From The Nutritionist


      Campbells
Contributors:
R&D team members

4 Nutrition & Culinary Trends We’re Watching




Did you predict ingredients like mushrooms, coconut and jackfruit to grow by leaps and bounds? At Campbell, our experts track trend evolution, it’s not only part of our work, but also part of our passion for food, nutrition, cooking and innovation. What new or emerging cooking style, kitchen gadget, global flavor or specific ingredient will win over consumers? This month, Campbell experts share the trends they are watching into 2021.

Food & Flavor: Chickpeas & Extreme Heat 

Chef Erika Ellefsen is watching chickpeas expand into more and more food and beverage categories. This inexpensive plant-based food provides fiber, protein, folate and other beneficial nutrients. It is a staple ingredient in Middle Eastern cuisine. The growing interest in chickpeas support shoppers’ focus on health and well-being, including in the snacking category. Chef Erika predicts chickpeas will expand into new product innovations globally—changing the way we perceive chickpeas today. She predicts you will begin to see chickpeas as an ingredient in several new snack products, fresh ready-to-eat products, beverage offerings, frozen desserts and even in some confections and baked goods.

Sriracha really brought heat into the mainstream market about 10 years ago, with hatch chilies coming into play about 3-5 years ago. The extreme heat trend uses spice techniques to incorporate new and exciting experiences with classic foods. Chef Erika expects extreme heat to expand as we see major brands play in this space and even some convenience stores adopting this trend. She predicts the extreme heat trend will continue to have more reach in innovations throughout the whole grocery store, such as in the snacks aisle, frozen foods sections, the beverage aisle (spicy immunity shots), and even the dried goods section of the grocery store (cans, pastas, boxed kits).

Nutrition: Food as Medicine 

Elise Deming, Campbell nutritionist, is focusing more than ever on consumers viewing food as medicine. While this trend isn’t new, the ongoing pandemic has consumers reaching for anything that may boost physical, mental and emotional well-being. As research develops and uncertainty persists with the COVID-19 virus, she expects growing interest in functional ingredients, nutrients and dietary patterns tied to immunity, longevity and even mood to increase in popularity. Consumers may also be more willing to try products linked to better sleep, reduced anxiety and improved energy. She expects to see more food and beverages in grocery aisles showcasing functional ingredients as more consumers look to food to provide potential health benefits. While a healthy diet is an important part of overall health, Elise cautions to study ingredients, claims, and companies before purchasing or recommending products promising benefits. Finally, she reminds us that NOTHING is a miracle fix.  

Kitchens: People Need Simple Solutions More Than Ever

A lot has changed since the onset of COVID-19—especially in kitchens across America. Novice cooks, some of whom previously relied heavily on takeout and grab-n-go meals, were forced to roll up their sleeves for cooking 101. Confident cooks learned to work with whatever ingredients they had access to, and many continue to feel the toll of preparing all meals at home. Sheila Miller, Test Kitchen Manager, sees more families are cooking at home and many are looking for new, easy recipes to switch up their meals. It’s a good time to lean on experts in the food industry to make the mealtime struggle easier with all-in-one dishes, that require little time and effort. She finds people want more one pot recipes, sheet pan recipes and slow cooker dinner ideas to make mealtime simpler.

Trends are an exciting part of food, nutrition and cooking. We will see what 2021 brings and if our predictions are correct. Check out a few of our team’s favorite products and recipes below.

 

My favorite product in our extensive portfolio is Goldfish® Veggie Crackers, Sweet Carrot variety, and one of my favorite recipes when I am craving comfort food is  Easy Skillet Lasagna.”—Erika Ellefsen, Campbell Culinary Chef II

“My favorite product is Pacific Foods® Organic Reduced Sugar Oat Original Beverage and one of my favorite recipes is  Easy Sheet Pan Lasagna.”—Elise Deming, Campbell Nutrition Scientist

 “My favorite Campbell’s recipe is Easy Chicken Pot Pie .  I have many favorite products including Campbell’s® Cream of Chicken Soup, Swanson® Broth and Pepperidge Farm® Stuffing.”—Sheila Miller, Manager, Test Kitchen

Upcoming Events

 

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Eat More Plants, Be Happy This Year

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En Papillote Technique

1. Prepare the parchment paper
Get a large piece of parchment paper, approximately 2.5 times as large as a single portion of food. Cut the paper into a heart shape, lightly brushing one side with oil. This creates a slight barrier to water, preventing the paper from becoming soaked too quickly. Another option, though not as attractive, is to use tin foil instead of parchment paper.

