Cricket cookies, and other foods you’ll be eating this year

From gourmet bugs to orange wine, it’s going to be an adventurous ride when it comes to food and beverage inspo this year.

Nutritionist and The House of Wellness presenter Zoe Bingley-Pullin fills us in on what’s in store for our palates and plates in 2019.

Fermented foods

With new research on gut health released almost every day, Zoe says probiotic-rich fermented foods and drinks like sauerkraut, kimchi, kefir and kombucha will feature heavily on grocery lists this year.

“Taking care of our gut microbiome is critical to our overall health, including our mental wellbeing,” she says.

“The gut and brain are constantly sending chemical messages to each other which impacts how we feel and how our gut functions.”

Poke bowls

Pronounced poh-kay and traditionally consisting of rice, raw fish and vegetables, these nutritional rock stars – which originated in Hawaii – will continue to take the world by storm in 2019.

Bondi Protein Co’s Christian Rocchi, whose new e-recipe book features a popular tofu and kimchi poke, predicts a trend towards more vegetarian and vegan options as the bowls of goodness become more mainstream.

Ugly food

Misshapen fruit and veg that would otherwise go to waste are being snapped up by socially aware consumers, as part of a global “rescued-food’ trend set to continue this year.

“We’re seeing past the look and feel of food and instead focusing on the health benefits food can offer to us and how our selection at the supermarket impacts the environment,” Zoe says.

“We’re also becoming more creative in the kitchen and finding ways to use ‘ugly food’ in ways that makes its appearance negligible, such as in slow cooker dishes and smoothies.”

Edible insects

You’re not alone if the thought of munching on a cricket biscuit or ant lamington makes you wince, but nutrient-rich edible insects are a fast-growing food trend.

Entomologist and food scientist at the Edible Bug Shop, Skye Blackburn, says demand across Australia is huge.

“Bugs have a slightly nutty flavour and for most people it’s just a matter of closing your eyes and having a taste,” says Skye, who runs Australia’s first edible insect farm in Western Sydney.

Motherless meat

A rise in veganism in Australia (we have the third fastest-growing vegan market in the world) and a growing interest in food ethics, sustainability and health, means meat substitutes are here to stay.

Look for good quality and “clean” faux meat products and avoid those full of preservatives, genetically modified ingredients, thickeners and unhealthy oils, advises Zoe.

“There are also plenty of healthy plant-based proteins to include in your daily diet such as legumes, nuts, seeds and tofu, just for starters,” she adds.

Plant-based foods

Cauliflower rice, beet tortillas and banana soft serve are just some examples of how plant- and fruit-based products are being cleverly incorporated into every day staple items, though Zoe warns we shouldn’t shy away from wholegrains entirely.

“Carbs are still a very necessary part of the diet and offer numerous benefits, especially when it comes to gut health,” she says.

Nut butters this year are predicted to make way for seed butters, like sunflower, watermelon and pumpkin seed butters – a handy alternative for those with nut allergies.

Orange wine

This beautifully hued wine – white wine made the way red wine is made, where the juice is fermented with the grape skins – is a growing trend that is set to continue booming in 2019.

British chef Nigella Lawson described one Western Australian variety as “utterly fabulous” and even former PM Malcolm Turnbull has been seen quaffing a glass.

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Cactus water

That’s not all when it comes to beverages.

Keep an eye out too for cactus water (a rival for coconut water), watermelon water and even charcoal juice on the supermarket shelves this year.

Although the experts say good old H20 should still be our primary source of hydration.

Superfoods

Marine foods such as kelp noodles and algae-based products will be big this year, predicts Zoe, as well as an increasing range of hemp-based offerings from seeds to protein powders.

And keep an eye out for shelf stable probiotics (that don’t have to be kept in the fridge) and can be added to smoothies, nut butters, soups and porridge.

Happy new nom nom!

More new year inspiration:

Written by Liz McGrath.

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