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Ten food trends to love in 2014

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1) Vegetables are hot!

Since healthy eaters are supposed to consume two pounds of vegetables per day, this trend is a good thing.

While the Miami Dining Examiner hasn't gotten into the kale kick, she does love cauliflower, Brussels

sprouts, beets and mushrooms.

2) Probiotics is the new buzz word.

Gut health is all the rage these days. Probiotics are beneficial bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract that help

ensure the digestive system stays healthy. Some examples of probiotic foods are: yogurt, buttermilk,

sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and soy sauce.

3) Go nuts!

A recent Harvard study reported that people who eat nuts weigh less and are 20% less likely to die

prematurely than those non nut eaters. No need to twist the MDE's arm- she loves them. Whether

roasted, toasted, glazed or ground, nuts are a welcome addition to any diet, using portion control.

4) Whole grains- they do a body good.

Quinoa is still hot, but a host of other grains have emerged to give diners a variety to choose from.

Look for strange sounding freekah, teff, faro, amaranth and spelt to make appearances on upcoming menus.

5) Artisanal cheeses.

Remember when cheese choices consisted of your basic cheddar, swiss and American? A wealth of

exciting cheeses, some from small dairies and farms, are now available at your local grocery store. And,

while fresh mozzarella has been popular for a while, burrata has now burst upon the culinary scene. This

smooth, creamy and delicious cheese is perfect with tomatoes, beets and crostini.

6) Smokin' hot!

Now, it's not only meats being smoked but eggs, salts and veggies as well. This new (but ancient) cooking

technique is just another way to add interest to diner's food.

7) Herbs and roots.

With more people (and foodies) growing garden and the popularity of the farm to table, slow food

movement, herbs are the perfect way to add flavor and interest to dishes (with no extra calories). Tumeric

and ginger root are particulary popular these days, for their cleansing properties.

8) In a pickle.

Pickling and canning, techniques borrowed from grandma's time, is a big trend nowadays. Everything from

watermelon rind, to cauliflower, green beans and onions can be pickled, adding a little extra zing to dishes.

Another plus to this Southern staple are the probiotic benefits. (see #2)

9) The incredible edible egg.

Eggs are hot! Fried, poached and over easy eggs are topping pizzas, rice and even salads as the perfect, all

natural sauce. Who wants boring egg whites, when the whole egg, with golden yolk, is available?

10) Exotic foods.

Gone are the days when eating ethnic consisted of a trip to your local Chinese restaurant. Thai, Japanese

and Vietnamese food is still popular, but also Middle Eastern, Indian, Peruvian, Haitian and even Ethiopian.

Diners have become increasingly sophisticated and this trend has resulted in grocery stores having to up

their game in the foods they stock. Hummus may be the new salsa.

Other hot trends for 2014? Drinking green juices, eating sustainable seafood, knowing where your food comes from and do it yourself foods (think yogurt, nut butters and sprouts).

So last year? Pork belly, pinot grigio (try pinot gris instead) and egg whites.

So, try some new foods and wishing a healthy and happy new year in 2014!

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