How To Incorporate Figs in Your Restaurant Menu

Discover how you can add healthy figs to your restaurant menus.

Sweet and Healthy Figs Play a New Role on Restaurant Menus

Fig season is here and will continue through mid-November. If you work in foodservice and have not yet discovered the amazing flavors, textures, and array of colorful figs, it’s time to clear your plates and make room for a large serving of all thing’s fig-tastic. In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn about the history of figs, fig fun facts, fig nutrients, fig varieties, how to cook and bake with figs and dried figs and enjoy some recommended recipes.

Figs in the Food Industry

Did you know that the edible fig is thought to be the first plant ever cultivated by humans? Eaten fresh, dried, cooked, or added to baking recipes, figs are naturally sweet, a rich source of fiber, and contain trace amounts of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, potassium, magnesium, and manganese. Dried figs are especially packed with dietary fiber and provide 26% of the recommended daily value of manganese.

While previously the fruit has been overlooked by chefs, fig flavors and dishes are growing in popularity and are increasingly appearing on restaurant menus. Recently, they made headline news when the Swiss company Firmenich named fig the 2018 “Flavor of the Year,” while Internet searches for fig wedding cakes have seen a 500% increase in recent seasons.

Continue reading How To Incorporate Figs in Your Restaurant Menu

The Wonderful World of Ginger

Feature sensational ginger in your recipes and discover how to incorporate it in your recipes.

Welcome to the Wonderful World of Ginger! In both its raw and powdered forms, ginger has been named a ‘superfood,’ and for good reason. Well-known for its usage as a savory spice and as a medicinal plant, ginger is not only one of today’s top herbs for cooking and baking, it has also played a prominent role in Chinese medicine and Ayurveda nutrition for over 3,000 years where it hailed as both a potent anti-inflammatory and flavor enhancer.

From its origins as one the first spices exported to Europe from the Orient during the spice trade, and up until today, where ginger’s sharp, pungent taste and aroma is a star ingredient in many main course and dessert recipes – there are countless reasons why ginger should be at your chefs’ fingertips and why ginger recipes should feature prominently on your restaurant menu.

Ginger Quick Facts

Although the ginger plant has been around for millennium, its plethora of benefits continue to astound, so let’s indulge our taste buds with some juicy ginger facts.

Continue reading The Wonderful World of Ginger

New in Smoothies 2019 – Just in Time for Summer

New smoothie ingredients add flavor to foodservice menus this summer.

Smoothie season is here! With summer upon us, now is the perfect time to update your restaurant and foodservice menus and learn all there is to know about what’s new in the smoothie industry. And one thing we know for sure is that the smoothie market is flourishing. With food trend predictions forecasting sunny skies for the future of smoothie sales, what began as an obscure concept and simple fruit juice and ice drink in the 1930s, has become a booming business and a modern-day success story.

Smoothie Expansion

Offering lucrative growth opportunities for industry players, smoothies continue to gain traction and are riding the wave of popularity as:

  • a healthy snack option;
  • bona fide meal or breakfast replacement;
  • an energizing pick-me-upper;
  • a versatile, alluring, fun, and decadent dessert.

Moreover, 2019 smoothies are comprised of an expanding smorgasbord of ingredients. From pureed raw fruit mixed with crushed ice and sweeteners (honey, sugar, syrup, and stevia) to the addition of vegetables (carrots, spinach, seaweed, and even hot peppers); dairy products (milk, yogurt, cheese), and non-dairy alternatives (oat, pea, and coconut milks), the selections abound.

Continue reading New in Smoothies 2019 – Just in Time for Summer

Your Complete Foodservice Guide to Dragon Fruit

Dragon Fruit popularity continues to rise in U.S. restaurants and food venues.

Attention all Foodservice Professionals! If you are looking for a business-booster and menu game-changer, set your sights on what is promising to be a rising star in the food-and-beverage industry: Dragon Fruit.

Even if you have never heard of dragon fruit before or have never prepared a dragon fruit recipe, now is the time to get on board because as this standout ingredient continues to gain traction in the U.S. and abroad, this is one business opportunity you do not want to miss out on.

So take a load off your feet, clear your trays, and prepare your palates for the full scoop on one of the coolest, strangest-looking, nutritious, and delicious tropical fruits on the planet.

Adventurous Consumers Love Dragon Fruit

If you work in the biz, you know that today’s daring diners are hungry for exciting and exotic tastes, for foods and beverages from around the world, and for ingredients with a wow factor. Moreover, they are willing to pay top-dollar at restaurants and food venues that provide them with unique experiences and dishes that they can post on Instagram and share online.
If ‘off-the-wall’ and ‘off-the-charts’ are what your customers are clamoring for, you can easily satiate their appetite by introducing them to the enticing world of dragon fruit.

Continue reading Your Complete Foodservice Guide to Dragon Fruit

How to Cater to Your Keto Customers

In response to demand, U.S. restaurants create ketogenic-friendly menus.

If you’re looking for information on how to make your restaurant keto-friendly, you’ve come to the right place. Whether you own a catering service, fast-casual restaurant, pizza shop, bakery, food truck, hotel, or fine dining establishment, the popularity of ketogenic diets is soaring – and so is demand for menus that cater to the keto community.

Read on and help promote your business by learning all you can about keto-friendly foods and beverages, what is allowed and not allowed on the meal plan, and what menu choices will serve the needs of your keto customers.

The fact is that for most people, keto is more than just a diet; it is a lifestyle. And given the limited number of appropriate eating-out accommodations currently available, your restaurant can become the service they rely on, which will have a positive impact on your brand reputation and hopefully pave the way for a loyal, returning customer base. Moreover, since the majority of today’s diners do their food research online, you can further cash in on this opportunity by posting keto-friendly tips and menu selections on your website or Facebook page.

