Our Favourite Vegan Food Trends For 2021

Why not have some fun in the kitchen with these vegan food trends? They’re all the rage for this year!

By Lora O’Brien

Honestly, my social media feed has been going crazy (in a good way!) with people creating and recreating viral food trends. From making adorable mini pancake cereals to whipping up nutty vegan ‘mylk’ drinks, it seems people have been getting pretty damn creative while stuck at home.

That being said, I’ve also noticed that a lot of the viral food trends I’ve seen this year are super unhealthy! From cream, cheese and butter laden pasta al fredos to double deep fried chicken – covered in cheese no less – it seems the clean eating food movement has taken a step back. And that’s not good for our health, or for the animals!

Even the vegan food trends are getting sweeter and less healthy. Yep, I’m talking about disgusting, fake lab-grown ‘foods’ that are meant to imitate meat. Erm, no thanks! Especially when there are so many healthier versions to choose from, as we shall see more of below.

But there are some great, healthy vegan food trends for 2021 too. Vegan charcuterie, anyone? Below are some of my favourite innovative vegan food ideas for this year. I’ve been thrilled to discover these recipes and hacks, but I decided to present recipes to you here below that are relatively healthy. Because y’know: health is wealth, especially these days!

Prepare to have your mind blown, and your tummy tickled!

Image credit below: @sweetsandlifestyle Main image: Allrecipes.com 

2020 Vegan Social Media Food Trends

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

1. Dalgona Coffee

Yep, the biggest coffee trend last year is still a thing this year! And I guess that’s because…well, you know. It’s coffee! This recipe is rich, creamy, and even anti-inflammatory. Oh, and of course, it’s vegan!

Get the recipe here.

2. Pancake Breakfast Board

Food boards are often savoury. They usually contain loads of non-vegan foods like cold cuts, sausages and cheeses. But this year, it’s all about to change! Pancake breakfast boards are now a thing. Serve up mini-pancakes alongside whatever you fancy: fruit, compotes, jams, vegan caramel, you name it!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

3. Hot Chocolate Boards

Another hugely popular board we’ve seen all spreading across social media is a hot chocolate board. And as its winter and super cold here in the UK, this is the perfect sweet treat to keep the winter chills at bay. To make one, prep up whatever you’d like in a hot choccie, from cinnamon sticks and vegan  marshmallows, and then add some of your favourite vegan cookies, to dip into your brew, too!

Get the recipe here.

hot chocolate board

4. Epic Vegan Charcuterie Board

In case you missed the memo above, charcuterie boards are going to be everywhere in 2021. And what’s not to love? Traditionally, a charcuterie is a board arranged with cured meats, cheeses and finger foods served on a platter or board. But if you’re catering to a really large group, you could even fill an entire table! And they’re easy to make healthy and vegan, too.

This recipe from Emilie Eats is a really great way to show how you can make one using veggie meats, dairy-free cheese, fruit and vegetables. But feel free to adjust your board to suit whatever you fancy eating!

Get the recipe here.

vegan charcuterie board

5. Pancake Cereal

Since so many of us have been home this past year and not had to make a mad dash for our morning commute, we’ve had more time to consider breakfast. And as it’s the most important meal or the day, many of us are looking for a little inspiration!

In 2021 you can expect to see a lot of breakfast foods coming at you. From breakfast sandwiches to overnight oats, people are getting fancy. But one food trend I’m carrying with me into 2020? Mini pancakes! Fiddly to make, yep, but super cute. And my toddler goes crazy for them!

Get the recipe here.

vegan social media food trends

6. Cake For One

I don’t know about you, but I always hated waiting for it to be someone’s birthday to enjoy cake. Cake is life, and the food trend I’m most thrilled about is the fact we’re going to be seeing more individual desserts and snacks this year. Whatever you feel like celebrating, don’t let anyone tell you you can’t have your cake and eat it! And this Mini Vegan Chocolate Hibiscus Cake is the perfect celebration size.

Get the recipe here.

cake for one

7. Vegan Milk Chocolate

We get it. Dark chocolate is good for us, we know. But I’m putting it out there: it’s a bit yuck. I like a little creaminess to my chocolate but I prefer it without cow secretions, thank you. This year you’ll find much more vegan chocolate made with vegan milk, with brands like Endangered Species Chocolate and Trader Joe’s offering vegan milk chocolate.

