Once again, it’s time to look at what food trends are predicted to make a splash both globally and locally. The good news is there are lots of healthy and delicious options on the horizon, including the few trending topics listed here.
Seacuterie made with sustainable seafood
Expect to see tinned sustainable seafood making fresh waves (pun intended) in 2023, particularly on ‘seacuterie’ boards. Scout Canning Canada is thriving thanks to the vision and tenacity of its founder, award-winning chef Charlotte Langley, who called Ottawa home for a number of years. In Ottawa, find Scout’s tinned mackerel, trout, tuna, salmon, and lobster at select retailers, including Lollo, Seed to Sausage, the Ottawa Bagelshop and Deli, or the online Burrow Shop. You can also enjoy a unique culinary experience in January when Charlotte Langley returns to town as the resident chef at the NAC for a special dinner showcasing sustainable seafood.
The phrase ‘mindful eating’ has been around for a while, but it’s projected to take a new turn in 2023, with the adoption by many of ‘smart snacking’ as part of healthy eating on the go. Look for tasty savory vegan offerings by Nora Seaweed Snacks, available at Hintonburg Market and Natural Food Pantry. On the sweeter side, BC-based Chiwi’s makes 100% natural superfruit chips that are both delicious and nutritious. Founded by nutritionist and adventure-lover Sarah Goodman, they’re made with upcycled fruits such as kiwis, mangoes, oranges, and more which grocery stores have rejected. Find them at Moncion’s Your Independent Grocer, 7-11 stores, or online; they’ll also be available at Whole Foods across Ontario within months.
Plant-based comfort food
Fans of wheat-free pasta can look forward to expanded options beyond the familiar chickpea, rice, and corn version. Delicious choices made from red and green lentils, black beans, green and yellow peas, beets, and konjak (a low-calorie, high-fiber root vegetable that has been eaten in Japan for centuries) can now be found at many natural food shops such as the Herb and Spice, Market Organics, Natural Food Pantry and Kardish, as well as Farm Boy and other grocers, or online via well.ca. Watch for new varieties appearing soon, made from cassava, hearts of palm, and green banana flour.
Functional food and drink
Expect the upward sales trend of food and beverages that proactively support health and wellness. One local player in this space is Auralis Botanical, the world’s first alcohol-free botanical tonics brewed with functional mushrooms, including Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Chaga. The 100% plant-based, gently carbonated, and micro-filtered drinks have zero calories and don’t contain artificial colours, sweeteners, caffeine, or sugar. Look for local stockists, including Ottawa-area stores, including Healthy Planet, Metro, and Whole Foods, as well as at clinics, restaurants, and gyms, or purchase from their website.
We’ve long known that it’s important to ‘eat the rainbow’ by choosing vegetables in various colours. Popping up recently on social media is ube, a vibrant purple yam native to the Philippines. Not only is its colour eye-catching, ube is tasty and nutritious too! Great in both savory and sweet dishes, it’s packed with vitamins and minerals plus it’s a great source of fiber. Look for ube at specialty produce stores or visit the delightful Lola’s Kitchen – a small Filipino eatery in Ottawa – and taste their delicious ube cake.
Foods with a pleasing sweet-spicy profile have been garnering increased attention the last few years and their interest shows no sign of waning. Look to many Asian and southeast Asian countries for examples of well-balanced sweet-spicy dishes that are often as colourful as they are flavourful. We are fortunate that the Ottawa restaurant scene includes an abundance of Korean, Indian, Vietnamese, Thai, and other cuisines where swicy foods can always be found on the menu. If you’d like to tap into this trend at home, check out Constantly Cooking’s recipe for sweet and spicy caramel chicken – it’s delicious!