In recent years, kitchens have become the focal point of the home. The kitchen is the place where everyone gets together at the start and the end of each day. Social dynamics have contributed greatly to the rise of the modern family kitchen, and that in turn has led to a resurgence in an interest in cooking at home.

We spoke to kitchen experts Halcyon Interiors and they told us their customers want more from their kitchens than ever before. People don’t just want a beautiful kitchen for the style statement it brings into the home. They want a kitchen with exceptional functionality, to live, eat and spend time in.

Home cooking is growing in tandem with our desire for concept homes, which revolve around the kitchen. Thanks to the great strides made in kitchen design over the last few years, cooking with family and friends at home is a fashionable trend that looks set to stay.

There are many great reasons to cook at home. It gives you control over what you eat. You know exactly what is going into your meals (many restaurant meals are loaded with salt and sugar). And it saves you money. The biggest challenge is coming up with new ideas.

As a nation, we are definitely warming more to the idea of home cooking. If you’re motivated to do some great cooking at home this year, you’ll need some inspiration for your menu planning. Read on for the latest fabulous food trends to shake up your cooking in 2018.

  1. Meat free burgers

Lentil burgers haven’t always had a good press. For those who love a burger, the dry, tasteless veggie burger doesn’t quite have the same appeal. Well, it’s time to cast your veggie-burger-preconceptions aside. Tasty meat-free burgers are in, and there are oodles of recipes on line to prove just that. We love these brown rice, lentil, kale and squash veggie burgers dreamed up by Golubka as part of a plant-based fall meal plan.

  1. Booze-free beverages

Research and statistics show that the number of Brits drinking alcohol regularly is in decline. More folks, especially Millennials, are seeking alternative, booze-free tipples. A report in the drinks industry claims innovation in the non-alcoholic drinks category is the most exciting drinks trend at the moment.

For your very own homemade mocktails, try making your own vinegar-based shrub infusions. Shrub drinks offer a refined tipple without the hangover!

  1. Korean food

Korean food has been slowly creeping its way into the UK’s restaurant scene. Kimchi is popular and is widely reported to have health benefits. Try cooking the delectable Korean dishes, such as bibimap and bulgogi at home.

  1. Sugar alternatives

Just where 2017 left off, 2018 continues with a general interest in healthy eating. Cutting out sugary foods is no longer a trend. It’s becoming the norm. Sugar alternatives include maple syrup, coconut sugar, date syrup and stevia, and there are many others. Food freedom starts when you quit sugar for life.

  1. Hawaiin poke bowls

Hawaiin poke bowls are another dish from overseas growing in popularity. Essentially a deconstructed Japanese sushi, poke bowls are a tasty, fresh and healthy meal choice. A poke bowl consists of warm rice, fresh vegetables and cold chunks of raw, marinated fish. Find out more about this healthy trend and how to make a poke bowl here.

  1. Vegetable driven dishes and vegan conscious cooking

More and more professional chefs are embracing tempeh, tofu and quinoa as a plant-based alternative to protein, so there’s no reason why you can’t do the same at home. Try these brilliant food blogs for vegetable driven inspiration: Green Kitchen Stories and My New Roots. Purple vegetables are on trend and a far healthier alternative to beige food. Incorporate some vegetarian days into your menu planning and love your colours!

  1. Homemade kombucha

There’s been a massive growth in popularity of the living beverage Kombucha recently. Kombucha is a fermented tea that has been found to improve digestion and boost immunity. Kombucha isn’t a new phenomenon. It dates back more than 2,000 years to China. The good news is, it’s relatively easy to make at home. Try this easy to follow recipe. Be sure to read the important things to know before you get started.

  1. Seaweed

Seaweed was one of the biggest health trends of 2017. Edible seaweed has now gained superfood status and it’s here to stay. Definitely add some dried seaweed to your pantry. It’s a handy nutrient-rich ingredient to add to soups, stews and Asian stir-fries. If you are out to impress, check out these awesome recipes by Great British Chefs. There are lots of different types of seaweed, but if you want to buy British, we can recommend The Cornish Seaweed Company.

  1. A focus on fish

Home cooks are recognising the benefits of lighter fresher meals that are packed with nutrients. Fresh fish, particularly mackerel, lake trout, herring, bluefin tuna and salmon, is packed full of omega-3. Omega-3 fatty acids lower your risk of heart disease.

  1. British produce

With Brexit on the horizon, there’s never been a more apt time to be supporting British producers. Choosing British means supporting British farmers. You can get organic British veg delivered to your door, so there’s absolutely no excuse not to.

  1. Specialised teas

Could it be at last that tea is beginning to get the same reverence as coffee? We think so. Expect more tea bars to start popping up offering everything from green tea to more unusual varieties. Fill your cupboards with herbal teas and give caffeine a break.

  1. Gut and brain friendly food

The focus on gut-friendly food isn’t new, but the spotlight isn’t going anywhere. Fermenting workshops are popping up all over the place, and sauerkraut, kimchi, miso and kefir are more popular than ever.

Fermenting is an easy way to use up and preserve vegetables, and are a tasty addition to almost any meal. There’s an increasing focus on brain food too (known as nootropics). Nootropics are compounds or foods that enhance our ability to think clearly. Foods thought to enhance cognitive function include turmeric, salmon, eggs, dandelion greens and jicama (Mexican yam).

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