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Let's all be in the KNOW about our 2024 Food Trends.

The DEETS on our 2024 Food Trends.

We are ‘predicting the future’ with these 2024 Food Trends, and putting on our nutrition binoculars to look ahead and offer some commentary on what’s in store for this year. These annual trend roundups are put together with data from market research firms, culinary experts, grocery stores, and social media monitoring. So, this begs the question, as a dietitian, should we give these trends a GO?

YES! Think of these food trends as an adventure for your palate; a chance to discover new ingredients, cooking techniques, and dishes that you might just fall in love with! More specifically, these trends can support:

  1. Novel experiences: introducing new tastes / experiences → broadening our culinary horizons

  2. Health & sustainability: spotlighting healthier or sustainable options, promoting better choices

  3. Innovation & creativity: encouraging culinary innovation and sparking creativity in the kitchen

SO, long story short, adding variety to your menu and being on point with the trends is a FUN way to take on 2024!

For the sake of today’s January Blog, I have selected what I feel are the most interesting and relevant industry trends we all need to know more about - AND of course, a recipe to go with each trend! 

Trend #1 – Proffee

Healthy U Recipe:Iced Vanilla Proffee

The scoop on this trend: ‘Proffee’ is making the headlines from a TikTok trend that involves mixing protein and coffee. Why? By adding protein to your coffee, it offers health benefits in a more convenient and delicious format. Increasing your protein intake throughout the day, and especially first thing in the morning, helps to stimulate muscle development, regulates your appetite, and reduces those later afternoon / evening cravings. There are so many different ways to add protein to your coffee, trial and error to find your favourite way to spice up your morning cup of joe! 

  • PROS: lower glycemic index, fibre and magnesium loaded, protein-rich and naturally gluten-free

  • CONS: REALLY hard to think of any, perhaps altered taste (a bit nutty) compared to standard grains such as rice or pasta 

Ingredients / Directions:

  • Coffee, any type

  • Optional, 1 ½ cup ice (if you want an iced-coffee) 

  • Protein source - any of the following goes:

  1. 50:50 ratio of coffee and premixed liquid protein shake (ie. vanilla, chocolate, salted caramel)

  2. 1-2 scoops of collagen powder with 6-12 ounces of coffee, make sure to give it a good mix 

  3. 1 scoop protein powder mixed with 6-12 ounces of coffee, make sure to give it a good mix with warm water first

  4. High protein ultrafiltered milk or protein fortified milk alternative, you can make this a latte to get more protein from the milk source 

Trend #2 – Buck Wild For Buckwheat

Healthy U Recipe: Miso Mushroom Buckwheat Risotto

The scoop on this trend: Buckwheat for the WIN, is all I have to say about this grain. It is a whole-grain that not only tastes delicious, but also has a lower glycemic index, is fibre and magnesium loaded, protein-rich and naturally gluten-free. I am all about keeping your menu fun by adding in new ingredients and recipes, so buckwheat or buckwheat flour is the way to go to mix up your kitchen game, while also bringing to the table a very strong nutrition profile.

  • PROS: lower glycemic index, fibre and magnesium loaded, protein-rich and naturally gluten-free

  • CONS: hard to think of some, altered taste (a bit nutty), compared to standard grains such as rice or pasta 

Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 40 minutes. Makes 4-6 servings of risotto. 


For the risotto:

2 tbsp olive oil

2 shallots, minced

2 cloves of garlic, minced

2 cups mushrooms, sliced (any type works, a variety is fun too!)

1 cup buckwheat groats

½ cup white wine (or ½ cup broth with a splash of vinegar or lemon juice)

2 ½ cups broth

1 tbsp butter 

¼ cup nutritional yeast or parmesan cheese, grated

½ tsp ground black pepper

1-2 tbsp miso paste 

Topping: Parsley or cilantro, finely chopped, freshly grated parmesan cheese 

For the sautéed mushrooms:

1 tbsp olive oil

1 cup mushrooms, sliced

½ tbsp soy sauce

⅛ tsp ground black pepper


For the risotto:

  1. Heat the oil/butter in a deep non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add the minced shallot and garlic, and sauté for 2-3 minutes.

  2. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 3 more minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked. Next, add the buckwheat groats and cook for another 2 minutes.

  3. Deglaze the skillet with the white wine and let simmer for 2-3 minutes to let the alcohol evaporate.

  4. Pour in the vegetable broth and simmer over low-medium heat, uncovered for about 35 minutes, or until the buckwheat groats are tender. Keep an eye on it and stir regularly. Add more water if needed, you want the buckwheat groats to have a creamy consistency.

