Denver, CO—Ardent Mills has released a list of grain-based culinary trends that emerged this past year, created in part thanks to the launch of the company’s new business unit, The Annex. According to the press release, their ideas are intended to inspire industry leaders to consider plant-based, grain foods in new and convenient ways.
- Individually quick frozen (IQF) grains for dipping. In May, at the National Restaurant Association’s 2018 tradeshow, Ardent Mills showcased ideas for bringing IQF grains to restaurant tables. Chef Jason Gronlund, technical sales manager of foodservice for The Annex, said that “IQF grains have a nice chewy texture, which makes them work in unexpected places.” He created a “caviar” using ancient and heirloom grains, useful for obtaining the texture while maintaining a vegan menu.
- Fried snacks. At the same show, they showcased a falafel made using a variety of grains paired with the traditional spices, Chef Joel Thomson, the corporate R&D chef for Ardent Mills, said, “The grains create a crisp exterior and moist center for fried snacks.”
- Quick and convenient grain bowls. At the Institute of Food Technologists (IFT) Meeting and Food Expo Show in June, Thompson and the culinary team created multigrain bowls that could be topped with dried fruit and nuts for breakfast, or chicken or curries for lunch and dinner.
- Authenticity and regionality. Gronlund created Pozole de Trigo for a group of editors at the International Foodservice Editors Conference (IFEC) in late October. Pozole usually features corn, but in Sonora, the local version features wheat. Gronlund used Ardent Mills’ White Sonora Wheat, which also featured in tortillas in a dish of multigrain chilaquiles at the IFT show.
- Fiber-packed smoothies. Again at IFEC, Gronlund used Ardent Mills’ proprietary high-fiber barley to turn a smoothie into a fiber-packed snack.