I enjoy food. I especially like to prepare dishes. But sometimes, I'm in the kitchen so much, that I can find myself getting a little bored. It's in those moments that I'm ready to find a way to add a little more "kick" to the stuff that I make. Whenever that happens, I tend to look for information on what's poppin' on the cuisine tip. You know, what's currently trending or what's really popular for the year or even a particular season. When I discovered some trendy ways to approach different types of foods this spring, I must admit that I wasn't disappointed. Along the way, I learned a couple of things too.
If your palate is yawning and you want to do a few things to wake it up, here are 12 current trends that can make you love eating foods—whether it's again or more than you already do.
1. Coffee Cocktails
Coffee and I have a weird relationship. While I've only had a cup of java, less than 20 times my entire life, at the present moment, I've got two pints of coffee ice cream in my freezer. I think it's because I don't rely on caffeine for anything (like to keep me awake or even some of the health benefits that come with consuming coffee), but I do like the taste of it; so long as it's cold and has a lot of sugar and cream added to it. That's why I might actually try a big current coffee trend—coffee cocktails. Some people refer to these as being liqueur coffee because coffee cocktails are basically what happens when coffee and alcohol come together in a glass. Some examples of this would be iced Irish coffee or White Russians. Anyway, if caffeine and alcohol are totally your thing, you will definitely be "on trend" if you have a few coffee cocktails over the spring and summer seasons (you can check out 20 recipes here).
2. Creative Butters
If you've been patting yourself on the back for using almond butter, it's time to take things up a notch. This year, some of the butter (and spread) combos are completely off the chain. There's puréed coconut butter. There's watermelon seed butter (which is high in antioxidants, plant protein and is a great allergy-free butter alternative). There's Tahini (which is a thin spread that is made out of sesame seeds). If you're a cinnamon fan, there's even cinnamon almond with chia seed butter that's totally yours for the taking. Or, if you want to try a nut and seed mash-up, you'll absolutely love Nuttzo Crunchy Seven Nut & Seed Butter. It's got cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, Brazil nuts, flaxseeds, chia seeds and pumpkin seeds in it.
3. Glitter Wine
Yeah. As if y'all needed another reason to sip on a glass of wine, right?
If you're looking to jazz up your wine consumption experience a bit more, all you need to do is sprinkle a little bit of edible glitter into your wine glass.
And just where the heck do you get edible glitter from? I read that Target carries some, but the far better reviews came from sites like Brew Glitter.
Something that originated in South Africa is biltong. The best way to describe it is, it's a type of beef jerky that's made from thicker slices of meat; except, unlike beef jerky, it is prepared with ingredients like vinegar and salt. If you want to be like the popular cuisine kids this year and give biltong a shot, you can figure out where to get some in your area at Biltong USA.
5. Alcoholic Ice Cream
If you've had a bad day and you're looking for a fun way to get a little tipsy, the bad news is alcohol-infused ice cream isn't really gonna do it for you. It has something to do with the fact that the dairy that's naturally in ice cream ends up offsetting the alcohol that's added to it. But if you simply like the taste of liquor and you wish you could get it in the form of a frozen dairy treat, then "alcoholic ice cream" most certainly has your back. You can check out a list of some of the best brands on the market here. Or, if you'd prefer to make some of your own, there are 14 cool recipes here.
6. Pea Milk
Yep. You read that right and I'm over here trippin' just like you probably are.
It seems like every day, there is some new milk alternative and right now, a really popular one is milk that is made out of peas (well, pea protein). Apparently, it's packed with protein, calcium and Vitamin D, it's hypo-allergenic, it's low in calories and, it's better for the environment than cow or even almond milk.
Plus, if you get the kind that is known as unsweetened ripple milk, it is low in carbs and sugar too. And what is the texture like? Word on the street is pea milk is really creamy because it's mixed with things like water and sunflower oil. And just where can you cop some in order to try it out? Your local Whole Foods should have it. Or you can order some via sites like Ripple Foods.
7. Sweet Hummus
Hummus (a spread that is a mixture of chickpeas, sesame seeds, olive oil, lemon juice and garlic) is an acquired taste; there's no doubt about that. If you're someone who tends to take the "I'll pass" approach to it, maybe try some dessert hummus. It's hummus that has something sweet added to it like vanilla, chocolate mint or even sweet potatoes. You can purchase dessert hummus via companies like Delighted by Dessert Hummus or you can take a shot at making some of your own at home. Since hummus contains manganese, folate, copper, magnesium and iron, and it's proven to fight inflammation while keeping your gut healthy, it can't hurt to taste test a sweeter approach to it.
8. Chocolate Gnocchi
This is the kind of food that you need to taste and decide on rather than just read about. The reason why I say that is because, if you've never had gnocchi before, it's a type of pasta that comes in the form (and consistency) of small dumplings (it's actually a tad healthier than traditional white pasta, actually). So yeah, if you take this into account and then add the word "chocolate" into the mix, it could cause you to turn up your nose; understandably so. But still, it's another thing that's all the rage this spring. So, if you're the type of person who likes to check some foods off of your bucket list, Delish published "Trader Joe's Chocolate Gnocchi Is Making People Feel Both Happiness And Immense Confusion" that can pretty much let you know exactly what you'll be getting yourself into if you decide to try this particular food out.