  5. Once cooked, stir in the nutritional yeast/parmesan cheese, white miso, butter, and ground black pepper. Taste and adjust saltiness if needed. Top with fresh parsley or cilantro, more cheese and sautéed mushrooms!

For the sautéed mushrooms

  1. While the risotto is cooking, heat a tablespoon of oil in another non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add the sliced mushrooms and cook for 3-5 minutes, or until mushrooms are cooked (crispy edges are key). 

  2. Deglaze with the soy sauce and season with ground black pepper. Cook for one more minute and set aside.

Trend #3 – Flipping the Fish Script

Healthy U Recipe: ‘Beer’ Battered Fancy Faux Fish & Parsnip Chips

The scoop on this trend: We are skipping the fish in 2024 and going flavour loaded FAUX instead. Statistically speaking, many people do not eat fish or do not eat fish in large amounts. Plant-based fish alternatives are hitting the shelves with carrots in place of lox, trumpet mushrooms for scallops, and root vegetables in sushi rolls and poke bowls. If you go with this trend, don’t forget to top up on omega-3 fatty acids, as fish products are one of our main food sources! 

  • PROS: Faux fish is perfect for those who simply do not like fish, and is likely more cost effective than real fish versions

  • CONS: If you go with this trend, don’t forget to top up on omega-3 fatty acids, as fish products are one of our main food sources → and these faux fish products or recipes may not account for this. 

Prep time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 25 minutes. Makes 6-8 servings of fish & chips. 



For the fish:

2 x 15-ounce cans hearts of palm, drained and rinsed

½ cup panko bread crumbs

2 tbsp ground flax seeds 

2 tbsp mayo (vegan or olive oil mayo)

3 tbsp crumbled nori sheets

1 tsp fish seasoning

¾ tsp salt

For the batter:

1 ½ cups all purpose flour (you can also try 1 cup flour and ½ cup ground flax for omega-3’s)

1 tbsp garlic powder

1 tbsp paprika

1 tsp fish seasoning

½ tsp salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

1 ½ cups beer or sparkling water 

For frying:

Avocado oil, safe for frying with a HIGH smoke point

Tartar Sauce:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt  

1 cup finely chopped dill pickles

2 tsp dried dill, or 2 tablespoons fresh

2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (about 1 lemon squeezed)

¼ tsp salt 

Mix and serve with ‘fish’ sticks. 

For the parsnip ‘chips’:

2-3 parsnip vegetables 

2 tbsp olive oil

¼ tsp salt 

¼ tsp black pepper


For the fish:

  1. To a food processor, add the drained hearts of palm, bread crumbs, vegan mayo, crumbled nori, fish seasoning and salt.

  2. Pulse several times to combine, but make sure there is still some texture and even large chunks. Don't process it into a paste. If the mixture seems really wet, add another 1/4 cup breadcrumbs and pulse.

  3. Using your hands, form into fish like shapes, about 2-3 inches long and 1 inch wide.  Use about 2 tablespoons per fish stick.

  4. Place the sticks on a plate lined with parchment paper and let them chill in the refrigerator while you prepare the batter.

  5. Make the batter.

For the batter:

  1. Whisk together the flour, garlic powder, paprika, fish seasoning, salt and pepper

  2. Gradually whisk in the beer until a batter forms and is smooth

Fry the fish:

  1. Add oil to a large, heavy bottomed pot about 2-3 inches deep. Heat to 375 degrees F, using a thermometer for best results and safety.

  2. Quickly dip the chilled fish sticks into the batter one at a time, then place in the hot oil, carefully.  I use a fork to dip them in and carefully out of the batter. Handle them gently or they will fall apart, but once they are fried they are very sturdy.

  3. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden brown.

  4. Drain on a wire rack. Enjoy immediately with Tartar Sauce (mix all tartar sauce ingredients in a bowl, and start dipping). 

For the parsnip ‘chips’:

  1. Cut thin slices of parsnips using a food slicer. If using a sharp knife, carefully cut them into thin slices.

  2. Add thinly sliced "chips" to a mixing bowl - drizzle olive oil and S&P.

  3. Toss them well to make sure all of the chips are coated evenly with olive oil.

  4. Lay chips in a single layer on a parchment paper-lined baking sheet.

  5. Bake chips for 15-20 minutes until chips OR have reached your desired crispiness.

Trend #4 – Purely Plant-Based 

Healthy U Recipe: Rice Paper ‘Bacon’ Wedge Salad: 

The scoop on this trend: We are going BIG with plants in 2024, and re-emphasizing the ‘plant’ in ‘plant-based’ foods. This helps to cut back on ingredients like saturated fat, a type of fat found in animal-based products known to increase cholesterol. Taking it one step further, plant-based brands are focused on shrinking the list of ingredients in these food products to just 2-ingredients. Keep an eye out for minimal-ingredient products using mushrooms, walnuts, tempeh and legumes in place of complex meat alternatives.

