Year In Review: 5 Food Trends That Took 2016 By Storm December 27, 2016

by Eat

365 delicious days later… 

year in review-food-2016-HelloFresh

You ate, we listened. As the year draws to a close, it’s time to look back at the ingredients, flavors, and trends that dominated 2016 and that we predict will make a big splash in 2017.

1. Good-For-You Grains

food-year in review-grains-quinoa-HelloFresh

Turns out America was pretty late to jump on the ancient grains bandwagon. But better late than never, right?

Coming in hot at number one is freekeh, a Middle Eastern cereal grain that’s harvested, fire-roasted, and sun-dried for a distinctly smoky flavor. It dishes out a higher concentration of vitamins and minerals than more mature grains, which may explain why it’s a specialty in Arab countries like Egypt, Jordan, and Lebanon.

Next up, protein-packed quinoa. Although celebrated as a “super grain,” it’s actually botanically related to spinach and beets. Regardless, we’ll take it.

Nutty, slightly chewy wild rice takes the bronze. Despite its name, wild rice is not really a rice (what is it with all these deceptive grains?). Rather, it’s a long-grain marsh grass native to the northern Great Lakes region.

HelloFresh’s expert team of chefs spent the year experimenting with unique, delicious, and simple ways to feature grains in the HelloFresh boxes. Our favorite? Pistachio-Crusted Chicken with Quinoa and Chopped Cucumber Jalapeño Salad.

2. Bowl-Tastic Dinners

food-year in review-bowls-dinner-HelloFresh

Bowls were clearly having a moment in 2016, and we don’t see the trend going away anytime soon. With layers of complex carbs, colorful veggies, healthy fats, proteins, greens, and sauces, dinners served in bowls aren’t just fun to prepare, but they’re downright drool-worthy (foodstagram, anyone?).

Step aside, plates, and make way for this Zesty Corn and Red Bean Bowl with Roasted Sweet Potato, Feta, and Tomatoes.     

3. Food Waste

year in review-food-waste-HelloFresh

It’s impossible to ignore the fact that 40% of food grown in the United States every year ends up in the garbage. In fact, in 2010 alone, America produced 33.79 million tons of waste — enough to fill the Empire State Building a staggering 91 times.

2016 was the year Americans finally put their foot down and said enough is enough. It’s time to kick food waste to the curb with the help of meticulous meal planning, designated “clean out the refrigerator” dinners, and weekly HelloFresh deliveries of ingredients pre-measured and packed to perfection.

4. One-Pot Wonders

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From warming stews to comforting casseroles and everything in between, one-pot, pan, or sheet dinners stole the show in 2016, and it’s easy to see why. They’re a go-to on hectic weeknights and come equipped with all the flavor and fun we love without the painfully long cleanup we don’t.

But don’t just take our word for it. Whip up this Spanish One-Pan Chicken with Chorizo and Bell Peppers to see for yourself.

5. Intersection of cooking and FUN!

Cooking, meet fun. Fun, meet cooking. We’ve been trying to get you to resolve your differences for a while now, but 2016 was the year you truly joined forces to revolutionize dinnertime and we couldn’t be happier about it.  

Fun in the HelloFresh kitchen means our dietitian, Rebecca, cooks up pan-roasted chicken with Dijon mushroom sauce and Israeli couscous with two very special guests LIVE on Facebook. Needless to say, there were lots of laughs.

Hummus may not have made it into our year in review, but that doesn’t mean we love it any less — especially when there’s four types to choose from. Hint hint: this is a perfect appetizer for your New Year’s bash.

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