Home / Country Life / Food and nutrition trends to watch for in 2020

Food and nutrition trends to watch for in 2020

By Shelly Detwiler, berry farmer and dietician

I am a numbers kind of gal so I am always fascinated by food and nutrition trends. It’s easy to get caught in our agriculture bubble and be amazed at the “outside world’s” thoughts about farming and food. Trends are kind of like the chicken and the egg, which came first but let’s take a peek at Amazon’s Whole Food’s (forecasted) trends for 2020 at media.wholefoodsmarket.com/news/whole-foods-market-predicts-top-10-food-trends-for-2020.

  1. Regenerative agriculture: Farming and grazing practices that restore degraded soil, improve biodiversity and increase carbon capture to create long-lasting environmental benefits, such as positively impacting climate change.
  2. Flour power: New flours from teff, tigernut, seed blends, fruit and vegetable flours like banana, cauliflower as well as “super” flours blends packed with protein and fiber.
  3. Foods from West Africa: Food and beverages with a base of tomatoes, onions and chili peppers with add-ins depending on the region such as peanuts, ginger and lemongrass as well as moringa and tamarind, and lesser known cereal grains sorghum, fonio, teff and millet.
  4. Out-of-the-box, into-the-fridge snacking: Single-serve packaging of hard-boiled eggs with savory toppings, pickled vegetables, drinkable soups and mini dips and dippers of all kinds. Shorter ingredient lists for ready-made snacks in the fridge.
  5. Plant-based, beyond soy: Out with the soy and in for mung beans, hempseeds, pumpkins, avocados, watermelon seeds and golden chlorella. Blends of grains and mung beans will be used to create creamy-like textures of yogurts and other dairy products. Brands are not only soy-less but also allergen free.
  6. Everything butters and spreads: Think seed butters such as watermelon, pumpkin and chickpea butters that are Keto and Paleo friendly. Brands are substituting palm oil with responsibly grown and environmentally friendly nuts and oils.
  7. Rethinking the kids’ menu: Move over mac-n-cheese and corn dogs, make room for sushi, non-breaded salmon fish sticks and foods that are fermented, spiced or rich in umami flavors. This also highlights colorful pastas in fun shapes made from alternative flours.
  8. Not-so-simple sugars: Monk fruit, pomegranates, coconut and dates will be used for syrup-like flavors into desserts, meat glazes and marinades. Sorghum and sweet potato syrups can be used for baking and beverages. A new zero-calorie sweetener Swerve combines erythritol with ingredients from fruit and starchy root vegetables to produce a sweetener in granular, confectioners’ and brown form.
  9. Meat-plant blends: Meat brands not being left behind in the “plant-based” craze are blending 25% to 30% veggie ingredients along with their meat. “James Beard Foundation’s The Blended Burger Project,is a movement that strives to make the iconic burger “better for customers and for the planet” blends in at least 25% fresh mushrooms.
  10. Zero-proof drinks: Classic cocktail flavors using distilling methods typically reserved for alcohol will create an alternative to liquor. Drink singly or as a mixer. Think alt-gin for gin and tonics and botanical-infused faux spirits for a faux martini. Enjoy like hops-infused sparkling waters and zero-proof apertifs.

Kudos for brands expanding kids palates, shorter ingredient lists and increasing veggies. But talk about wacky — I thought most farmers were already practicing “regenerative farming.” This just proves the continued need for an authentic agriculture message. Straws are taboo but let’s increase packaging on single-serve healthier snacks. Talk about an oxymoron! Crazy flours, environmentally friendly nuts and oils, plant-based diet without soy and top 10 allergen free? It’s called eating nuts, seeds, fruits and veggies people! Simple is best. As Americans get further from the farm, these food trends may continue to get off the beaten path. Stay the course with real food for real people.

Eat well and healthy!




Wild Boar–Wild Mushroom Patties from Whole Foods Market

This is a little long but looks interesting until I got to the wild boar. I’m a pretty basic meat eater so I think I’ll keep the name and use local ground pork.



