Think plant-based foods, epic breakfasts daily and fancier home-cooking.
As Hippocrates said, “let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” This phrase was first said centuries ago, but remains ever so relevant today. With Covid-19 bulldozing its way in for the entire year, we daresay we’re keeping our eyes peeled on foods that can help maintain our overall health and boost immunity amidst our busy schedules.
Whole Food Market has recently released its list of Top 10 Food Trends for 2021, based on decades of experience, research and expertise being one of the leading brands in health foods globally.
Here’s what in store for us in 2021 in the healthy food crystal ball:
1. Well-being is served
With 2020 shining a spotlight on health, it’s no wonder everyone is more concerned than ever with boosting immunity. What better way to do so than the food we eat daily?
Expect more people jumping on the bandwagon of superfoods, probiotics, nutrition-dense soups and broths—delicious, nourishing beef bone broth, anyone? We’d also be seeing more “functional ingredients like Vitamin C, mushrooms and adaptogens to foster a calm headspace and support the immune system”, the report finds. Convenient but immunity-boosting foods like sauerkraut would also get more popular, since these can be easily infused into your daily WFH lunch.
2. Epic breakfast every day.
Jazzed up breakfasts that are downright delicious and pack a nutritious punch will become more of the norm. “With more people working from home, the most important meal is getting the attention it deserves, not just on weekends, but every day,” the report notes.
No commute time means being able to make yourself a wonderful breakfast to start your day off right. Think: plant-based sausage and egg breakfast sandwiches, organic pancakes—and even sous vide eggs. Yum. Our tummies rumble in agreement.
3. “Basics on Fire”
Home chefs—probably with their skills honed during the Circuit Breaker—are also on the hunt for new takes on pantry staples and basics like granola (these organic dark chocolate peanut butter granola!), pasta and sauces for more wholesome and flavorful cooking.
“Pasta, sauces and spices will never be boring again,” the report says. “Get ready for reimagined classics like hearts of palm pasta, Applewood-smoked salt and vegan soup.”
Yup, pantry basics are gonna go through a major overhaul and upgrade. Move over, basic spaghetti. Hearts of palm linguini is the new cool kid on the block. Even table salt gets fancy.
4. Coffee beyond the mug
Coffee is something most of us can’t live without. Whole Foods suggest that we’d be getting that jolt of java in other forms, like granola, bars, smoothies—even coffee yoghurt—for those “looking to crank up that breakfast parfait”.
Sounds a bit too avant garde for your cup of joe? Supercharge your morning coffee with superfoods like Ashwagandha, cacao or cinnamon powder instead for a quick and easy health boost.
5. Baby food, all grown up.
The latest baby foods are not just packed with nutrients, but there’s so. much. flavor. With ingredients like rhuharb, rosemary, flaxseeds innovatively added to on-the-go squeeze pouches of goodness, toddlers of 2021 are in for a treat. These organic Apple butternut squash pouches sound absolutely yummy and packs a nutrition punch. To add to the fun, these kiddylicious veggie straws make a strong case in persuading your tot to eat more greens.
6. Upcycled Foods.
Another rising trend is packaged foods that are made from things that may otherwise have become food waste. Food waste is a huge problem for our environment, and brands are starting to catch on.
We’d see more upcyling of food scraps like imperfect bananas and unused pulp that will be incorporated into delicious, healthful snacks. As the report quips, “dig in, do good”.
7. Oil change — to fancier ones like walnut, pumpkin seed oil
Switching up your basic canola oil and olive oil to the likes of roasted walnut oil, pumpkin seed oil and sunflower seed oil can be the gamechanger in a particular recipe you’ve been perfecting.
“At-home chefs are branching out with oils that each add their own unique flavor and properties,” the report says. Each of these oils have the potential to add a different depth and flavor to any regular dish. Besides, having more variations of cooking oil gives endless possibilities in the kitchen.
8. Boozed Up Booch
Booch—or kombucha—enjoyed some spurt of popularity in recent years, thanks to its gluten-free and probiotic goodness. They are slowly becoming mainstream, and in 2021, they’d get boozy.
“Kombucha checks all the boxes — it’s gluten-free, super bubbly and can be filled with live probiotic cultures,” the report points out. Kombucha G&T? Sounds good, pour us one.
9. The Mighty Chickpea
Next year, expect chickpea everything. Chickpea flour, chickpea cereal, chickpea curry—you name it. You may have also seen these chickpea crisps, with turmeric and black pepper. There’s even gluten-free chickpea spaghetti that’s loaded with plant-based proteins and is lower in carbs than your normal pasta.
“Rich in fiber and plant-based protein, chickpeas are the new cauliflower — popping up in products like chickpea tofu and even chickpea cereal,” according to Whole Foods Market.
10. Fruit and Veggie Jerky
Dried fruits and veggies jerkies with meat textures are going to be a thing in 2021, according to Whole Foods Market. The produce is dried at its peak freshness to preserve nutrients and yumminess, and then spiced up with chilli, salt, ginger, cacao drizzle, etc.
Expect to snack on mushroom jerky, mango jerky and the likes as you huddle up for movie night. It’ll pack a nutritious punch and satisfy all your snacking tendencies.
Jen is a food lover who is constantly looking forward to her next foodie adventure. Hardly anything can rival her love for Wagyu beef, bubble tea and sashimi. A strong believer in faith and human connections, she spends her weekends on things that make her smile and secretly loves deep conversations.