Hope you like sweet potatoes....because according to the cool kids at Mintel Inc (they track food trends), we will be eating a lot of them next year. Here's a rundown of their list of the top "IN" foods for next year, because I wouldn't want you to suffer the shame and embarrassment of serving an "OUT" food to your guests next year! ;-) haha!
Sweet Potato - Candied, fried, baked or boiled…sweet potatoes are one of the most diversely prepared vegetables. Aside from being a delicious snack or side dish, they also will become known as the new functional food, as they are rich in dietary fiber, beta carotene and vitamins C and B6.
Cardamom - Known to be intensely aromatic with a strong, unique taste, cardamom will find a home in more than just ethnic fare. Cosmic Chocolate recently launched a chocolate bar flavored with cardamom and oranges.
Hibiscus - Commonly seen in teas, the USDA has said that consuming hibiscus tea can lower blood pressure. In the future, expect to see it become a common ingredient in the beverage market. Premium Essence Water from Hint now offers Hibiscus-Vanilla flavored water.
Cupuaçu - The taste of the Amazon…cupuaçu is the next big superfruit. And when we say big, we mean big! It contains more than 10 vitamins and antioxidants, as well as essential fatty acids and amino acids. Musselmans launched a lime and cupuaçu flavored apple sauce showcasing this unique flavor.
Rose water - Rose water is no longer just a fragrance. You can look forward to finding it as a common flavor in ethnic foods or, like Ghalia Organic Desserts in Los Angeles discovered, you can add it to your brownie recipe for a subtle rose water flavor.
Latin - Latin spices will be heating up our palates next year, and you won’t have to dine out to get these exciting flavors. Whole Foods Market now offers a Mayan Ceviche; meanwhile, Icelandic Salsa Shrimp Cocktail features a spice packet loaded with the popular Latin flavor of cilantro.
In case you want to start cooking up some sweet potato goodness early and be ahead of the coolness curve....here is my fave sweet potato recipe!
Sweet Potato and Mushroom Lasagna
3 small sweet potatoes
4 oz. sliced cremini mushrooms
2 T olive oil
3 cloves garlic
15 oz. ricotta
8 oz. cream cheese
5 oz. goat cheese
¼ c. chopped basil
9 no-boil lasagna noodles
3 oz. grated mozzarella
Preheat oven to 400.
Peel and slice the sweet potatoes. In a large bowl, combine the olive oil, 2 cloves garlic, minced, and salt and pepper to taste. Toss in the sweet potatoes and the mushrooms, and bake on a foil-lined cookie sheet for 20 minutes.
While the vegetables are roasting, mix ricotta, cream cheese, goat cheese, basil, 1 clove garlic, minced and salt and pepper to taste.
In a 10×6 lasagna pan, spread ¼ cheese mixture, then top with 3 noodles, add ¼ cheese mixture, then continue to layer with ½ sweet potatoes, 3 noodles, ¼ cheese, ½ potatoes, 3 noodles and ¼ cheese. Top with mozzarella.
Cover tightly with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 400 degrees. Remove foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes.
For a weeknight, the sweet potatoes and mushrooms may be roasted in advance and added to the casserole after being refrigerated all day. Likewise, you can build the lasagna, keep it covered in the refrigerator, and then bake when you get home. Add an extra 10-15 minutes to baking time if you’re baking a chilled lasagna.
Hello Ms Sheryl.
Googled your article looking for "trendy foods" as a research project in connection with an idea for a contemporary tapas & late night food/ wine-liqueurs joint. So thanks for putting up these thoughts...like your style, so gonna start following you here and on facebook.