2 tablespoons canola oil

1 1/4 pounds wild mushrooms

1/4 cup diced fennel

1 1/2 tsp chopped garlic

1 1/2 tsp finely chopped rosemary

10 oz ground wild boar or ground pork

4 toasted ciabatta buns

4 slices aged provolone

Broccoli Rabe:

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 bunch broccoli rabe, cut into 1 1/2-inch pieces

Roasted Tomatoes:

4 plum tomatoes, sliced

3 cloves garlic, peeled

3 tablespoons olive oil


Black Garlic Aïoli:

1/2 cup mayonnaise

2 cloves black garlic or roasted garlic, peeled


Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms and cook until they have dehydrated and are brown and crispy, 8 to 12 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the mushrooms to a food processor and pulse until finely chopped.

In the same sauté pan, cook the fennel over medium heat until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic and rosemary and cook for an additional 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool for 10 minutes.

Mix the cooled mushrooms and fennel mixture with the ground pork until well combined. Shape into four 5 1/2-ounce patties. Season the patties with salt and pepper to taste before grilling.

Make the aïoli: add all ingredients to a food processor and purée until blended, making sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl to incorporate all of the ingredients. (Note: the aïoli will last for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.)

Heat the 1 Tbsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the broccoli rabe and cook until the stalks are soft and the leaves and beginning to crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Roast the tomatoes: heat the oven to 350°F. Toss the sliced tomatoes with the olive oil, garlic, and salt and pepper taste. Transfer to a baking sheet and roast until caramelized, about 25 minutes.

Cook the burgers: heat a well-oiled cast-iron skillet over medium-high heat. Once the pan is hot, cook the patties until they’re seared on one side, about 3 minutes. Flip and repeat until seared on the other side, about 3 minutes. Add the provolone slices on top of each patty in the last minute of cooking.

To serve: spread a thin layer of the aïoli on both sides of the ciabatta bun. Add the burger, broccoli rabe, roasted tomatoes, and top with the other half of the bun.


Parmesan Fish Sticks from Giada De Laurentiis foodnetwork.com


18-oz center-cut salmon fillet, 9 by 4 inches, skinned

1/2 cup all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper

3 egg whites

1 cup grated Parmesan

1 cup seasoned bread crumbs

Olive oil, for drizzling

Dipping Sauce

1/3 cup reduced fat mayonnaise

1/3 cup lowfat plain yogurt

1 Tbsp Dijon mustard

1 Tbsp chopped fresh parsley or chives



Preheat the oven to 450°. Rinse the salmon fillet and pat dry with paper towels. Cut the fish in half to make 2 fillets each about 4 by 4 1/2-inches in size. Starting on the longest edge, slice the fillets into 1/2-inch pieces. Lay the widest pieces, from the center, cut side down, and slice in half lengthways so all the pieces are equally about 1/2 by 1/2 by 4 1/2-inches in size.

Place the flour in a medium bowl and season with the salt and pepper. Place the egg whites in another bowl and beat until frothy, about 30 seconds. Combine the Parmesan and breadcrumbs in a third bowl.

Coat the salmon pieces in the seasoned flour and pat to remove any excess flour. Dip the floured salmon in the egg whites and then into the Parmesan mixture, gently pressing the mixture into the fish. Place the breaded salmon pieces on a liberally oiled baking sheet. Drizzle lightly with the olive oil. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes until golden brown.

For the Dipping Sauce: Mix the mayonnaise, yogurt, Dijon mustard, and parsley (or chives, if using) in a small dipping bowl.


Roasted Cauliflower carlsbadcravings.com

Cauliflower continues to be one of the trendy veggies for 2020.

1 large head cauliflower cut into bite-size florets about 7-8 cups

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1 tsp. curry powder, Italian seasoning, Cajun seasoning, Turmeric, Chinese 5 spice, Smoked paprika, Ground Cumin, Chili Powder, Red chili flakes

½ cup parmesan or other cheese, optional


Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with foil and lightly spray with cooking spray.

Add cauliflower florets and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle with seasonings and toss until evenly coated. Spread cauliflower out in an even layer so the florets aren’t touching.

Bake at 425 degrees F for 25-30 minutes OR until cauliflower are fork tender and the edges are slightly charred. If adding cheese sprinkle cheese in last 5 minutes of roasting. Best served immediately.



Check Also

Addressing 2019’s lingering challenges

By Matt Hutcheson, CCA, Product Manager, Seed Consultants, Inc. Following a wet growing season in …

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *