The Rise of Probiotic Beverages

Discover gut-friendly probiotic drinks and start adding them to your menu.

If you work in the beverage business, it’s time to drink in the latest buzz word in the biz: Probiotics. Whether you are a caterer, restaurant owner, or operate another type of eatery, probiotic drinks are dominating the market. In this update for foodservice pros, we’ll delve into why the fermented products are being included on multiple “top beverage trends for 2019” lists, and why you should be adding them to your menu.

The Dish on Probiotic versus Prebiotic

If you recall, we previously visited the topic of probiotics in our blog “How to Cater for Clients Who Want Gut-Friendly Foods,” where we learned that the body is full of ‘good’ bacteria that serve as digestive aids, that help prevent disease, and that provide a plethora of other health benefits.

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How To Add Trending New Sea Vegetables and Edible Seaweeds To Your 2019 Menu

Last updated on March 27th, 2019

Sea vegetables and edible seaweeds make their menu debut

Seaweed Consumption on the Rise

If you run a foodservice business and want to know what’s trending in the industry and what is expected to increasingly appear on 2019 restaurant menus everywhere, it’s time to learn all about the seaweed, aka sea vegetables. Recent Nation’s Restaurant News headlines reveal that seaweed is experiencing a tide of popularity, while James Griffen, an associate professor at Johnson & Wales University, reports that consumption of seaweed is growing 7% annually in the United States – and for good reason. Bursting with a rich array of nutrients and associated with multiple scientifically proven health benefits, the growing appetite for sea vegetables such as nori, kombu, and wakame is not expected to wane anytime soon.

What are Sea Vegetables?

So, what exactly are sea vegetables and how can you add seaweeds to your recipes and menus? Neither plant nor animal, sea vegetables are classified under a group known as algae. Also referred to as edible seaweed, they grow in marine salt waters as well as fresh water lakes and seas and are commonly found on coral reefs or in rocky landscapes. While relatively new to the Western palate, seaweed varieties have been a staple of Japanese diets for millennium. Remarkably, while some types of sea vegetables require soaking for 5-10 minutes before adding them to your recipes or dishes, most require no cooking or sautéeing whatsoever. Due to growing demand, while once available only in specialty shops and health food stores, you can now increasingly find seaweed varieties in local supermarkets and grocery stores as well.

Types of Edible Seaweed

Seaweeds are categorized into three main groups, based on color:

  • Green Seaweed: Rich in chlorophyll; found in dark leafy greens and other green vegetables
  • Red Seaweed: Especially high in carotenoids; known to have anti-inflammatory properties
  • Brown Seaweed: Formidable source of iodine; popularly referred to as ‘kelp’

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How To Adapt Your Menu To Include Plant-Based Foods

How adding plant-based foods to your menu will grow sales as demand increases.

Plant-Based Foods Take the Market by Storm

Plant-based food sales continue to skyrocket as consumers clamor for more nutritious options that protect their health and the health of the environment. With sales of meat declining and the popularity of meat alternatives growing, restaurants big and small, as well as major corporations and leading food brands, are rising to the occasion and adding entire lines of plant-based products to their menus. Read on for practical and tasty ideas on how to satisfy your customers’ cravings and cash in on this lucrative opportunity.

New in Plant-Based Alternatives

While the trend towards vegan, low-calorie, low-fat, non-dairy foods has been around for a while, the plant-based food market has recently picked up steam. On top of being strictly vegetarian, gluten-free, and lactose-free, new additions to this group include protein-friendly alternatives such as grass-fed beef, natural chicken, sustainable salmon, quinoa, non-genetically modified (non-GMO) tofu, and other new products which fall under the categories of meat and dairy alternatives.

Depending on the type of restaurant or food establishment you manage, consider expanding your lunch or dinner offerings with some of the latest plant-based selections appearing in restaurant menus across the industry:

  • Wheat, Rice, and Corn Tortillas
  • Tofu Crepes
  • Black Bean Salad, Chickpea Salad, Corn Salad
  • Sweet Potato Ravioli
  • Cornmeal-Coated Oyster Mushrooms
  • Gluten-Free Zucchini Shepherd’s Pie
  • Chips, Dips, Salsas, and Guacamoles

As for pizza lovers, you can tantalize their taste buds and attract their business with palate-pleasing gluten-free pizza topped with meat-free pepperoni. In doing so, your restaurant will in fact be following in the footsteps of some of the biggest names in the biz who now offer vegan pizza alternatives. These include Dominos, Papa John, Pizza Hut, and more.