  • PROS: Going plant-based helps to cut back on ingredients like saturated fat, a type of fat found in animal-based products known to increase cholesterol. 

  • CONS: As an alternative to meat products, not all plant-based food sources contain iron, vitamin B12, folate and zinc - so important to balance your menu with these nutrients as well. 

Prep time: 25 minutes. Cook time: 15 minutes. Makes 4 servings of wedge salad. 


For the rice paper bacon:

8 pieces rice paper

2 tbsp oil

3 tbsp soy sauce

1 tsp liquid smoke 

1 tbsp maple syrup

1-2 tsp sriracha

2 tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

For the salad:

1 head iceberg lettuce

8-12 slices rice paper ‘bacon’, cooked, cooled and crumbled

1 ½ cups cherry tomatoes , halved

½ cup red onion , chopped

2 tbsp pecans or walnuts, toasted 

For the blue cheese dressing:

1 cup plain Greek yogurt

3 tbsp buttermilk

3 tsp red wine vinegar

1 garlic clove, minced 

½ tsp worcestershire sauce

¼ tsp garlic salt

½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

½ cup blue cheese, crumbled (save a few spoonfuls for garnish)


Rice paper bacon:

  1. Combine all the ingredients for the marinade in a large rimmed plate 

  2. Add some water to a skillet or rimmed plate and take 2-3 pieces of the rice paper and put them in the water for 10 seconds, pressing them together to remove any air bubbles. Do not over soak as they can get too soft and will not crisp up. 

  3. Lay your rice paper bacon sheets in the marinade and coat both sides by flipping it over. 

  4. Using a knife or pizza cutter cut the rice paper into strips (1 rice paper = 4 strips)

  5. Add some oil to a skillet and bring to medium heat. 

  6. Fry the strips to your desired “doneness” - they will crisp up a bit more after frying. 

  7. Once cooked, eat them any way you would traditionally use bacon and enjoy! 

Trend #5 – Spicing Things Up

Cilantro Lime Heat Burrito Bowl

The scoop on this trend: Let's turn up the heat with this trend, and add an extra kick to our menus with the use of fresh, dried or pickled peppers from around the world. From scorpion peppers, to a wave of a variety of chili oils, new spicy products are on the rise in our condiment aisles. Igniting the intensity of your menu by heightening the flavour and trying culturally diverse ingredients will certainly spice up our menus!  

  • PROS: Herbs and spices encourage kitchen creativity and exploration of cultural foods, they tend to have significant anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, and the extra flavour from the spice can offset the need to add salt. And it gives our digestive system a little nudge!

  • CONS: If you can't handle the heat, (or simply do not like the extra spice), take it out of the kitchen. 

Prep time: 20 minutes. Cook time: 30 minutes. Makes 4 burrito bowl servings. 

Ingredients and Directions:

For the Cilantro Lime Heat

1 avocado 

1/4 cup greek yogurt 

1 cup cilantro leaves (and stems) 

1 garlic clove

Juice of 1-2 limes 

1/4 cup water 

1/2 tsp salt 

1 HOT pepper (entire pepper, just remove the stem)

Blend all ingredients on high speed until smooth texture. Serve ¼ cup of this sauce for each plated burrito bowl. 

For the Burrito Bowl:

  1. BASE of the bowl: Cilantro lime cauliflower rice

2 cups frozen cauliflower rice, 2 tbsp cilantro diced, juice from 1 lime, 1 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt - saute until caramelized. 

  1. Roasted chickpeas

1 can chickpeas, rinsed and drained. Mix chickpeas with 2 tbsp olive oil and ¼ tsp salt and pepper. Bake 400F x 25 minutes. 

  1. Mango slaw

1 mango cubed, ¼ red onion diced, 1 cup cherry tomato cubed, juice from 1 lime, ⅛ tsp salt

  1. Sauteed bell pepper and onion

1-2 bell peppers thinly sliced lengthwise, 1 white onion thinly sliced lengthwise, 1 tbsp olive oil, ¼ tsp salt - saute until caramelized

  1. Guacamole

2 avocados mashed, juice from ½ lemon, ¼ tsp salt

  1. Purple cabbage

¼ cabbage thinly sliced, served raw

  1. Sharp cheddar cheese

½ grated, serve 2 tbsp of cheese per bowl


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