if you stay calm, moments can come full circle and this is one of them. No doubt about it.
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7 Black Women Bookstagrammers To Follow And The Reads By Black Authors That Empower Us
I've always been a stan for reading, and I've been a so-called book geek since kindergarten. My mom would always reward good grades and behavior with a trip to the local library, something my siblings loved more than any new toys or free time to play outside. We would spend hours at the tall stone building in the downtown area of the small town I spent my childhood in, first in the downstairs "Children's Room" (which only had books for readers 5-13). I later graduated to going (i.e., snuck) upstairs to find all the juicy celebrity autobiographies, travel books, and classics like Sula, Moby Dick, and A Midsummer Night's Dream.
So today, when I see so many Black women part of #bookstagram, I feel seen because many of us love not only to read but to drown in books by Black authors, poets, historians, and researchers who continue to add to the narrative and reflection of what it truly means to be a Black person---a Black woman---in America.
Check out (and follow) a few of my favorite Black women bookstagrammers and the books that empower us:
Zora Neale Hurston is clearly an icon, and she's one of my favorite authors, thought leaders, and scholars, so this is an obvious choice for me. What I love, specifically, about this bookstagrammer's page is that it lacks pretension, is super-relatable, and includes a nice mix of nonfiction books, something I'm trying to boost in my collection.
2.Kayla Starr @blackgirlbookadventures
Another classic, Beloved was a book I unsuccessfully tried to read as a 12-year-old, tried again in my 20s (and failed), saw the film, and then fell back in love with again reading in my 30s. Black Girl Book Adventures is a page that just screams brightness, positivity, and a love for books that draws you near.
3.Black Girl With Books @blackgirlwithbooks
This book had a profound effect on me, as it connected the dots between Ghana (a place that has held a special place in my heart since my 2016 visit) and Black America in a way that blew my mind. It also helps that the storytelling and timelines are captivating and thoughtful in a way that any editor who just loves good writing--in an online content environment that seems to reward robotic, vapid, Grammarly-informed, copycat writing---would appreciate.) The founder of this page also offers info on bookstores and other interesting updates for bibliophile baes.
4.Shani Akilah @_shaniakilah
A love of travel and books? Yes, please! Shani's page is refreshing and welcoming, inviting you in on her global adventures along with her journeys through her latest reads. I'm a huge fan of books that feature Black women protagonists in Caribbean or African settings who are able to come into a higher sense of themselves through challenge or hardship. For some reason, I'm always drawn to those books, which is why this one is a top pick for me.
5.Boipelo Lecha @boipelo.reads.books
I'm not big on romance novels (after having grown out of an early obsession with Danielle Steele). At one point, I'd been yearning for a book that offered an elevated sense of the Black love experience (beyond the esteemed OGs like Terry McMillan, Eric Jerome Dickey, and Zane) and stumbled upon Love In Color. It was just what I needed because it's a collection of classic love stories retold through the lens of the author, and the tales centrally feature women.
Biopelo is an up-and-comer in the #bookstagrammer space.
I've been consumed by Black historical fiction, and this is a good one for the collection. It tells the story of a Black southern family through generations in a way that doesn't feel like a book you were forced to read for a college project. It screams, "Turn me into a six-part Netflix saga," and was a surprise hit for me because I made some very ignorant assumptions about a poet being able to write such a story. (Ah, like Maya Angelou isn't literally a queen in my head.)
Virginia-based Semiyah is literally like my reading tastes twin, down to the mix of types of books she showcases on her page, from romance fiction to new YA titles.
Lex serves up book events and information about new releases to boot, and her page doesn't scream, "Hey, I'm going to just promo books sent to me for free by publishers." On top of that, I support any and everything with the name Tiffany D. Jackson stamped on it. She's a graduate of the other HU (heeeey all my Hampton *cough*, I mean, Howard folk), and the way she puts her special stank on YA will have you wanting to actually relive your own teenage years.
Dare I say, reading her work is like the first time I read Judy Blume, Sister Souljah, and Candy Dawson Boyd---all pioneers in what is now known as young adult fiction. It's authentic, truthful, kind, real, and has a living soul, all elements I yearned for back in the late '80s and '90s as a confused, geeky, Black girl at the library and that I still yearn for as an award-winning editor, editorial manager, and self-employed woman at my big age.
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