2. Select the ingredients
This is a very quick-cooking approach, so it works best with tender proteins such as fish and shellfish. The accompanying ingredients, like julienned vegetables (matchstick size), must be small enough to cook at the same rate as the fish. In some cases the vegetables can be blanched, or quickly cooked in boiling water, to ensure proper doneness. Fresh herbs will go a long way in providing flavor.

3. Assemble the packet
Lay the oiled, heart-shaped paper on a baking tray, oiled side up. Season your vegetables with salt, pepper, extra virgin olive oil, and half of the herbs. Toss them around for an even coat. Place enough for one portion on half of the paper. Bunch them up to create a bed for your fish, leaving about two inches between the food and the edge of the paper. Place the seasoned fish on the vegetables and sprinkle the remaining herbs. Add a splash of the liquid on top of the fish, just enough to add moisture.

4. Seal the packet
To seal, fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables (so it resembles a teardrop). Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge toward the center. Fold over again to create a seal. Continue along the length of the parchment, folding each section twice. When you get to the point of the heart, twist and fold to finish the seal.

5. Bake your dinner
Bake the packet in a 425°F oven for 10-14 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. The packet will puff and brown while in the oven and as the steam builds. When cooked, remove from the oven and carefully place the packet on a plate. With a knife or scissors cut an "X" on the top and fold back the edges for a dramatic presentation and a delicious, healthy meal.

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Spicy Flounder and Clams with Summer Vegetables

Prep Time: Less than 20 minutes
Cooking Time: 10-14 minutes
Yield: 2 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 cup carrots, finely cut julienne
  • 1/3 cup sugar snap peas, cross cut thinly
  • 1/3 cup zucchini, yellow, finely cut julienne
  • 6 each cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 1 Tbsp. shallot, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp. parsley, fresh, minced
  • Dash salt
  • Dash black pepper
  • 6 oz. fillet, flounder (2 fillets, 3oz. each)
  • 2 Tbsp. Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice
  • 3/4 lb. clams, in the shell

Instructions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Combine the carrots, sugar snap peas, zucchini, cherry tomatoes, shallot, garlic, extra virgin olive oil, half of the parsley, salt and pepper in a bowl. Toss well to combine.
  3. Lightly oil two large heart shaped pieces of parchment paper.
  4. With the parchment paper on a sheet tray, place half of the vegetable mixture in the center of one half of each heart leaving about a 2" border.
  5. Lightly season each fillet with salt and pepper. Fold or roll the fillet to create a uniform thickness and place on top of the vegetables.
  6. Top the fish with the remaining herbs and the Low Sodium Spicy Hot V8® 100% Vegetable juice.
  7. Place half of the clams around each portion of vegetables and fish.
  8. Fold the heart over to enclose the fish and vegetables so that it resembles a teardrop.
  9. Starting at the top of the heart, fold about 1/4" of the edge towards the center. Fold over again to create a seal.
  10. Continue with this method along the length of the parchment packet folding each section twice to make an attractive edge.
  11. When you get to the point of the heart twist and fold to finish the seal.
  12. Bake the packets for 10-14 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish).
  13. Remove from the oven and serve by cutting an "X" in the top and folding back the edges.

Nutrition Information (per serving):

Calories 180, Total Fat 9g, Saturated Fat 1g, Monounsaturated Fat 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat 1g, Cholesterol 50mg, Sodium 450mg, Carbohydrate 10g, Fiber 2g, Sugar 4g, Protein 16g.