5 Summer Food Trends to Watch This Season
Here at EatingWell, we're gearing up for the summer season. As many people get ready to reunite with loved ones over backyard barbecues and picnics in the park, we're anticipating the foods and drinks that people will be filling up on. So, after asking our experts in the Test Kitchen (and looking at some hard data), here are five trends to watch out for in the food world this summer.
2021 Summer Food Trends
When we made predictions about the wellness trends for 2021, gardening was at the top of the list. And now, people will need a way to enjoy all of their homegrown produce without it going to waste, which is where pickling comes into play. EatingWell.com saw a 17% increase year over year in views of pickled vegetables and we expect interest to rise throughout the season. From quick pickles to pickled carrots, pickled vegetables will be the perfect accompaniment to any summer barbecue or picnic. Whether you prefer a spicy kick or a sweet-and-sour tang, get creative with the brines to make the most of summer produce.
Try the trend: Dilly Pickled Snap Peas, Jardiniere
Forget leafy greens, this trend will use other delicious vegetables as the star of the plate. Seasonal vegetables like cucumbers, corn and broccoli combine with bright dressings to create the perfect summer side dish. Broccoli salads saw a tremendous 333% increase in views year over year while cucumber salads saw a whopping 160% increase in views year over year. These vegetable salads are a healthy and delicious make-ahead option that you'll want to bring along to every summer potluck.
Try the trend: Chopped Cucumber & Tomato Salad with Lemon, Broccoli Salad with Bacon, Fresh Sweet Corn Salad
Happy Hour at Home
Last summer, we predicted that cocktails would be a big deal, and there's no slowing down. This year, happy hours at home will be on the rise. From margaritas to sangria to spicy citrus cocktails, this trend will allow people to flex their creativity as they continue to hone the home bartending skills they developed over the past year of virtual happy hours. EatingWell.com saw a 73% increase in views year over year for cocktail recipes and articles, and we only see that continuing to grow as people reunite with loved ones, and we'll certainly cheers to that!
Try the trend: Blackberry Margarita, Strawberry Gin Spritzer
Grilled Vegetables Galore
Whether they're from the farmers' market or your own backyard, we'll turn to the grill to help us eat our vegetables. From eggplant to corn to peppers, grilled vegetables saw a 51% increase in views year over year. Not only is it a healthy and delicious way to cook vegetables, but utilizing the grill for the entire meal also means an easy cleanup.
Nondairy Ice Cream
I scream, you scream, we'll all be screaming for ice cream this summer—nondairy ice cream, that is. With a 42% increase in views year over year for "nice cream" recipes, we predict people will be swapping out the dairy for alternatives made with coconut milk or oat milk. And while you could certainly buy a pint at the grocery store, you could also try one of our nice cream recipes, which require just a few ingredients for a delicious homemade version of a classic summer dessert.
Try the trend: Strawberry Nice Cream, Piña Colada Nice Cream, Mint Chocolate Chip Nice Cream