2013 was the start of the mashup foods like the cronut and ramen burger. Chefs also started using local food produce in their restaurants. This year, these 2 trends will continue to grow. Some restaurants will even be growing their own food, so they know exactly what they are serving. The healthy craze will continue to surge with “clean eating.” What does this mean? Eating more vegetables, less sugar, less meat, less sodium and limiting processed foods in your diet. So what are the new food trends this year?

Cauliflower is the “new” vegetable for 2014. It is loaded with nutrients and can be used in a variety of ways from standing alone, turning a soup creamy without the cream and replacing the higher starched, higher calorie potato.

Quinoa, which is now in grocery aisles right next to the processed Rice-a-Roni, will be replaced by a baby quinoa called kaniwa. It is smaller than quinoa, cooks quickly and is rich in protein. Not out in most stores yet, you can find it in natural food stores or on-line.

Tapas are going to appear on more restaurant menus.  Smaller portions will also hopefully mean smaller prices.  And eggs are going to be added to many recipes.  High protein, yet lighter dishes.

Look for more recipes that will use quicker cooking grains, crock pots and even pressure cookers. More healthy, lighter soups and more high protein options.

The gluten-free craze has meant more and more restaurants are adding gluten-free meals to their menus. Gluten free food is not only eaten by those with allergies, but some people just want to eat these types of foods because they believe them to be healthier. And since so many grocery stores are now increasing their gluten-free products, it is easier to find what you need.

New sweeteners are also on the horizon.  In addition to Stevia and Agave, there is a new sweetener called Yacon.  This is a root plant native to Columbia and Argentina.  A syrup made from this root plant is used by many diabetics.

While skipping packaged foods in favor of cooking the food yourself, many people do not think they have the time to fix their own meals.  Grocery stores are becoming more aware of this and are making meals that only need a small amount of cooking or simply reheating.  Things from soups to salads to full meals are making their way into the deli section of your local grocery store.  So, if you find yourself still out running around close to dinner time, stop by and pick up your dinner.