If Okra, Okra seeds, and Okra dishes are not part of your restaurant’s current offerings or something your catering service provides, it’s time for you and your chefs to learn why okra should appear on your menu and how you and your customers can benefit from its many nutritious and tasty properties.
Let’s begin with the basics: What is Okra? A longtime favorite in Southern cooking and originally brought to the U.S. by Ethiopian slaves, Okra is a vegetable that comes from the same plant family as cotton and hibiscus. Also known as “ladies fingers” due to its unique finger shape, it has earned a reputation as a health food and has even been recommended as a way to help manage blood sugar levels in people with diabetes.
Continue reading Why Okra Should Appear on Your Foodservice Menu
Last updated on March 27th, 2019
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
Last updated on July 19th, 2018
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.
Continue reading How Vegetable Shakes and Smoothie Bowls Can Put Your Business on the Map