Clean Label Do’s and Don’ts

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Clean Label a Food Industry Standard

Attention Foodservice Pros: Clean label is here to stay! If you thought it might be a passing phenomenon, fad, or trend in the food industry, it’s time to get with the times because clean label is no longer the exception but the expectation. Consumers are demanding that you provide them with transparency, authenticity, and sustainability – and they are willing to pay top dollar to restaurants, catering services, and manufacturers that respond to their demands. According to the clean-label strategy experts at Food Insider Journal and Vitafoods Insights, the latest stats in the nutrition space reveal that a whopping 73% of consumers are willing to pay more for foods and beverages made with ingredients they recognize and trust and that do not contain undesirable ingredients. (What constitutes ‘undesirable’? Hang onto your chef’s hats — that answer coming shortly…) Forty percent also said they would switch from their current brand to another if it offered more transparency.

2019 Consumers Want to Know

What does all this really mean? Put simply, it means that health-conscious consumers want to know what they are putting into their bodies. This accounts for the ever-expanding list of foods and beverages they deem acceptable – and what’s on the menu these days are ingredients that are dairy-free, gluten-free, fat-free, preservative-free, sugar-free, nut-free, alcohol-free, non-GMO, organic, all natural, and minimally processed. They also have a preference for vegetarian, keto, and paleo-friendly diets, plant-based sources of protein, authentic foods, ‘kitchen-cupboard’ ingredients, and ingredient sourcing. Translation: Consumers want to know where their food comes from!

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How Pea Protein Is Capturing The Food Market

Pea protein recipes make their restaurant menu debut.

Pea Protein Presence on the Rise

Why are pea proteins showing up in more products, recipes, and restaurant menus? If you are a savvy foodservice professional striving to stay on top of your game by keeping up with the latest trends in the industry, this guide to pea proteins is exactly the recipe you’ve been looking for!

Why Pea Proteins are Trending

The facts are in: Pea proteins are rapidly gaining popularity as consumers are hungry for plant-based alternatives to meat and dairy, as well as healthier food choices. Adding to their assets is the fact that pea proteins are naturally free of gluten, nuts, and wheat, making them the perfect pick for consumers with celiac disease and food allergies. Increasingly found in a variety of food products, from protein powders to veggie burgers to milk, pea proteins are easy on the digestive system and taste good to boot!

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The Growing Popularity of Oat Milk

The growing popularity of oat milk will benefit your business

Oat milk, a plant-based alternative to traditional cow’s milk, is one of the hottest trends in the food industry! If you’re looking for a new beverage to add to your menu, look no further. A popular vegan and dairy free choice gaining widespread consumer popularity, savvy foodservice professionals are jumping on the oat milk fast track and customers are lapping it up.

Maximizing the Potential of Oat Milk

Whether you manage a restaurant, catering service, bakery, café, fast-food chain, take-out service, or food truck, this ‘Oat Milk Guide for Professionals’ will help you learn all about this rising star in the dairy alternatives food market and how you can maximize its potential to grow your business.

If you’ve been following latest trends in the biz, you know that demand for ‘non-dairy’ and ‘dairy free’ foods and beverages has never been higher. What began as a way to cater to lactose intolerant customers, has become a full-blown foodservice phenomenon as a growing public sector is clamoring for healthier menu choices, including plant-based foods and dairy alternatives. Since their debut, the variety of non-dairy products has skyrocketed, with chefs and food manufacturers creating groundbreaking recipes for dairy free ice creams, whipped creams, cream cheeses, cheese cakes, yogurts, pizzas, 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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Greek Cuisine: A Healthful and Delicious Catering Option

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

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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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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