Naturally, vegan chocolate usually comes with a pretty hefty price tag, so if you’re on a budget why not make your own at home? This 6-ingredient raw chocolate is naturally sweetened and can even be kept at room temperature.

Get the recipe here.

vegan milk chocolate

8. Virtual Cooking Classes

While lockdowns kept people at home for hugely insane and unnecessary periods of time, we still found ways to socialise with loved ones. And what is the universal language that can unite us all? Food! When restaurants were forced to close they got creative and expanded into takeout and delivery. But 2021 will see this trend evolving even further as chefs create new and innovative ways to bring the restaurant experience to people at home.

And one fun way to enjoy cooking at home with a little chef guidance is via cooking classes. The perfect balance between cooking and takeout. People will be using this fun way to get together with friends and family and be entertained at home.

Looking for some of the best online vegan cooking classes? Just click here!

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

9. Super Fancy Tofu

We’re in the middle of Veganuary so many are discovering vegan alternatives such as tofu, and demand for the meat substitute is on the rise. Once viewed as a bland block of soybeans, tofu is now being transformed into dishes such as crunchy Korean tofu and sweet and sour tofu.

If you’ve previously shied away from eating the stuff, then you can expect to see it in a whole new light this coming year. And the best thing about tofu is that it can easily be seasoned to taste like pretty much anything! Looking for some inspiration? We’re loving this Korean BBQ tofu recipe, below! But you can also check out loads of super fancy tofu recipes here.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

10. Plant-Based Meats

During lockdowns, there was a rise in people turning to plant-based meat, and this is going to continue into the future. More brands are coming forward with innovative plant-based options and the supermarket shelves are expanding their vegan aisles. But a lot of that vegan ‘meat’ is absolute crap: GMO and chemical ridden nonsense with little nutritional value. Yuck!!

The good news is, it doesn’t have to be that way! Take this recipe for vegan “ground beef” below, for example. It’s the perfect base to make burgers, meatballs and even meatloaf. It’s easy to prepare, high in protein and free of grains, gluten, soy and nuts.

Get the recipe here.

plant based meats

11. Vegan Fast Food

People craved comfort food during the pandemic, and still will as we go into the new year. Many fast-food joints have even taken their businesses online, so you can order them direct to your door. But making your own ‘fast food’ at home is way, way healthier! (and more fun, if you ask me).

We’ve got lots of recipes to choose from here, but my go-to junk food recipe is always a burger! And I love this recipe from Bianca Zapatka is a real winner. After all, it’s not called The Best Vegan Burger for nothing!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

12. Foods to Reduce Stress

I think it’s fair to say that 2020 has taken its toll on the mental health and wellbeing of many. I for one have a history of depression and anxiety, which have both been heightened throughout the past year. But did you know the food you eat can play a huge role in your mental health? When I first discovered you could reduce the signs of stress and even alleviate depression via your diet, I was skeptical, but I aimed to eat with this in mind, and I definitely feel a difference in my mental health.

I wrote an article on delicious anti-stress vegan recipes here with lots to choose from, but this lentil mushroom bolognese is a real winner, and is one of my favourite vegan food trends for this year. You could even make your own pasta to go with it!

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

13. Fermenting Frenzy!

Last year, people were really into fermenting and canning food, and this is going to continue into 2021. We’re also going to see more people than ever before growing their own produce at home, perfect for picking and them fermenting. What kind of things can be fermented? Think pickled cucumbers, red onions, radishes and so much more! Not to mention gut-friendly sauerkraut and kimchi.

We’ve got a whole article dedicated to fermented recipes here, and a great place to start your fermenting journey is with kimchi. It’s mildly spicy with a hint of sweetness and all the pungent flavors of kimchi, which are delicious! It may be an ancient Korean dish, but it’s another of my vegan food trends for 2021.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

14. Meal Kit Delivery Services

The last year saw a huge increase in demand for online grocery services, which is no surprise. It seems the same is expected got this year, plus a lot more. People are realising they can order all kinds of meal kits to their door, allowing them to easily make anything from homemade pasta to cocktails.

