What new foods did you try this year? An oat milk latte, an ube cheesecake or maybe a Beyond burger? Maybe 2020 was the year you became obsessed with okra chips or kefir, or maybe you didn't know that red, yellow and green peppers are all the same until this year.
You don't know what new foods you're going to try next year, and you don't need to because Whole Foods already lines them up for you. You can spice up your cuisine with a snack or staple, just make sure your meals are changing with the seasons.
Here is how to get the jump start on these new food trends and find them locally, while you're at it.
“Well-being is served”
2021 is the year of taking care of your body, which means probiotics, superfoods, broths and nutrients. Gone are the days of taking supplements—why do that when you could just eat them in your food? Look for things like sauerkraut, mushrooms, local honey, fresh fruit and kombucha during your next trip to the grocery store.
Austin-local Buddha's Brew sells dozens of flavors of kombucha filled with live cultures for your gut health. Yum!
“Epic breakfast every day”
With so many people working from home these days, there is no excuse to skip breakfast. In fact, there's no excuse to have a boring breakfast either. Think bagels and lox, pancakes on weekdays and sous vide egg bites topped with gruyère. Stock up on your favorite pancake mix, bougie cheeses and a breakfast cookbook.If you just don't have time to make your own breakfast, get takeout from Bouldin Creek Cafe, on 1900 S. 1st St. With vegan and vegetarian options galore, you'll be a breakfast person in no time.
“Basics on fire”
With cooking being one of the major newfound hobbies of the pandemic, home chefs everywhere are looking to amp-up even the simplest of foods. Spices, pastas, sauces and basics and are all getting a delicious makeover. Try some applewood-smoked salt, riced cauliflower or add a new basil pesto to the mix.One of the best ways to start is to go classic and upgrade your olive oil. Texas Hill Country Olive Oil Co. has been making its organic oils right here in the Hill Country since 2008. The local shop doles plenty of different flavors of olive oils and balsamic vinegar. You'll never cook the same again.
“Coffee beyond the mug”
Humans have been drinking coffee for hundreds of years, why wouldn't we start eating it? Nowadays you can get just about anything coffee-flavored: granola, steak rubs, almond butter, booze and even yogurt.
A good ol' cup of joe never goes out of style though, so if you're looking for locally-roasted brew, Texas Coffee Traders, located on 1400 E 4th St., is a great place to go. With good beans, you can make anything coffee flavored.
“Baby food, all grown up”
This holiday season, give your baby the gift of a sophisticated palate. Today's babies are eating superfoods, daring combinations like pear strawberry rhubarb, well-seasoned meals and turmeric. Plus, baby food is getting easier and easier to take on the go.Serenity Kids was started by an Austin couple who care about what kids eat. Not only is its baby food organic and ethically sourced, it is also reminiscent of what mom and dad are having for dinner.
More of your food is edible than you think. Upcycled foods take parts of an ingredient that wouldn't have otherwise been used and makes them into something new, reducing food waste. Things like peels, stems and pulp are officially back on the table.
Upcycled foods are still pretty hard to come by, especially by local makers as most are made in California, but you can still stock up when you come across them. Look for The Ugly Company's upcycled fruits, Renewal Mill's upcycled flour or Pulp Pantry's pulp chips.
You've heard of olive and coconut oils but have you seen walnut oil or pumpkin seed oil during your weekly trip to the grocery store? New oils are popping up on shelves due to their unique flavors and versatility of use from frying to salad dressings.If you want to try something new, grab a bottle of walnut oil. You can mix the oil with almost anything for a subtle, nutty flavor, use it to grease a pan or make a dressing with it. This guide will give you some ideas on how to use these unique oils.
Hard seltzers made a massive splash in 2018 and into this year and kombucha has risen to extreme popularity in recent years, so it just makes sense to make it boozy. Hard kombucha comes with a host of benefits—bubbles, gluten-free and filled with probiotics.One way to get your fix in Austin is at Black Swan Yoga and JuneShine Kombucha's Yoga in the Yard event. After a relaxing outdoor yoga session, you can enjoy a nice, bubbly glass of booch.
