One of the things that I like the most about the change of seasons is there are food trends that go right along with them. When it comes to what's popular on plates all around the country this year, what's awesome about pretty much all of them is they are delicious and, if you would prefer to make them yourself, for the most part, they are low-maintenance too. This means you don't have to spend a ton of cash or spend loads of time in the kitchen in order to satisfy your cravings.
So, just what should you be consuming more of if you want your palate to currently be "in style"? (By the way, if you see a hyperlink, it's tied to a recipe. You're welcome.)
1. Big Breakfasts
Most of us grew up hearing that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. It gives us an energy boost. It kicks up our metabolism rate. It helps to control our blood sugar levels. It's great when it comes to maintaining heart health. It helps us to concentrate and be more productive throughout the day. So, how cool is it that one of the biggest summer food trends this year is eating breakfast?
Not just any ole' cereal and orange juice either. I mean, the classic kind of breakfasts that are typically reserved for Sunday brunches or going out to eat. If you'd like a bit of creative inspiration, how about making some veggie breakfast tacos, blueberry and peace oatmeal, a couple of slices of scrambled egg toast, oat waffles or some mixed berry French toast bake? All delicious. All fairly easy to make. And all perfect for a first-meal-of-the-day-during-the-summer-season treat.
2. Strawberry Matchas
If you've never had matcha tea before, the backstory on it is it comes from the same plant that green tea does; only, it's grown differently. As far as its health benefits go, matcha is good for you because it's packed with antioxidants that are able to fight off free radicals. Not only that but it also contains properties that can strengthen your liver, increase your brain function and can even help you to lose weight. Since strawberries are in season during the summer (and are also loaded with antioxidants and fiber), it would make sense that strawberry matchas are all the rage right now. You can enjoy a strawberry matcha latte, an iced strawberry matcha latte or a strawberry matcha smoothie — all from the comfort and convenience of your own home.
3. Grilled Veggies
We all know that vegetables are good for us if we want to maintain optimum health. Well, something else that's popular this summer is grilled veggies. I don't know about you, but the first thing that comes to my mind are veggie kebabs (some folks call them skewers). Anyway, if you're curious about which vegetables are currently in season, the list includes cucumbers, carrots, bell peppers (which are technically a fruit yet many folks forget that and they are great to grill), zucchini, garlic, eggplant and shallots.
4. Pickled Foods
At the end of the day, a pickled food is one that's been fermented by putting it in a combination of water, white vinegar, salt and sometimes a little bit of sugar in order to create a bit of a brine. This is good for you because it contains a lot of good bacteria that's great for promoting gut health. Luckily, pickled foods also made the list this year. As far as the kinds of foods that will give you some of the best pickling results, asparagus, mushrooms, peaches, squash, tomatoes, blueberries and grapes all make the list. For tips on how to pickle properly, The Kitchn has an article that you can check out by going here.
5. Iced Lavender Lattes
I'm telling you, if you've never had lavender ice cream before, you're really missing out!
While lavender is oftentimes approached from an essential oils angle, consuming dried lavender can be great if you've got digestive issues, if you're looking to reduce some stress or you want an all-natural approach to relieving a headache or toothache.
That said, another drink that is getting a lot of attention this summer is an iced lavender latte. If you add some pure vanilla extract and oat milk, it could easily become one of your favorite summertime drinks. You can cop a recipe for it here.
6. Mediterranean Pitas and Greek Salads
Are you someone who happens to absolutely adore Mediterranean food? If so, that's great because this type of cuisine has a reputation for maintaining weight loss, reducing our risk for heart disease and strokes, decreasing the chances of cancer cells developing, helping to prevent type 2 diabetes and even easing depression-related symptoms. Two types of Mediterranean food that you should get on before the fall season arrives are pitas and Greek salads. Click here for a vegetarian pita recipe and here for one that includes chicken.
7. Rice Rolls
Another big food trend right now is rice rolls. They are a Cantonese dish that's made from a Chinese rice noodle known as shahe fen and is then filled with meat and/or veggies. Some folks prefer them steamed while others like them to be pan-fried. Either way, if you're looking to deviate a bit from your normal palate, rice rolls are a cool way to do it.
8. Vegan Fried Chicken
You really would have to be living under a rock that is under another rock to not know that veganism continues to soar. If you've been considering trying it out, but it's super hard for you to imagine life without, say, fried chicken, another big food trend this summer is yep, you guessed it — vegan fried chicken, chile. I'm not a vegan or vegetarian. However, I did grow up Seventh-Day Adventist and that came with all kinds of meat alternatives which means that I can vouch for the fact that some of them (so long as you make sure the gluten, sodium and preservatives aren't totally off of the charts) actually taste pretty good. Word on the street is the site Blacks Going Vegan's Crispy Spicy Popeye's Chicken Style Vegan Fried Chicken is definitely worth giving a shot. If you wanna learn how to make it, go here.
9. Charcuterie Boards
If you've always wondered how to pronounce "charcuterie", it's shar·koo·ter·ee. Now that we've gotten that out of the way, the long story short of a charcuterie board is it's a French tradition that consists of putting together cured meats, cheeses, olives, nuts, fruits and artisan breads such as naturally leavened white or whole grain bread, ciabattas or baguettes. These boards are ideal if you plan on hosting some sort of summer-themed party this year. A lot of restaurants sell them pre-assembled or you can learn how to make your own by clicking here.
10. Homemade Sorbet
I am unapologetically THE ice cream girl. Although I must admit that the more I learn about dairy, the more intentional I am about finding alternatives, so that I don't overdo it. One that I like a lot is sorbet. If you've always wondered what the differences are between ice cream, sorbet, sherbet and (another goodie) gelato — ice cream contains fat from milk; sorbet consists of nothing but fruit and sugar; sherbet is sorbet with milk added to it, and gelato is a custard-based kind of ice cream. While all of these are the absolute bomb around this time of year, it's sorbet that is getting most of the love in the food trending department. And you know what? You'll be kicking yourself once you find out how easy it is to make. The Flavor Blender has an article entitled "Easy Fruit Sorbet (Only 3 ingredients and so many flavors!)" that is definitely worth checking out. Enjoy!
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