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How To Increase Your Healthy Food Profile with Honey

The nutritional benefits of substituting honey for sugar in your recipes.

Honey: The Complete Guide for Food Professionals

If you’re looking for the comprehensive buzz on nature’s sweetest nectar, you’ve come to the right place! This complete guide to honey for food professionals will give you info on where honey comes from, varieties of honey, honey’s nutritional value, health benefits of honey, honey hazards, cooking and baking with honey, the difference between raw and store-bought honey, organic honey certification standards, and more. Finally, to top off this delectable menu, you will enjoy a rich helping of little-known facts about this golden syrupy nugget!

All-Natural Honey – in High Demand

In an age where interest in all-natural ingredients, natural lifestyles, avoidance of harmful chemicals, and nutritious foods and beverages is on the rise, it’s no great surprise that restaurant owners, caterers, bakers, and other foodservice professionals are taking note of the virtues of honey –and including its plethora of flavors and colors in their menu offerings. If your restaurant or catering company follows current market trends, then adding honey to your recipes is a natural outgrowth of going “green,” catering to consumer demand, and protecting the environment. It’s also a savvy way to boost your business!

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Use the Latest Sweeteners to Appeal to the Health-Conscious Client

Using New-Age Sweeteners Can Attract Clientele to Your Business

The New Age of Sweeteners

It’s a well-known fact that refined white sugar is bad for us; too much sugar can lead to diabetes, obesity, and a host of other ailments. Nonetheless, when our sweet tooth screams for attention, nothing but a little sugar will do. In the past, a craving for sugar could be satisfied to a degree with honey, maple syrup, or the sweetness of dates; today, however, consumers are demanding more, and food manufacturers are continuing to explore the sweet possibilities of new-fangled sugar substitutes. As the reputation of plain, white, refined cane sugar continues to take a beating, you will find that many of your clients are asking difficult questions about how you plan to incorporate sweetness in your menu without an abundance of white sugar. Read on to learn more about new-wave sugars and how they can work for you.

Why Do We Crave Sugar?

Sugar cravings are hard to resist; when the urge comes upon us for something sweet, nothing else will do. The question, however, is why do so many of us have so little resistance to sugar.

Here are a few possible reasons.

When we don’t eat enough calories – if we’re dieting drastically or just not eating properly – our bodies start looking for fuel as a fast way to catch up, and the instinctive search tends to lead to sugar, one of the quickest energy sources around. Our bodies are so stubborn that even when we try to fool ourselves by ingesting artificial sugars, we go right back to looking for the real thing. Only substantial and real food – the actual providers of energy – can break the cycle, and a craving for sugar will often subside when we eat healthy calories.

Sugar intake can also simply be a bad habit; in other words, what seems like a craving may just be a reaction to a habit that’s both automatic and seemingly impossible to break. Break the sweet-treat habit and the craving may diminish as well. Sugar can also serve as an antidote to too much salty food. Unfortunately most processed and restaurant foods these days are heavily salted, and the saltier our food, the bigger our sweet craving. This is especially true when salt is added artificially to foods and not found naturally, like in olives or cheeses. The salt-sugar progression is a hard one to resist, which is why we tend to reach for a luscious dessert right after we finish a great, big portion of fries.

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Promote Smoked Foods on Your Menu to Increase Business

Smoked Food is the Biggest Trend in Catering

Catering Trends: Smoked Food

When it comes to catering and keeping up with the latest trends, there’s no rest for the weary. Just when you thought you had a handle on the latest trend – be it craft butter or Greek cuisine – along comes the next big thing and the cards are in the air. Now it’s time to prepare for the era of smoked food of all kinds. It’s hard to ignore the appeal of smoke-flavored foods; from the distinct taste to the pleasant and distinctive aroma, smoked foods are definitely rising in popularity.

Smoke is Not Just for Meat

We spent some time in a recent blog discussing how you can incorporate barbecue into your catering menu, in particular Korean barbecue. But smoke is not just for brisket or other cuts of meat and, in fact, nearly any food or dish can be smoked. The Smoke restaurant in Dallas, Texas, serves a cedar-wood infused tequila cocktail and they are not alone – smoky cocktails are all the rage. All you need in order to cook up original and delicious smoked foods are some wood chips (such as hickory, maple, cherry, mesquite, etc.), a grill or smoker, a variety of herbs and seasonings, and your own instinct, imagination, and creativity and voila, a smoked food is born.