9. Souffle Pancakes
If you're a big breakfast person and you'd like to try a different approach to a staple dish, how about a stack of souffle pancakes? Japan is what basically put these on the map. You create them by separating your egg yolks and egg whites and then beating your whites until they have a meringue-like texture which results in "airy" pancakes. If you'd like to make some, I found a fairly easy recipe here.
If nothing makes you happier than having a grilled cheese sandwich, have you tried making it with halloumi cheese? Long story short, if goat and sheep cheese had a love affair and made a baby, its name would be halloumi.
It is an unripened brine cheese that people like to grill with or even fry, thanks to the cheese's high melting point. As a bonus, you can get 70 percent of the daily calcium that you need, just by eating it. Halloumi cheese also contains zinc, magnesium and vitamins A and B which makes it pretty good for you. Most grocery stores carry it, by the way.
11. Kombucha Beer
I guess the best way to describe kombucha beer would be that it's kind of like hard cider. OK, so you might already know that kombucha is a combination of tea, (good) bacteria and sugar. The end result is a fermented kind of drink that has a bitter bubbly taste to it (it's definitely an acquired one; trust me). Now some companies are adding organic dried hops and creamy ale to it in order to transform kombucha into a beer. And yes, a lot of people are drinking it up. Not only can it give you a pretty good buzz (on average, it contains about five percent alcohol), but kombucha beer is also great at fostering gut health too.
12. Anything with CBD in It
You'd have to be living under a rock to miss the fact that CBD oil is booming right now. It's kind of a long story why, but if I could only provide a reason in a sentence, it would be that many researchers believe it can help to reduce anxiety, pain and inflammation. A lot of us battle with that, sooo…more and more of us are using the oil; this includes putting CBD in our foods. There's CBD-infused sparkling water, cookie dough bites, breakfast cereal, gummies, honey—you name it. When it comes to this trend, just make sure that you thoroughly research the oil itself (Medium's "CBD Infused Food and Drinks — The Ultimate Guide" is a good read). Also make sure that you save up. This. Stuff. Ain't. Cheap. Otherwise, try something out and enjoy! It's a super chill way to continue enjoy eating this spring (and summer) season.
Want more stories like this? Sign up for our newsletter here and check out the related reads below:
These Food Trends Are Gonna Be Big In 2020
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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 (firstname.lastname@example.org) 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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'Power Book II: Ghost' Star LaToya Tonodeo Talks Breakout Role And Shooting Her Shot At 50 Cent For An Audition
Actress LaToya Tonodeo demonstrated the power of speaking up as she recently recalled how she secured her breakout role in Starz's Power Book II: Ghost.
The hit show, a spinoff of the original series Power, follows the journey of college student Tariq St. Patrick (Michael Rainey Jr.) as he tries to escape his father's tainted image while running a drug operation.
In Power Book II: Ghost, Tonodeo portrays the role of Diana Tejada, the daughter of former kingpin Lorenzo Tejada and Monet Tejada, played by Mary J. Blige.
The series debuted in 2020 and became an instant hit as viewers were glued to the screen weekly due to its captivating storylines. Power Book II: Ghost is currently in its third season and has been renewed for a fourth.
Although Tonodeo has been a part of the entertainment industry for over a decade by appearing in various television shows and films, the 26-year-old's star shined a lot brighter after landing a role in Power Book II: Ghost.
In an IG Live with xoNecole, Tonodeo opened up about how her dream opportunity came to fruition and the rumor that she boldly asked Power's executive producer, Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson, to participate in one of his projects.
LaToya On Previously Working With 50 Cent
In last month's discussion, Tonodeo revealed that before landing Power Book II: Ghost, she was already working alongside Jackson for his Sony/Crackle series The Oath.
In the show, the actress played the character Tara Byrd. Tonodeo shared that as the red carpet premiere for the first season of The Oath occurred in 2018, she missed her opportunity to connect with Jackson because she was working on another project. But as fate would have it, The Oath was renewed for a second season.
In 2019, as Tonodeo reprised her role in the show and attended the red carpet premiere for the second season, she briefly chatted with Jackson, who at the time acquired the rights to the BMF story.
"Well, what's crazy [is] I was already on a 50 Cent show. So at that premiere, it's called The Oath. It was the season two premiere of The Oath on Sony/ Crackle, and he was there," she said. "Season one, there was a premiere, and 50 Cent attended. I wasn't there because I was doing The Fosters, and I'm like, 'man.' When I got to go to the season two premiere, I saw him, and it was around the time when he got the rights for the BMF story."
The Bold Move That Helped 'Powerbook' Star LaToya Tonodeo Land the Role
LaToya On Asking 50 Cent To Audition For a Role And Landing 'Power Book II: Ghost'
Tonodeo explained that during her conversation with Jackson, she congratulated the mogul on obtaining the rights to the BMF story and expressed her interest in wanting to be a part of the project.
Tonodeo added that although she is unclear if Jackson remembered their encounter or "if it meant anything," when a Power Book II: Ghost role came along, she auditioned and landed the job.
"I was like, 'Oh my God, like I want to be a part of it.' But I don't know why I did it. I just walked over there, and I was like, 'Hey, congratulations on getting the rights. I would love to audition.' I don't know why I did that. I don't even know if it meant anything or if he remembers or not. I do know that I did my thing in the audition, so yeah, we are here now," she stated.
Either way, with that story, Tonodeo has displayed the perfect example of "closed mouths don't get fed."
Power Book II: Ghost is now streaming on Starz.
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Feature image by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images for STARZ