Top 10 Flavor Trends on Pinterest (+ delicious ways to eat them!)

I'm endlessly fascinated by the way food trends and flavors change from year to year, and even from month to month. As someone who is constantly cooking and experimenting, I love seeing how quickly new flavors and ingredients can go from super niche to practically ubiquitous.

I recently attended an event hosted by Pinterest at the Museum of Food and Drink here in New York where they announced their 2016 Pinsights Flavor Report--a round-up of trending flavors, ingredients, and pairings that are rocking everyone's worlds (and mouths!) right now.

Read on for those top ten flavor trends (plus some recipes to get you inspired to give each one a try!)

Herbs Get Creative

1. Cilantro
People seem to either love or hate cilantro, but those that love it (like me!) have been doing some very cool things with it lately. Cilantro cocktails, salad dressings, and marinades are just a few ways to enjoy it.

I actually created this extra-cilantro-y Cilantro Guacamole Chickpea Salad in honor of the Flavor Report launch. It uses a full bunch of cilantro in the recipe, so NOT for the cilantro-faint at heart.

A few other fun ideas for cooking with cilantro:
(And here's my favorite tip for storing fresh cilantro in your fridge!)

2. Basil
Basil goes beyond the caprese salad and has started appearing in both sweet and savory recipes...and yes, cocktails, too! Basil cocktails are kind of amazing. I love them in mojitos (add them along with the mint) and in the Savory Herb Sangria pictured above. Puree it into dressings or hummus, or tuck it right into your favorite sandwiches and burgers. So much awesomeness.

Here are a few other ways I'm loving it:

Secret Weapon Spices

3. Saffron
This gorgeous spice has long been one of my favorites to use in baking and Spanish dishes, so I'm excited to see it getting some special attention! I love infusing cake batters with saffron--it adds both color and a subtle, sexy, and totally exotic flavor. You can also add it to your hot beverages like tea or hot chocolate, or whip some into your favorite salad dressing (the aioli I link to below is AMAZING with eggs and french fries).

A few of my saffron faves:

4. Turmeric
A powerful anti-inflammatory, turmeric adds gorgeous color and spice to cocktails, rice dishes, warm drinks, breakfast dishes, and more!

It also just makes everything suddenly feel super healthy. At the event they served the most amazing turmeric cocktail that I am definitely going to need to recreate soon.

(And yes, I felt healthy while drinking it!)

How I use turmeric:

Sneaky Substitutions

5. Cashew Milk
Cashew milk is the new almond milk, and I am SO into this! When I'm working up in Vermont, I regularly use cashew milk to make homemade vegan ice cream and in creamy soups as the base, in smoothies and milkshake type drinks, and to thin out dressings and sauces.

I love this sweeter, creamier dairy-free alternative, and even make my own! Here's my favorite recipe:

6. Chickpea Flour 
I've been using chickpea flour at home and when cooking for my gluten-free retreat groups for years now, so I'm a tiny bit annoyed with myself for not having any of these recipes on the blog yet (totally fixing that ASAP!)

In the meantime, I'll share some ways I love to use it, with recipes from my more on-the-ball blogger friends:
This Italian chickpea flatbread is one of my favorite things. It takes minutes to make, is crispy and gluten-free and makes for a really cool side dish, bread substitute, or even pizza crust. I love to top it with yogurt, ground lamb, and fresh herbs. Or serve it with soup like a cracker/bread stick replacement. SO good.

Tropical Twists

7. Coconut
Coconut is another one of my favorite flavors and so I am very excited that it is trending. In Puerto Rico, we eat coconut ALL the time, and there are a bunch of holiday recipes that feature it.


At the event, I learned about coconut bacon, which basically sounds like the best thing ever that I will be making asap.

Some fave coconut recipes:

8. Pineapple
Another tropical fave!  Pineapple is showing up in cocktails, desserts, and savory grilled recipes. I'm actually working with a brand (Dole) on some pineapple recipes this month, so stay tuned for those. Until then, here are a couple fun savory ways to enjoy it!

A New Spin on Sweets

9. Coffee Liqueur 
Whether it's baked into cakes, drizzled over ice cream, or added to warm mugs of hot chocolate, coffee liqueurs like Kahlua are totally trending all over Pinterest.

I love adding it to my brownie and chocolate cake recipes (I seriously just keep a bottle in my kitchen near the condiments!), or turning it into a syrup to brush over banana bread.

Some specific recipes:

10. Tapioca
Tapioca has ventured beyond basic cafeteria-style pudding and bubble tea (though I DO still love bubble tea!), and is now showing up in interesting and sophisticated flavor combinations or as a thickener for stews and pie filling.

As a flour (often known as yuca or cassava flour), it's become a gluten-free fave in baking recipes, prized for its chewiness and ability to crisp when baked. I use tapioca starch a lot to make sweet and chewy cheesebreads like pan de bono (which is amazing with coffee), and to add bite and chew to flourless almond meal recipes.

And that's it! I hope you're as majorly inspired as I am to play with these flavors in the kitchen. Let me know below what your favorites are (and if you have any specific ideas for how to use them.)

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