Savannah-based cookbook author and food + lifestyle expert, Libbie Summers, shares the top three food trends coming in 2016.
1. Beet greens are quickly becoming the new kale. They boost the immune system since they are a source of vitamin C, fiber, and essential minerals like potassium (which promotes healthy nerve and muscle function) and manganese (which is good for your bones, liver, kidneys, and pancreas). You'll see beets in everything from snack foods to beet hummus, beet burgers and even beet energy bars.
2. You’ll be seeing a lot of seasoned salts and infused sugars in 2016. Specialty salts and sugars are easy to make at home and give foods an extra boost of flavor. You can use infused sugars, such as vanilla-infused sugar, as garnish on cakes, pies, berries and even in coffee. Likewise salts pack a powerful punch. Libbie uses infused salts from Smith Brother's Butcher Shop in Savannah. You should try their house made meat seasoning salt (you can sprinkle it on everything from steak to eggs to home made chips). They also carry Amola black truffle salt, which is a delicious compliment to popcorn.
3. 2016 is going to be the year of Maple-flavored everything. Libbie loves infused maple syrups and highly recommends Burton's Maplewood Farm. Tim Burton ages his syrups in old Bourbon barrels and even tabasco barrels. Their syrup is used in dishes throughout some of Chicago’s best restaurants! Another maple syrup that you must try is by Pappy & Co, made with sap harvested from a maple farm, which is then aged 6 months in Pappy Van Winkle 15 year-old barrels. If you're searching for ways to use maple syrup other than on top of pancakes, try tossing vegetables in maple syrup before roasting, drizzle the syrup on your greek yogurt and even muddle your mint with maple syrup for a fun twist on the classic Mojito!
Are you craving beets now? Check out Libbie's simple slightly smokey beet dip recipe which would be wonderful to serve alongside cut vegetables or toasted whole wheat pita chips.
Libbie Summers is the artistic director of her own lifestyle brand, A Food-Inspired Life, where the beauty of food serves as inspiration for film production, product and event design. Libbie is recognized nationally and internationally as a food and lifestyle expert in print, online and on-air including Better Homes & Gardens, Southern Living, Vogue, ELLE, the OWN Show, Camille Styles, Glitter Guide, People, Garden and Gun, Condé Nast Traveler and many more.
She has authored three books. The 2014 IndieFab Book of the Year Awards, Sweet & Vicious –baking with attitude (Rizzoli, 2014), Brown Sugar (Short Stack Editions, 2014) and The NY Times 2011 Notable Book, The Whole Hog Cookbook (Rizzoli, 2011).
As one who wears many hats, colorful ones, Libbie also serves as the Creative Culinary Director of the newly launched Terra’s Kitchen— an innovative meal delivery service sending farm-fresh ingredients and ready-to-cook recipes to subscribers in an eco-friendly vessel.
Libbie resides in Savannah, Georgia with one husband, one son, and one opinionated dog who is lobbying for her own Instagram account.
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