It may just barely be October, but it’s not too early to start thinking about your holiday menus! Thanksgiving is next month and Christmas follows soon after (and we all know how fast the days go by during the holiday season!). 2016 holiday food trends are creative without being complicated. Here’s what we expect to see gracing holiday tables this year:
- Unconventional meats. A standard holiday menu usually includes turkey for Thanksgiving and a ham for Christmas. Why not change it up this year? 2016 holiday food trends are including more unique and exotic proteins like lamb, duck, and guinea hens.
- Creative Combos. Mashed potatoes combined with mashed parsnips? Mashed carrots with turnips? Mashed sweet potatoes and leeks? There are a myriad of flavor combos to experiment with in your root vegetable mashes. Take your mashed potatoes up a level this year and try something different!
- Elevated comfort food favorites. For something completely different, serve warm and hearty dishes you’ve elevated to holiday-worthy status. A Christmas lasagna can be elegant, and chicken pot pie has beautiful presentation potential.
- Mushrooms. They’re all the rage this year. You can serve delectable appetizers or craft a unique stuffing highlighting the mushrooms’ earthy flavor.
- Fermented veggies. This might sound wild to put on a thanksgiving table, but you’d be amazed at the creative ways to use sauerkraut or even kimchi. Think sauerkraut with roasted apples or as a unique flavor for your turkey. An appetizer platter featuring pickled vegetables could be a show-stopper!
- Onions. Often used in popular dishes, 2016 holiday food trends are seeing them as a stand alone dish. Roast pearl onions and top them with a light cream sauce, or simply roast quartered onions with unique flavors like anise.
- Smoky flavors. For an appetizer, try a charred flatbread or smoked meat. And why not try smoked turkey or ham? Or veggies, for that matter? There’s so much you can do with smoked flavors.
- Flavorful gravy. There’s nothing wrong with a rich, traditional gravy – but there’s also a lot more you can do with it. Set aside some regular gravy, but then experiment with other spices and herbs to concoct gravy that packs a flavor punch.
- Creative gluten-free holiday recipes. As more and more people eliminate gluten from their diet, holiday gatherings mean you’re likely to be hosting at least one person who can’t eat wheat. The good news is there’s a host of artisan gluten-free breads and pastas you can use. Or, you could simply use one of the many creative recipes: cornbread stuffing, polenta, and ancient grains can be used in place of gluten-full standbys.
- Starter soups. Fall’s bountiful harvest of root vegetables gives you the perfect canvas to create delicious soups out of roasted vegetables. Parsnips, sweet potatoes, pumpkins, and even regular potatoes create the perfect warm way to start your meal.
- Brussels sprouts. You can’t go wrong roasting them with bacon, but there’s a lot of other delicious ways to eat this healthy and hearty green. Try shaving them to create a slaw or lightly sautéing them.
Now, happy menu planning! We can’t wait to see what you come up with!