Trending Desserts with a Healthier Twist

The latest desserts are innovative, eye-catching, and healthier than ever before.

What’s New in Desserts

Looking for the latest desserts to die for? Then you’ve come to the right place! This “New in Desserts” guide for bakers, chefs, patisserie owners, and anyone working in the food industry will tickle your taste buds, make your mouth water, and fill your customers’ palate with delectable delights. The latest trends in dessert menus are innovative, creative, outrageous, and simply divine…

The Latest Desserts Reflect Food Industry Trends

So, what makes this year’s sweets and confectionaries such a standout? If you’re been following up-and-coming food industry trends, you already know that demand for healthy, more nutritious foods is on the rise, as is consumer craving for savory and exotic tastes, wholesome non-run-of-the-mill grains, nostalgic comfort foods, and tropical flavors. This year’s hottest desserts reflect these trends, as evidenced in recipes with a ‘better-for-you’ spin and in unprecedented concoctions such as hummus shakes, grain-free granola, Mexican hot-chocolate sauces, passion-fruit whipped creams, gluten-free sandwich cookies (aka alfajores), chocolate-chip avocado doughnuts, and more.

Healthier Sweets

Also new on the menu of nutritious desserts are baked goods featuring less artificial ingredients, more whole grains or no grains at all, low-fat and no-fat alternatives, diabetic recipes, and heart-healthy options which allow customers to have their cake and eat it too!

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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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How to Add Specialized Teas To Your Beverage Menu

Get on board with the hottest trends in the food industry with specialized teas and increase your business and profits.

Specialized Teas: A Rising Trend

If you work in the food industry and you don’t want to miss out on of one the hottest trends in the food-and-beverage market, it’s time to learn the latest about tea. According to reports from World Tea News and market research firm Technomic, the beverage landscape has changed, with tea emerging as the most widely consumed beverage globally next to water.

History of Tea

Did you know that tea is said to have been discovered by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung in 2737 BC, rendering it almost 5,000 years old? According to this legend, the first tea brew was created when tea leaves by chance flew into the Emperor’s pot of boiling water. A botanical explorer, he subsequently used his new discovery to cure himself from poison 85 times.

During the 1600’s, tea’s popularity reached Europe and the American colonies, while the famous 1773 Boston Tea Party, when American colonists threw 300 chests of tea into the Boston Harbor to protest the British government’s taxation of tea, further put the beverage on the map. And if you ever wondered when afternoon ‘tea time’ or ‘high tea’ began, look no further than 1840 and Anna the Duchess of Bedford, who began drinking tea at 4 p.m. with a light snack to prevent a “sinking feeling.”

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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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Soft Cheeses Come in a Variety of Types and Can be Used in a Range of Ways

Soft Cheeses: Flavorful, Spreadable, and Special

Soft Cheeses

Although when you think of cheese, you may think immediately of hard, yellow cheeses with their many uses and great varieties, don’t overlook soft cheeses when you’re looking to infuse your next catered event with a tray-ful of flavor. The difference between the many soft cheeses on the market can be subtle, but to the experience palate they are distinct and significant. Some versions of soft cheese work better in certain settings and for many people they are an acquired taste. In any case, learn about soft cheeses here so you can use them at the next possible opportunity.

A Guide to Soft Cheeses

Many people – including caterers – are not that proficient about using a full range of soft cheeses. Beyond putting out a plate of Brie and crackers on a buffet table, many caterers – even those who consider themselves cheese-savvy – don’t give soft cheeses much thought.

Soft cheese can be made from cow, goat, or sheep’s milk and come from countries and places around the globe. Common types of soft cheese are feta, Brie, ricotta, cream cheese, Camembert, Chevre, Roquefort, and gorgonzola, and – of course – cottage cheese. All these cheeses have a special tangy creaminess that no other food imparts.

Hard Cheese vs. Soft Cheese

Soft cheese is un-ripened cheese made by coagulating casein (milk proteins) with acid. Hard cheeses, on the other hand, are aged (ripened), and made by coagulating milk proteins with rennet and culture acids. The ripening process is aided by bacteria or mold. Cheddar, Swiss, Colby, brick and Parmesan are types of bacteria-ripened hard cheeses. Because aging reduces the moisture level in the cheese, hard cheese is drier (and harder) than soft cheese. And, because, bacteria doesn’t grow as easily in dry conditions as in moist ones, hard cheeses keep longer than soft cheeses.

