Food is the new fashion.
From our Instagram scrolling (there are over 200M posts with #food), to our viewing habits (the average British person spends five hours a week watching cookery shows, reading recipe books and scrolling through food videos on Facebook, according to research from 2016) and how we spend our cash (we’re forecast to blow £52.2 billion on eating out this year) it’s moved from a fringe obsession to a collective one.
This means that trends are just as ubiquitous in the culinary sphere as the clothes one. And with fermented food revivals, next-level breakfasts and pretty alternatives to a morning latte all riding high, we’ve got some exciting stuff happening at the moment. Here’s how to make some of 2017’s hottest ideas.
1. Savoury yoghurt
Called out as a trend to watch by the Waitrose Food & Drink Report 2016, trying this new take on the breakfast staple is a fun way to sample something different. Take a bowl of Greek, natural or lactose-free yoghurt, top with a swirl of garlic-infused, extra virgin olive oil, some roasted cherry tomatoes and a sprinkle of dry-toasted pumpkin seeds for crunch. Or grate cucumber, carrot and finish with a handful of cashews. Chunks of beetroot with plenty of chopped mint and sea salt is good too.
2. Golden milk
With vibrant orange turmeric reigning supreme as the health ingredient du jour, it was just a matter of time before this ancient Indian concoction hit the wellness circuit. On the menu at hip health hangouts like Jasmine Hemsley’s East by West pop-up in Mayfair and North Yorkshire’s Filmore & Union, it’s easy to make at home.
Heat a teaspoon of the earthy spice in a saucepan with a cup of whole, semi or lactose-free milk, a dash of cinnamon and few grinds of cracked black pepper, before simmering on a low heat for five minutes. Finish with a little honey to taste, before pouring over ice to cool and serve.
3. Jazzed-up porridge
Still slicing up a banana on your oats and calling it done? It’s time to step it up. Dedicated porridge eatery 26 Grains in London’s Covent Garden has sparked a revolution with founder Alex Hely-Hutchinson’s takes on the wholesome classic – including savoury versions featuring kale, sriracha and fried egg, while bowls decked out with edible flowers and fancy fruit are all over brunch menus. For a savoury take, heat oats with milk and a little sea salt in a saucepan, before finishing with sautéd veg and sprouted seeds. To stay sweet, try warming the grains with milk, vanilla bean paste and a broken cinnamon stick, and decorate with sliced kiwi and pomegranate seeds. Beautiful.
4. Make-it-yourself cheese
Less tricky than it sounds, promise. While aging your own blue probably isn’t going to happen, soft cheese varieties are (relatively) straightforward. For paneer – perfect skewered and peppered with tandoori spices before a blast under the grill, or stirred through a curry – pour whole traditional or lactose-free milk into a saucepan with a squeeze of lemon juice and boil vigorously. When you see the liquid start to curdle, remove from the heat and leave it to settle for a minute. Next, drain the mixture through a muslin cloth, so you’re just left with the curds. Wrap these up in a clean tea towel and hang the bundle from your kitchen tap to drain thoroughly. After around half an hour, spread the curds over the tea towel and cover with another cloth. Weigh this down, using a butter dish or something similar. After an hour and a half, chop into cubes and use in cooking. Easy.
5. Culture clubbing
From fermented cabbage (sauerkraut) to cultured tea (kombucha), packing everyday ingredients with added probiotic benefits is the ancient art that’s now on the modern agenda. One of the simplest ways to get in on this trend is with kefir. A drink of fermented milk, it’s crafted by adding kefir grains – small clusters of yeast and bacteria – to whole milk, decanted into a glass jar. Cover the jar with a tightly bound cloth, seal with an elastic band and leave to stand for 24 hours at room temperature. When it’s done, you can drink it as it is or add to smoothies.
6. Unicorn everything
Not literally. But the prettiest trend of recent times has been adding a shine of magic to everything from lattes to toast, via natural food colouring and a healthy dose of sprinkles. The easiest way to try it is the toast route. In a few seperate bowls, mix cream cheese with a little beetroot juice, turmeric and spirulina respectively. Slide daubs diagonally over a slice of golden bread. Take a photo immediately.