2011 Food Trends Busy Parents Can Get Behind

Kelli Best-Oliver

cherry pie

It's the end of the year, and in the food and restaurant industry, that means releasing the predictions for food trends for 2011. Restaurant consulting company Andrew Freeman and Co. released their ideas for what concepts and ingredients will be hot next year, and since these are the guys that predicted the rise of fried chicken, ramen, and artisan cocktails, I trust their judgment.

While some of these predictions have my heart all aflutter, some aren't going to see most of our kitchens or regular dining habits -- they're just not practical for the everyday kitchen. Check out what 2011 food trends busy parents can use and what you can lose after the jump.

2011 Food Trends Busy Parents Can Use & Lose

  • You can use ... pie. Let's not mess around: pie is a food trend we can get behind. Why save these treats for the holidays when you can enjoy their tasty sweetness all year-round? You also see mini hand-pies and pie milkshakes. And they won't just be restricted to dessert menus: savory pies will pop up on dinner tables, too. Yum, yum, yum. Chicken pot pie, yes!
  • You can lose ... whey. Freeman and Co. predict we'll be seeing whey in sauces and salads. While I've actually had this before in a salad, and it was good, it's not an ingredient I'll incorporate into my home repertoire. Too obscure, not enough uses to take up space in my fridge, am I right?
  • You can use ... popsicles. Here's a family-friendly trend you'll love. I received popsicle molds as a birthday gift this year, and I couldn't stop using them. The possibilities are endless, and can be as simple as frozen fruit juice. My personal favorite are pudding pops, but think outside the box with teas or pureed veggies.
  • You can lose ... dirt. Not the stuff from the ground, but dried, crumbled, and powdered ingredients. These add texture and flavor, but no busy mom is going to have time for any additional dirt in their kitchen. Leave it to the pros.
  • You can use ... one-dish restaurants. Grilled cheese restaurants, macaroni and cheese restaurants, hot dog/sausage restaurants. One dish spun several ways means there's something for everyone: classics for the kids, new interpretations for adults. Plus, these restaurants are usually casual and affordable.
  • You can lose ... hay. Yes, you read that right. Along with dirt, one of the trends is hay, used for smoking and roasting. Yeah, that's not gonna happen in my house.

Which of these 2011 food trends sound most doable to you?


Image via stevendepolo/Flickr

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