Brands like Gousto and All Plants are making it easier than ever to eat healthily and care for yourself this year by providing easy meal options, with everything you need to make the meal. It’s actually brilliant for reducing food waste! My favourite meal kit delivery service is definitely All Plants, which sends ready-made meals to the UK, but some of the most popular services in the USA include Blue Apron, Hello Fresh and Gobble.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

15. Vegan ‘Fish’

While we spoke above about the increase in plant-based meats this year, PETA has also predicted that we’re going to be seeing a lot more vegan fish options. And what are we going to use to make these vegan fish options, I hear you ask? Fruits and vegetables, of course! We’ve already seen watermelon turned into ‘steak’, banana peel turned into ‘pulled pork’ and now we’re seeing butternut squash made into ‘tuna’.

Looking to start off with something simple? Make some vegan ‘smoked salmon’ – using peppers!

Get the recipe here.

vegan fish recipes

16. At Home Cocktails

If you survived 2020 without a single drop of alcohol, well done, but let me tell you that 2021 may see a lot of cocktails being made at home! Pubs and bars may be shut but 2021 isn’t letting that us stop us from celebrating. Whether you’re bartending from your garden shed or turning your living room into a virtual club, you may want to stock up on flavoured alcohol, syrups and some snazzy cocktail mixers to bring that bar vibe to your home. And the best part? No drunken walk home – woohoo!

Looking for a place to start? Grab your cocktail shakers and your leftover chickpea brine and turn it into this grapefruit gin sour cocktail.

Get the recipe here.

Vegan Food Trends For 2021

17. Homemade Pasta

2020 may have been about mastering the art of breadmaking – but 2021 is all about that pasta! Comfort food is going to be popular during the cold winter months, especially for those still in a lockdown. And who doesn’t want carbs? Pasta is easier to make than you think. You’ll find your social media full of people making the likes of gnocchi and tagliatelle at home. It’s definitely one of the most popular vegan food trends for this year, if Instagram is anything to go by.

Looking to make some vegan eggless pasta but not sure where to start? Kitchen genius Bianca Zapatka has the perfect recipe to follow to whip up some vegan pasta in no time!

Get the recipe here.

vegan pasta making

18. The Air Fryer As The #1 Kitchen Gadget

2021 is all about the food you can ‘fry’ – with minimal oil! We’ve already spoken about the demand for air fryers, and this  trend is not going anywhere for a long, long time.

Whether the air fryer is gaining popularity because ain’t nobody got the time to stand around waiting for food to fry, or because we’re all craving something comforting yet healthy, they’re surpassing the instant pot in web searches. And they’re brilliant – whether you’re wanting to grill vegetables, fry potatoes or dehydrate fruit and veggies to make healthy chips, there’s a recipe for you to enjoy.

It’s a good thing we’ve already got you sorted with the best vegan air-fryer recipes on the net in one super useful article, here. But, if you’re looking for the best recipe to test your air fryer? I LOVE these crispy vegan air-fried wontons – yum!

Get the recipe here.

air fried wontons vegan

19. Peanut Butter Milk

Almond milk, sure. Coconut milk? Of course. But…peanut butter milk? YEP! This is set to be one of our favourite vegan food trends for 2021. It’s basically a peanut butter milkshake, really. And damn tasty it is, too!

To make, just blend

– 177ml almond milk
– 60ml vegan soy cream
– 1 tbsp peanut butter (100% peanuts with no added oils or sugar)
– 1 tbsp sweetener (I like agave syrup)
– 1 tbsp cocoa powder

Done!

Image credit here.

peanut butter milk

20. Bland is Banned

2020 may have been a write-off for many, but we’re not going to let 2021 be bland, literally! Pinterest has predicted in its annual trend forecast that “bland is banned” this year. Yep, you heard it: this year is all about getting spicy!

Forgetting the umami flavours we’ve previously gone wild for – this year is about those tongue-tingling recipes that bring the heat to our plate. And one celeb giving this trend her seal of approval is Gigi Hadid. The supermodel recently shared a picture of her kitchen cabinet, sharing her love of Indian spices, which went viral.

It wasn’t the first time she’s made the headlines for something spicy. In lockdown, she shared to her Instagram stories her family favourite Spicy Vodka Pasta. As it includes several of the above vegan food trends for 2021 mentioned above, I thought it was fitting to share and even found a vegan version of the popular recipe!

Get the recipe here.

spicy vodka pasta recipe

Lora O'Brien
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