Continue reading How to Cater to Your Keto Customers

What Is Adaptogen – Facts, Guides and Recipes

Adaptogenic ingredients now trending in the food-and-beverage industry.

Adaptogen Guide for Foodservice Pros

Hungry for food-and-beverage industry news? Then adapt yourself – and your restaurant menus – to the following ingredients and latest buzz words in the biz. If you haven’t yet heard of amla, ashwagandha, ginseng, maca, maitake, holy basil, and cordyceps, it’s time to evolve and learn all you can about adaptogens and adaptogenic herbs.

They may be new to the U.S. market, but adaptogens are actually ancient herbs and roots that – as their name suggests – help the body ‘adapt’ to a wide range of stressors and events. Used for millennium in Ayurveda healing and in traditional Chinese medicine, adaptogens are now being infused into coffees, teas, juices, power bars, chocolate bars, chewing gum, gummy bears, granola, soups, salad dressings, and even burgers. Available as powders, liquid extracts, or consumed raw as part of a meal, today’s wellness-seeking consumers are gobbling up the goods and chefs, restaurant owners, and suppliers are updating their ingredient lists to include these super-herbs.

Adaptogen Benefits

So, what exactly do adaptogens offer your customers? The number one purported benefit of the revitalizing plants is stress relief, followed by a large serving of adaptogen benefits that include: helping regulate emotional states and hormonal responses, restoring homeostasis (overall balance), facilitating sleep, improving brain function, supporting fertility, boosting immunity, enhancing endurance, and more. In a nutshell, adaptogenics are a natural means of helping the body cope with any number of physical, chemical, biological, emotional, and environmental stressors. And for a consumer base that is thirsting for products that help them calm down, perk up, and achieve optimum health and happiness, adding adaptogens to your restaurant’s menu may be the perfect recipe for modern-day business success.

Continue reading What Is Adaptogen – Facts, Guides and Recipes

New in Ice Cream – The Full Scoop

Get the scoop on trending ice creams and far-out flavors to add to your menu.

Ice cream is once again making food industry headlines, with old flavors being reinvented and an entire menu of new dairy-free, fat-free, and low-cal options generating excitement – as well as controversy. On the table are questions such as: Are the so-called healthier alternatives really better for you? Can you trust what you read on the label? And how can you update your foodservice menu to meet demands for fabulous, far-out ice cream flavors served in unusual cones or new-fangled dishes?

As foodservice pros, it’s critical that you follow industry trends to know what’s hot and what’s not in the food-and-beverage landscape. This guide to what’s new in ice cream was specifically designed to give you the full scoop on what manufacturers are delivering and how consumers’ taste buds are responding in the land of frozen desserts. So let’s take a peek inside the freezer to see what the 2019 world of ice cream has in store.

Continue reading New in Ice Cream – The Full Scoop

Ramp Up Your 2019 Beverage Menu With These New And Exciting Beverages

Last updated on July 11th, 2019

Innovative and functional 2019 beverages are in demand

Beverage Trends 2019

What beverages will consumers be drinking this year? If you are a foodservice professional looking to ramp up your 2019 beverage menu, here are some of the latest food-and-drink trends to follow.

Exciting, New Drinks in Demand

According to the experts, there has never been a more exciting time to be in the beverage industry. As beverages are fitting into consumers’ lives in more areas than ever before, innovation is on the rise in every segment of the market. Fresh, exciting, new drinks are in demand, driven by increased consumer interest in convenient, functional, healthy, nootropic (brain-boosting) drinks; non-alcoholic, gourmet, sour, and fruity drinks; as well as new hot and cold brew options. This coupled with innovations in the water industry make the beverage industry a force to be reckoned with. Moreover, expect to see a direct parallel between 2019 beverage selections and food industry trends, which are playing a role in what consumers are drinking.

Beverages with a Benefit

Demand for functional beverages are on the rise, with consumers thirsty for drinks that not only quench their thirst, but which offer some kind of health advantage as well. According to the research firm Mintel, this includes probiotic drinks that are good for your gut and that feature ‘superfood’ ingredients such as kava, maca, and mushrooms, as well as low-alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks; drinks with anti-flammatory properties; and ‘adaptogenic’ beverages containing health-boosting herbs, such as medicinal mushrooms. These are increasingly found in drinks, teas, powders, and tinctures.

Continue reading Ramp Up Your 2019 Beverage Menu With These New And Exciting Beverages

Edible Insects Making Their Way To A Restaurant Near You

Discover how adding trending edible insects to recipes is a nutritional win-win.

Foodservice Guide to Edible Insects

If the thought of eating bugs bugs you, your palate may not be ready to stomach what’s coming next in the United States food industry. A longtime staple in other parts of the world (in 2013, for example, the United Nations published a report indicating that two billion people worldwide include bugs as part of their diet), edible insect varieties have only recently made their Western debut, and the question on everyone’s mind is: Are bugs coming to a restaurant near you?

The Edible Bug Phenomenon

As a foodservice professional trying to make it in a competitive business milieu, (attention caterers, restaurant owners, bakers, food truck operators, and party planners), staying abreast of current food-and-beverage news is vital. So, grab your oven mitts, hold onto your chef’s hats, prepare your frying pans and spatulas, and get ready to sink your teeth into the following edible bug phenomenon.

History of Eating Insects (Entomophagy)

Let’s start with a brief history lesson: The practice of eating insects, or entomophagy, isn’t a new concept in over 100 countries that are already consuming insect-infused snacks and dishes. Moreover, in many parts of the world, eating bugs is considered a delicacy. Ancient Greeks had no qualms about eating six-legged critters, and both Aboriginals and Australians have been consuming insects for millennia.

Continue reading Edible Insects Making Their Way To A Restaurant Near You

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’

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