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Still throwing your carrot tops away in the compost? Or only getting your protein from animal based products? Then dear foodie, we’re afraid you’re behind the trends. Read on for five of UCOOK’s favourite food trends for 2018.

Enjoy this excerpt from UCOOK’s Give A Fork Blog.


The gut is the control centre of so many functions in your body and has been called the second brain. Studies even show how gut health affects your mental health. Aside from a good probiotic, foods, which contain probiotics, are natural ferments like kimchi, miso, kombucha, sauerkraut and kefir and prebiotics such as onions, garlic and other alliums. Make sure you get plenty of them in your diet.


Considering the resources needed for one kg of animal protein, the plant-protein trend is not only good for you, but also good for the environment. Meat production requires a much higher amount of water than vegetables. Plant-proteins have the added benefit of not being inflammatory to the body, whereas animal protein is. Some meat has even been shown to cause disease. Studies suggest vegetarians tend to have a lower body weight, lower cholesterol and lower blood pressure levels, while also having a lower risk of stroke, cancer and death from heart disease than non-vegetarians. Spirulina, for example, is an algae superfood. This plant protein has some unbelievable benefits and while not a complete protein on its own, spirulina has a whopping 39 grams of protein in just a serving. To supplement the methionine and cysteine it’s missing, just pair it with a whole grain or some nuts.

Root to Stem

With environmental consciousness growing, so is our awareness of waste. It’s thought that we waste more than half of the food that is produced! The Root to Stem trends tried to combat this by using the whole plant (or animal!). So, for example, a carrot is traditionally used for purées, soups or basic glazed carrots. Now chefs are taking the tops and using them either in a grommet, a pesto, or as a garnish, thus making use of the full plant.

Superfood Powders (still!)

An easy way to boost your nutrient intake or specifically target an area you’d like a little lift in is by using superfood powders. You can add them to your morning smoothie; your baking and many of them go perfectly with savoury dishes too. These powders are called super for a reason, so Google a concern you might have and you’re guaranteed to find a superfood that can help it.


We’d be remiss if we didn’t make mention of how the water-crisis in Cape Town has affected the way we eat. Meat is more water intensive than plants. Per ton of product, animal products generally have a larger water footprint than crop products. The same is true when we look at the water footprint per calorie. It takes 2498,37L of water to make one burger. Here are a few water-wise fruits and vegetables to try: asparagus, beans, beetroot, kale, carrot, fig, cauliflower, and celery.