Submitted by Griffith Foods
When it comes to carbohydrates, it’s the quality—not quantity—that matters most. With consumers taking a more holistic approach to their healthy dining habits, carbs are experiencing a resurgence in popularity. Consumers around the world have given carbs a second chance as comfort food came back into favor during the height of the pandemic.
In foodservice, experimentation has given rise to artisan breads and pastas made in-house. A vegan, refined-sugar-free bakery in UAE creates almond flour pastries and breads full of ancient grains and seeds, including millet, teff, sorghum, flax and amaranth. Traditional culinary techniques have been modernized in Hong Kong, where a small shop bakes up crispy fermented soybean sesame biscuits. And a plant-based café in Spain serves twists on traditional recipes, such as a buckwheat risotto with pumpkin cream and roasted eggplant, and raw veggie noodles topped with tomato-cashew cream sauce and spiced almonds.
Sustainability and health come into play for the carb-focused snack category, with popcorn-like water lily seed snacks and air-popped quinoa chips delivering satisfying yet light flavor. “Activated” crisps in the UK are made with sprouted sorghum that has been soaked to allow for better nutrient digestion—a more functional approach to a classic snack. And in Chile, sustainable lupine bean flour enhances “superfood” energy bars and cookies made with natural sweeteners.
The carb resurgence aligns with the protein category, too, as items like filled pastas and batters put a more wholesome spin on product development. Plant-based sausage ravioli made with gluten-free rice flour can be found on US retail shelves. From high-protein, high-fiber Saudi Arabian chickpea flour to a Canadian company producing allergen-free fried chicken mix and tempura batter with konjac root powder, tapioca starch and psyllium husk—alternative flours put a more wholesome spin on traditional coatings.
Looking to fuel innovation across menus and product categories? Consider clean label, unrefined and “whole food” carbs.
Thinking Beyond Classic Carbs
Ingredients like legumes, pulses and ancient grains give chefs and product developers the chance to approach carbs from a fresh perspective. Join Chef Jonny Tomlin as he creates a unique Ethiopian Sweet Potato Tempura with Toasted Salt and Berbere Dip, using teff flour as the foundation for a light and airy batter.
Get inspired by these on-trend concepts to create innovative offerings using products from Griffith Foods.
Nutritional Spotlight: Carbohydrates
Along with fats and proteins, carbohydrates are one of three macronutrients found in our diets. They represent a significant proportion of the foods we consume and serve as a primary source of energy. But unlike their fellow macronutrients, carbohydrates are made of glucose—the preferred energy source for the brain and muscles. While carbohydrates are found in many forms and foods, the key is to focus on whole fruits and vegetables, whole grains and legumes that offer a variety of carbohydrate structures along with other beneficial nutrients. With these foods as the primary sources of carbohydrates, we receive not just energy but nutrient-dense options that support gut health, heart health, immune function and more. Upcycled, imperfect and sustainably produced carbohydrate sources are becoming increasingly available within the category as well, helping bring awareness not just to personal health but to the health of our planet.
–Jackie Schulz, MS, RDN, Director of Global Nutrition, Griffith Foods
Griffith Foods is the caring, creative product development partner helping food companies meet the evolving needs of consumers while sustaining the planet. As a family business for more than 100 years, Griffith Foods is known for true, collaborative innovation. Our relationships with farmers, customers and others allow us to create delicious, nutritious foods that are better for people and better for the planet. Our people are united in advancing our purpose: “We blend care and creativity to nourish the world.” For more, visit www.griffithfoods.com.
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