The veggie trend

March 23 2015

We all know how important it is to eat vegetables - they're full of important vitamins and nutrients, plus they're low in calories and high in fibre. It's because of all these health benefits that doctors, nutritionists and the government advise that veggies make up a significant portion of our daily diet. But, many people still fail to get their five-a-day.

While there are plenty of reasons that consumption of vegetables - and fruit - is not as high as it should be, the good news is that the popularity of vegetables is on the rise. Restaurant Central reports that vegetable and vegetarian dishes are becoming more common on menus - and they see the growing popularity of vegetables as a 2015 food trend.

It's not just side dishes where you're likely to find vegetables. These days, the colourful ingredients play a major role in many dishes - and they may even be the star of the show. 

One reason for this is that people are becoming more and more health conscious. Chefs have realised the importance of offering healthy food items, but they also know that the food must taste good too. That means the dishes they create are nutritious and delicious - and when a dish has great flavour, diners may not even realise they're eating meat-free meals.

Vegetarian and vegan restaurants are also becoming more popular, with new restaurants opening up across the country. Since vegetables are so versatile, these venues can offer dishes ranging from salads and stir-fries to meat-free burgers - so diners rarely miss the more traditional protein sources like beef, pork and chicken.

Cauliflower, kale, butternut squash and brussels sprouts have all appeared on restaurant menus recently - but if you're looking to add more veggies to your menu, there's no need to stick with only the trendy options. And it seems customers want plenty of choice as well. In a recent survey by Technomic, half of consumers said they would like restaurants to offer a wider variety of vegetarian or vegan entrees.