“The mighty chickpea”
You've heard of hummus and falafels, maybe even chickpea pasta, but as it turns out, chickpeas are extremely versatile. Chickpeas are a great source of fiber and plant-based protein. Keep an eye out for puffed chickpea snacks, chickpea flour and chickpea cereal.If you're still on a hummus kick but want to try something new, Floreli's hummus is locally made from sunflower seeds. Harkening tastes of Middle-Eastern cuisine, Floreli hummus is easy to come by and sold at Whole Foods and Wheatsville Co-op.
“Fruit and veggie jerky”
You read that right—jerky is for everyone now—vegans and vegetarians alike. From more tame snacks like mushroom or mango jerky to adventurous morsels like banana or jackfruit jerky, fruits and veggies are taking on a new form.Actually, jerky can be made from just about anything. Local company Umami It's Vegan! Jerky Co. makes 100% plant-based, protein-rich jerky in tons of different flavors. Move over, veggie burgers.
2021 is the year of trying something new so what food trend do you want to try?
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A park in the sky. That’s how Ed Muth, Gensler principal-in-charge of the Sixth and Guadalupe project, describes the outdoor deck on level 14 of the building.
It’s a gathering space that’ll be lushly landscaped and filled with various plant types. It’ll also have spaces for sitting and a small amphitheater tech space. It’s poised to be an area for Meta employees to spend time and mingle once the tech giant moves in next spring.
As downtown grows with increased residential and office space, the tech industry’s influence in the area is clear with Google’s sailboat tower plus TikTok signing a lease on Colorado. How will Sixth and Guadalupe shape Austin’s skyline?
For starters, it's poised to be the tallest tower in Austin when it is completed in 2023, standing 66 floors high. The deal with Meta, Facebook's parent company, was inked on Dec. 31, 2021 and is downtown Austin's largest lease ever, spanning across 33 floors and 589,000 square feet. It'll cater to some of the 2,000 employees that have been working in Austin. The social media giant has also said it plans on adding 400 more employees.
Key to the project, Muth told Austonia, is making sure clients get everything that they expected out of it.
Soon-to-be residents, the first of which are expected to come in the summer of next year, will occupy space from level 34 up and can expect gaming lounges, theater space, a garden on level 53 plus some pools. The one on level 66 will be the highest pool deck in Austin, Muth said.
The flashy amenities are sure to catch the attention of people vying to move in, but other major design elements were brought on by the Capitol view corridor.
“It's set out there to make sure that we don't block the views of the Capitol,” Muth said. “It kind of set the rules for where we can build, where we could position the building, how we design, the shape of the building, and how we put the square footage together in that building.”
A building of this undertaking involved a team of about 20 people at Gensler, a global architecture firm headquartered in San Francisco. They’ve been working with commercial developer Lincoln Property Company and residential developer Kairoi plus about a dozen consultants, some of whom were in Austin and others in Dallas.
The downtown tower boom has been in the works for some time. Muth said they’ve built a lot of trust working with them for the past five years, with some of their work carried out remotely during COVID-19. In the early days of the pandemic, downtown areas across the country—Austin included—saw lowered activity and both residents and workers heading to suburbs and other areas of the city.
“It really rose to its form, as we see it today, during that time, and a lot of people weren't downtown,” Muth said. “So it probably surprised some folks when they came back downtown to say, ‘Wow, where'd that come from?’”
About two weeks ago, Muth made a visit to the site, noticing restaurants and retail that hadn’t been there previously. Sixth and Guadalupe itself will include retail on the ground floor, adding to downtown’s growth even on the sidewalk level.
“Just looking out from the level 14th floor deck, I think we counted five or six, maybe seven new construction sites that are within blocks of this project. The area's rapidly changing,” Muth said.
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Two of Austin’s biggest celebrities are joining forces for a Q&A session open to the public.
Minister of Culture Matthew McConaughey and former Longhorn Emmanuel Acho will meet at LBJ Auditorium, 2313 Red River St., on May 22 at 2 p.m.
The author behind New York Times bestselling book "Uncomfortable Conversations with a Black Man,” Acho will be there to celebrate the recent release of his new book, “Illogical: Saying Yes to a Life Without Limits.”
Acho had McConaughey on his Youtube series of the same name in June 2020.
“Two of your favorite Texans in person and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. It doesn’t happen often and may not happen again, so bring your questions, bring a friend, and prepare to be inspired and entertained," Acho said on social media.
The event is organized in partnership with BookPeople and the Moody College of Communication. Tickets are available for $45.
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