As we about to lurch out of 23 and into the 2024's, the food world continues to embrace a revolution, moving towards greater sustainability and health ... and not needing to eat animals anymore.
Whether you are a flexitarian or wanting to just reduce you animal protein intake, the undeniable truth is globally 'ground shaking' as the plant-based food revolution rolls-on.
PlanetFood.News's research has uncovered little known companies and food service operators doing some amazing things.
This new year's most revolutionary food plant-based trends are already delivering new tastes and flavours both delicious and eco-conscious with a continuing groundswell towards actually eating either less or no meat.
So at numero uno is:
Algae Ambrosia: Algae, like spirulina and chlorella, are making waves in the culinary scene. Chefs are using these nutrient-dense ingredients to add vibrant colours and unique flavours to dishes at the same time experiementing with Algal food forms.
Spirulina Powder: Used in smoothies and energy bars for its vibrant green color and nutrient profile.
Green Algae: Becoming popular as a protein supplement in food recipes and smoothies
Source: PFN - Chef using Algae in a variety of nutrient rich food forms.
2. Root-to-Stem Cooking: This sustainable trend involves using the entire plant, reducing waste significantly. Expect to see creative dishes utilizing carrot tops, beet leaves, and broccoli stems, offering new textures and flavours.
Foraged Flavours: A line of vegetable chips that includes carrot top and beet leaf flavors.
Stemful Snacks: Broccoli stem-based products, such as pickles or stir-fry ingredients.
3. Plant-Based Seafood: With overfishing being a global concern, 2024 sees a rise in plant-based seafood. Products made from konjac, soy, and pea protein mimic the taste and texture of fish, offering a sustainable alternative.
Ocean Garden Vegan Shrimp: Made from konjac and flavoured to mimic shrimp.
SeaSoy Fish Fillets: Soy-based, designed to replicate the texture of white fish.
Source: Boldly Foods
4. Fermented Flavours: Fermentation is not just for kimchi and kombucha anymore. This year, we're seeing a range of fermented plant-based ingredients that add a rich umami flavor to vegan dishes.
Cultured Crisp: A brand of tempeh-based vegan meats with a variety of flavors.
Fermento Vegan Cheese: A range of fermented nut-based cheeses.
5. Upcycled Foods: Food manufacturers are turning waste into worth by repurposing by-products into new products. Expect to see snacks and beverages made from spent grains, fruit peels, and pulp.
Fruit Water : Water derived from upcycled fruit and vegetables
Pulp Pantry Chips: Chips and snacks made from upcycled fruit and vegetable pulp.
Source: Drink Waju - Upcycled Fruit Water
6. Moringa Magic: Moringa, a nutrient-rich plant, is gaining popularity. Its leaves are used in everything from teas to seasonings, offering a peppery flavor similar to arugula along with naturally occuring protein.
Miracle Moringa Tea: A line of teas featuring moringa leaves.
Green Zest Seasoning: A spice blend with moringa as a key ingredient.
7. Hemp-based Delights: Hemp seeds make a return. Used in a variety of foods for their nutty flavour and nutritional benefits, including protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Hemp Hearts : Hulled hemp seeds, perfect for sprinkling on salads and yogurt.
Hemp-Based Protein Products: From burger patties to sausage the reintroduction of high-protein hemp as a product fooundation has never been better.
Source: Planet Based Foods
8. Aquafaba: This chickpea water is a vegan marvel, used as an egg replacement in baking, creating light, fluffy textures.
ChickPeaWhip: A vegan whipped cream alternative made from aquafaba.
"Eggless Delight" Baking Mix: A range of baking mixes utilising aquafaba as an egg substitute.
Source: Vor Aquafaba
9. Jackfruit Journeys: Jackfruit continues to gain popularity as a meat substitute. Its texture and ability to absorb flavours make it ideal for vegan versions of pulled pork and other meaty dishes.
Jack of All Fruits Pulled Pork Alternative: Canned young jackfruit in a barbecue sauce, mimicking pulled pork.
"Tropical Twist Jackfruit Tacos: Pre-seasoned jackfruit ready for taco filling.
Source: PFN Recipes
10. Mushroom Makeover: Mushrooms are being transformed into everything from vegan leather to meat substitutes. Their versatility and meaty texture make them a favorite in plant-based cooking.
"Mushroom Marvel" Burgers: Plant-based burgers made primarily from mushrooms.
"Fungi Leather" Wallets: Wallets and accessories made from mushroom-based vegan leather - while not food the innovative applications of mushroom are growing.
As we close on 2023 and prepare to usher in the New year, it's evident we can expect a continuation into of the journey the world of sustainable and innovative cuisine. Only the imagination will slow it down but this does'nt look like abeiting any moment.
From algae-derived delicacies to zero-waste cooking, each trend has not only tantalised our taste buds but also paves the way for a more conscious and health-focused approach to eating.
These trends have shown us the power of plant-based foods in transforming our relationship with what we eat, emphasing not just the importance of flavour, but also of ethical sourcing, environmental impact, and nutritional value.
As we look forward to what lies ahead, we carry with us the lessons and inspirations from this year, ready to embrace new tastes, textures, and technologies as humanity continues to revolutionise our food intake and food production per se.
Here's to a future where every meal is a step towards a healthier, more sustainable world. Bon appétit!