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Greek Cuisine: A Healthful and Delicious Catering Option

Last updated on August 23rd, 2018

Foods Ideas for Catering a Greek-Themed Event

Greek Cuisine

Ethnic food is all the rage at the moment. We’ve already discussed internationally flavored breakfasts and Southwestern cuisine, so now it’s time to put the focus on Greek cuisine. With its heart-friendly ingredients and unique dishes, along with amazing taste and fabulous flavors, Greek cuisine has been enticing foreigners and natives alike for many years. Here, you will find all you need to know about the history of Greek cuisine, as well as the spices and elements that will make it a hit at your next catered event.

History of Greek Cuisine

Greece, located in the southeast of Europe, has a rich history and culture that permeates throughout the country. Though Greek cuisine has evolved significantly over the course of Greece’s history, many traditional dishes are still popular today. Typical Greek cuisine is derived from a general Mediterranean palette and consists of what is known as the “Mediterranean Triad”: grains/wheat, olives/ olive oil, and grapes/wine. The olives and olive oil in particular; and fruits, vegetables, honey, and fish in general, are the pillars of Greek cuisine, and these foods combined, have made Greece to be known as the birthplace of one of the healthiest diets in the world.

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Impress Your Guests with Upgraded and Upscale Pasta Dishes

Last updated on August 16th, 2018

Update Your Pasta Repertoire and Watch it Get Devoured

New Ways to Serve Good, Old Pasta

When it comes to casual catered buffets, there is probably nothing as versatile and, therefore, as ubiquitous, as pasta. In so many shapes and forms, pasta is the chameleon of dishes, changing its shape and size to fit any occasion. Now, pasta is getting a long-needed facelift, thanks to restaurants and chefs who are raising the bar for pasta around the world. With a nip here and a tuck there, you can hone the classics and invent new pasta dishes that will impress and satisfy even the most discerning client.

Who Doesn’t Love Pasta?

Everyone loves pasta. According to the International Pasta Organization, dried pasta is the most prominent pasta variety sold in the United States and sales reach about $3.3 billion annually. The chilled and fresh pasta retail value is projected to reach $340 million this year, while in 2016 there were 1.16 billion units of pasta sold in U.S. supermarkets. That’s a lot of pasta!

There are many reasons why pasta is so popular. First reason is that it is simply so good, taste-wise and even health-wise. Although carbohydrates in general, and pasta in particular, have gotten a bad rap lately, nutritionists agree that pasta is a healthy food and that complex carbohydrates are essential for any diet, especially when paired with other healthy foods, such as greens, vegetables, olive oil, etc. As the Pasta Fits website says, pasta is a “perfect foundation for healthy, nutritious, and satisfying meals. It is generally eaten with nutrient-dense food partners, such as fiber-filled vegetables and beans, heart healthy fish and monounsaturated oils, antioxidant-rich tomato sauce, and protein-packed cheeses, poultry, and lean meats.”

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How Vegetable Shakes and Smoothie Bowls Can Put Your Business on the Map

Last updated on July 19th, 2018

Serve Vegetable-Forward Drinks to Impress Your Catering Clientele

Cater With Vegetable-Based Drinks

An important part of any catered event is quenching your guests’ thirst. Nowadays it’s not enough to place a few bottles of sparkling water or Coke on each table; a beverage station – serving hot perked coffee, freshly brewed tea, and blended drinks that are created on the spot – is a feature that no event can do without. Smoothies and shakes have long been part of a caterer’s beverage repertoire, as they allow guests to customize their beverages with ingredients of their choosing. Now, however, with the arrival of warmer months, along with the increase in healthier menu offerings, it’s time to liven up your beverage menu by introducing your guests to fresh, bright, vegetable-based smoothies.

Eating and Drinking Healthy is Here to Stay

There are basically two options for including a beverage bar at the events that you cater: you can handle all the drink-making yourself (with staff that you hire and train), or you can outsource to a company that specializes in serving beverages at catered events. Either way, the drinks that you serve at your upcoming events will have to conform to the current trends: healthy, sustainable, and seasonal. When it comes to drinks, this means that your clients will be looking for freshly squeezed juices and blended smoothies made from organic, local, and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Many people are trying to incorporate more vegetables in their diets, and juicing is a great way to capture a lot of vitamins and minerals from raw produce that might otherwise be lost during cooking.

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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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