9 plant-based food trends to look out for in 2020

Plant-based living has increased exponentially this decade, and with innovative plant-based food and drinks continuing to be a predicted trend for 2020, here are the ones you’ll want to get…

Plant-based living has increased exponentially this decade, and with innovative plant-based food and drinks continuing to be a predicted trend for 2020, here are the ones you’ll want to get your hands on. 

Chocolate-covered chickpeas

The new chocolate-covered nuts, sceptics will be pleasantly surprised about how much this combo actually works. Dry-roasted chickpeas give this snack the crunch factor, and their subtle nutty flavour works a treat with bittersweet dark chocolate. Keep your eyes peeled for chocolate hummus – it’s now a thing in the US and we’re hoping it takes off in Australia too. 

Watermelon seed butter 

This is officially a thing! Watermelon seed butter is the new pantry staple, and the perfect peanut butter substitute for anyone who’s allergic to peanuts. Made with dry-roasted watermelon seeds, sunflower oil, and a pinch of sea salt, this innovative waste-not spread tastes like a cross between cashew butter and tahini (sesame seed paste). Find it at your local health food store in plain and chocolate varieties. 

Cauliflower flour

Rich in iron, magnesium and potassium, this nutritious plant-based flour is popping up on health food store shelves, and even at the supermarket! So that it can be used as a 1 for 1 substitute for regular flour, cauliflower flour is made with dried cauliflower, and is typically blended with gluten free flours like sorghum and brown rice flour. The flavour is surprisingly neutral and works in both sweet and savoury recipes. 

Monk fruit 

What is monk fruit?

First cultivated by Buddhist monks in the 13th century and set to be the new stevia in 2020, monk fruit is a plant-derived, sugar free sweetener that’s growing in popularity due to its neutral sweetness. AKA ‘luo han guo’, monk fruit grows on a vine and is native to certain regions in Southeast Asia. Its extract contain ‘mogroside’, a substance that tastes extremely sweet despite being sugar free. A cleaner alternative to artificial sweeteners, monk fruit is available in powdered, granulated and liquid varieties, and has no harmful side effects. 

Non-alcoholic, botanical infused spirits

Alcohol free spirits

The increasing number of people embracing an alcohol-free lifestyle can now say cheers with something other than plain soda water and lime or a sugary mocktail. Distilled, non-alcoholic spirit brands are slowly growing in number, catering to a gap in the drinks market. A premium product retailing for around $50-$60 a bottle, we’re hoping the price will drop as the demand for alcohol alternatives increases. 

Tomato jerky

Why didn’t anyone think of this earlier?! With their umami flavour and chewy texture, spice and herb-infused sun-dried tomatoes make the perfect jerky substitute, and without the undesirable nitrates. Tomato jerky hit the US market in 2019, so hopefully it wall land Down Under in 2020. Or, if you have a dehydrator, why not make this yourself?

Innovative plant-based meat alternatives 

Plant-based beef

2019 saw an influx of plant-based meat alternatives, and the new year will see even more plant-based meat replicas come to the forefront. Back in the day, tofu, seitan, and tempeh were the main options for meat substitutes, but now mock minced beef substitutes that taste, look and ‘bleed’ like meat are readily available in supermarkets, and to sub into meals when dining out. Thanks to the addition of pea protein, they’re a high protein substitute too. Poultry and seafood substitutes that look and taste like the real deal are set to take off in 2020, keeping things interesting for plant-based peeps. 

Hemp mylk

Where to find hemp milk

2019 saw the rise of oat mylk, and in 2020 it will make way for hemp mylk. Unlike oat mylk, hemp mylk is gluten and grain free, and lends a mild nutty flavour to your coffee, porridge, or smoothie. It also offers plant-based, anti-inflammatory  omega-3 fats. Look out for it as the new mylk option at your local cafe. 

Plant-based soft cheese alternatives 

Plant-based cheese

While old-school plant-based cheese alternatives are typically highly processed and often plastic-tasting, artisanal plant-based soft cheeses are slowly emerging, catering to a gap in the plant-based/lactose intolerant market – proving that plant-based cheese can taste exactly like the real deal. The secret ingredient? Nuts! Think macadamia and cashew ‘feta’, and almond ‘ricotta’.  

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Published: 20/12/19

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