50 Whiterock Rd, Killinchy, Newtownards, BT23 6PT

Stepping into Spring
Stepping into Spring - Vegetables Close Up

Spring time is upon us and spring is the time of year when usually the kitchen has to do a merry dance around dinners with a multitude of substitutions and short lived, but well-intentioned diets. However, things have become increasingly more challenging this year as we try to fill the void of eating out with our ‘Home Cooked’ meals instead of enjoying someone else putting it in front of us.

The New Diet Choice Landscape

Traditionally, it would have been a few vegetarians and some carb dodging new gym members, but today the diet choice landscape is a little more complicated. With vegetarians and veganism now representing a huge swathe of the population, and a wider awareness of coeliac and other gluten intolerances, creating a menu that appeals to a broad audience requires some serious thought. Thankfully, there is a huge buzz around Mediterranean and Middle Eastern cuisine that encompasses items like hummus topped with roasted veg, baba ganoush and a plethora of colour and crunch on your plate.

Buddha, or grain bowls are another versatile offering that allows you to weave through a number of diet choices. By blending grains with a mix of cooked and raw produce, the ubiquitous avocado and additional items like soft boiled eggs, stewed lentils and toasted pine nuts, you can offer hearty, substantial menu items that can be put together in mere minutes.

The ‘Hunter Gatherer’ Diet

What’s important to remember is that people are committing to modern diets in a big way, not just post Christmas. The Paleo diet, which is said to be similar to what man would have eaten two million years ago, has been an enduring one that is popular with those dedicated to fitness. In essence, it’s a hunter gatherer diet that emits grains, dairy and refined sugars, but embraces an abundance of fresh produce, meats and fish. What at first sounds quite restrictive actually gives you some great parameters to work with. These can work particularly well with those that have an affiliation with foraging or just like replicating their favourite restaurant dish.

Going Keto

A particular diet that’s set to continue to be big this year is the Ketogenic diet. This diet embraces good clean fats. As a low-carb, moderate protein, higher-fat diet that can help you burn fat more effectively. It has many benefits for weight loss, health, and performance. Ketogenic diets may even have benefits against diabetes, cancer, epilepsy, and Alzheimer’s disease.

Time to Experiment 

Of course, there is the usual lighter fare that diners favour following the heavy overload of Christmas and New Year. Filling salads are a sensible way to go, and with Vegan and plant-based offerings continuing in their growth. Not only should you expect up selling in the supermarket, but also your meat and dairy based dishes will drop in your weekly menu planning. Now’s the time to double down on fresh produce and experiment with techniques like fermentation and pickling to bring new and interesting flavours to the table, Pickled Slaws and Kimchi are new to our portfolio.

Express Yourself

Catering for various diet choices is nothing new, but we’re at a time when diet choice has become a way for people to differentiate and express themselves. Whether you’re taking a dressing and an abundance of toasted nuts and seeds to your lettuce, using it as a vehicle for deeply flavoured, slow-cooked meats, or as a wellness flag to the masses, consider exploring lettuce varieties a little further, and give them the attention they deserve.

Whether its Salad leaves, meal kits, vegan coleslaws and deli lines or Halal suitable products you are looking for we at Willowbrook Foods have the range and the expertise to be able to provide a product that meets your needs whether in retail or wholesale.

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