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New ingredients, restaurant trends and cooking methods: food trends for 2015

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Just like fashion, food trends come and go year in year out. In 2014, we all fell in love with Korean food, and started being more conscious of the effects of eating too much wheat and gluten. Kale was the ingredient of the year and turned up in absolutely everything. And we all started having avocado for breakfast.

But what will triumph in 2015? We take a look at some of the biggest upcoming trends from ingredients like tahini, or 'sprouted' grains, to methods of cooking like grilling and restaurant trends like brunch with unlimited prosecco. Many aren't newly discovered foods, but will see a resurgence in recipes this year.

Will they influence how we cook and eat? We have a year to see.

Tahini

Tahini

Tahini is delicious when served with salads

Eternal food trendsetter Yotam Ottolenghi has touted tahini as his favourite ingredient of the moment, used in many of his recipes in new book Plenty More. The sesame seed paste is a source of omega-3 and 4 oils and can be used on its own as an accompaniment to salads, or blended into meat rubs, sauces and spreads (the most obvious of these being homous) and is sure to be seen more widely after this high accolade. 

Baobab

This African fruit is being touted as the superfruit of the year. Stuffed with vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron, it can be described as having more nutritional value than almost all other fruits put together. This year M&S are introducing a juice with baobab as an ingredient, but otherwise it is a relatively rare delicacy to be tracked down by juice enthusiasts.

Grills

Grilled chicken

It may not be new but restaurants will be grilling everything this year

Yes, yes, we've all heard of grilling. But as 'posh fast food' is an eternal trend of London's restaurant scene, grilling is the latest string to be added to its bow. Following the success of Soho House's Chicken Shop, grilled food is taking off. The Ivy has just opened The Ivy Market and Grill, a less exclusive but just as fabulous addition to the famous group, and Gordon Ramsey's latest restaurant will be a grill/brasserie. Watch this space.

Freekeh

Quinoa has finally had its day. The 'grain with the name no one can say' title will be handed over to freekeh (pronounced fari-kah), a Middle Eastern grain made from green wheat. It will be available in supermarkets including M&S more widely from this year. Used in more or less exactly the same way we use quinoa, as an ingredient in salads, or an alternative to rice or couscous with an evening meal, it adds a little variety to our wide grain libraries.

Cross-breed vegetables

Broccoflower

A broccoflower - broccoli and cauliflower, crossed

Ever heard of kalettes? Apart from sounding like a rather awesome Sixties band, they're actually a cross between kale and Brussel sprouts that you'll soon see everywhere. Likewise, broccoflower, a combination of broccoli and cauliflower (above, also known as Romanesco) will be making waves this year. Just like dog breeders, farmers have been creating these hybrid vegetables for some years already, and there's a collection of hybrid fruits too - including pluot (plum and apricot) and tangelo (tangerine and pomelo), to name just two.

Unlimited prosecco brunches

Brunch is definitely 'a thing' over here in the UK, but we're still a little way behind our New York cousins when it comes to decadence. Their all day sessions with mimosas accompanied by waffle-strewn plates are beginning to take shape over here as restaurants have started offering an 'unlimited prosecco' option into brunch menus. New Street Grill in Shoreditch and The Almeida in Islington are just two of the restaurants so far offering the delights. Think of it as a weekend pub session, only posher...

New new world wines

Brazil

Wines from Brazil are set to take off this year

'Unusual' wine growers from Eastern Europe to China - not to mention little old England - have been entering the hallowed wine market recently. With climate change and development in grape growing techniques, you can essentially grow wine anywhere that gets a bit of sun. Wines from Greece, Bulgaria, and Japan can be found more commonly, as well as Italian-style wines grown in a "Tuscany like" region of Brazil, so look to broaden your horizons in your local wine store.

Meat-free

Going meat-free occasionally, as opposed to fully vegetarian will take off this year with the first Meat Free Week to be held in March. Jamie Oliver will be amongst the advocates encouraging us to cut down on our meat consumption, not only because of the animal cruelty, but also the environmental problems the meat industry throws up. And with more and more advocates of vegetarian and vegan eating such as Ottolenghi and blogger Deliciously Ella, whose first book will be released this year, cutting down on meat seems realistic to those of us married to the meat-and-two-veg template of eating.

Sprouted foods

Sprouts

Sprouted foods are grains that have been allowed to grow before being processed

Sprouting is a way of growing grains that allows the seeds to begin to sprout before milling them down into products like flour. This breaks down the starch content and makes them easier for our bodies to process - something very important to the huge numbers of people going gluten and wheat free. Already trendy in the US, healthy eating company Rude Health have launched several sprouted products that are available in Whole Foods and Waitrose, and it's certain to take off this year.

Bone broth

While it sounds a little like a Halloween drink, bone broth is the newest health drink around. It is similar to stock - animals bones boiled and flavoured with herbs for several hours to make a nutrient-filled broth, but US bloggers have been raving about it, saying the taste is comparable to the liquid of a chicken soup - so nicer than stock. It promises to boost amino acids, cure colds and even tackle signs of arthritis, so throw out that green juice and make way for a hearty, healthy drink this winter.

Words: Victoria Gray, Images: Rex Features

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