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How to Cater for Clients Who Want Gut-Friendly Foods

Tips for Catering and Creating a Gut-Friendly Menu

How to Create a Gut-Friendly Catering Menu

For years, we thought of bacteria as organisms that are bad for us, even deadly. However, research has shown that the human body is loaded with “good bacteria,” which help us to digest food and contribute to our well-being. Serving “gut-friendly foods,” – foods that contain friendly bacteria that aid digestion and help to prevent certain diseases – is a big catering trend right now. Add these foods to your menu and your customers will appreciate the effort you make to help keep them healthy while they enjoy your tasty food.

What Are Gut Bacteria?

The gut is simply another word for our gastrointestinal system, which starts in the mouth and includes the esophagus, stomach, pancreas, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, colon, and rectum. The gut is essential in sustaining and protecting the health of our bodies, starting with the intake and absorption of nutrients. The digestive process is the foundation for our body’s ability to function and stay healthy.

Roughly 300 to 500 different kinds of bacteria live inside our gut, along with other tiny organisms, like viruses and fungi, which form the body’s “microbiome.” Every person has a unique microbiome, which is influenced by genes, as well as diet and lifestyle. Our gut bacteria line our digestive system and affect everything from our immune system and metabolism, to our moods and temperament. Gut bacteria help to break down the foods we eat and aid in the digestion of the nutrients that support our body’s functions, such as energy production, skin health, and mental health.

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Salmon: Loaded with Nutrients and Flavor

Salmon: The Fish That Everyone Loves

Salmon: Versatile, Nutritious, and Delicious

When it comes to foods that meet what are arguably the three most important criteria – taste, nutritional value, and ease of preparation – salmon heads the list. Salmon is delicious, it just about cooks itself, and it has more health benefits than we can keep track of. Salmon is also super-versatile – it can be baked, broiled, grilled, and poached, and with so little work on your part, it never fails to be delicious.

All About Salmon

Salmon is an outstanding and unusual fish; outstanding because it’s incredibly tasty, and unusual because both fish lovers and non-fish lovers tend to like it. It’s a fatty, succulent fish with plenty of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids, plus a big dose of protein, and an abundance of vitamins. It’s readily available all year round, and, even the most inexperienced (or lazy) cook can prepare it in no time.

Salmon is the common name for fish in the order Salmoniformes. Salmon are “anadromous,” which means that most types of this fish are born in fresh water, migrate to the salt water of the open sea, and then return to fresh water to reproduce, or “spawn.” After living for years at sea, salmon travel a long-distance home to return to the river in which they were born in order to spawn. After spawning, all Pacific salmon, and about half of the other species, die within a few weeks. The salmon that do not die can spawn two or three more times.

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Offer Your Customers Healthier Foods with an Air Fryer

Update Your Commercial Kitchen with an Air Fryer

Air Frying Transforms the Commercial Kitchen

Just about everyone loves fried food and, as a caterer, one of your goals is to give people what they love. However, most people don’t love the calories and the dubious health benefits of fried foods, such as onion rings, French fries, or even fish (which at least has the advantage of being a protein). So what’s a caterer to do? Enter the air fryer: the caterer’s road to making everyone happy.

What is an Air Fryer?

If orange is the new black, air may be the new oil. With an air fryer, you can cook food with the help of circulated heated air, producing tasty and healthier dishes with a lot less oil. We won’t pretend that air frying replicates exactly the heavenly crispy-crunchy texture of deep frying, but with just a tablespoon of oil, French fries, chicken, fish, and vegetables do achieve the yearned for goal: crispy on the outside, soft on the inside, and a great taste.

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The Revival of Pâté is a Welcome Trend for Caterers and Guests Alike

Pâté: The Catering Trend that is Making a Splash

Pâté: The Next Best Thing is Here

When it comes to catering trends, the phrase, “what goes around comes around,” is particularly meaningful and relevant. The culinary pendulum is in constant swing and what goes out of style one year is bound to become the trend of the moment a decade or two later. Wait long enough and tried-and-true buffet staples, like pâté, start showing up again at catered events, with a few twists and turns that make them a dish so right for our times. The classic French favorite, pâté, as well as various modern interpretations, are now a trendy item that can showcase a caterer’s skills.

What is Pâté?

Pâté (pronounced pah-TAY) is French for “pie,” but we tend to refer to anything that is ground into a spreadable topping for crackers, or molded into a terrine, as pâté. It is often served baked in a crust (en croûte) but it is easier to simply serve the pâté mounded in a decorative way, so that guests can easily partake.

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