What Breakfast Will Look Like in 2018
Sorry about the 'shrooms
I cannot by law require anyone to eat breakfast, but I can with great authority suggest that you can make it part of your daily routine. It's a reliably tasty meal that's often simple to prepare, makes the rest of your day somewhat easier to contend with hunger-wise, and in these bitterly cold, dark days of winter may even give you impetus to leave your sleep cave. And in tremendous news, it's poised to become even more useful and delightful over the course of the calendar year. At least I think so. I dunno, man. I'm a breakfast journalist, not a portal to the netherworld. Here's what I see on the horizon for the earliest meal of the day.
It's completely fine if your breakfast just makes you un-hungry. Sometimes a cereal flake is just a cereal flake. But on occasion, that cereal flake may be augmented with beneficial bacteria to assist with your gut function. People packing smoothies, bowls, and elixirs with probiotics, adaptogens, herbs, and other health-boosting stuff is nothing new, but cereal giant Kellogg's has just started producing Special K with shelf-stable live and active probiotic cultures. While we're likely pretty far off from seeing kava- and ashwagandha-filled Pop-Tarts on store shelves, this cereal seems like a harbinger of more healthed-up breakfast products from major manufacturers.
If you've lived the majority of your life with your sole mushroom consumption being those rubbery slabs atop your pizza, or possibly a portobello cap at that vegan cookout you were duped into attending, hooboy, this turn your world asunder. Mushrooms have been making incursions into the hot beverage realm: Tea and coffee are being bolstered with various mushroom extracts (not the psychedelic kind, but again, I have no legal breakfast authority) that are purported to have various health benefits, like stress management and anti-inflammatory properties. They're also popping up in commercial kombucha (I became a big fan of Health-Ade's reishi-chocolate flavor after my initial what the hell? response), and once you've conquered Big 'Buch, there's no telling what you can do.
No one is gonna stop you from ordering a standard short stack at your favorite breakfast haunt, but don't be too surprised to see a non-white-flour pancake option or two alongside it on the menu. This is not not an offshoot of the nation's chronic carbphobia, but it also may be that during the off-again phase of the relationship with all things floury, diners realized that whole or fermented grains, nuts, and even bananas can be griddled into cakes of joy. Look for them at a bougie bruncheteria near you—or even in your own kitchen.
Am I trying to make fetch happen? Possibly, but in the months since I unleashed my breakfast salad methodology upon the planet, a few dozen people have people have told me that they've taken it on as a daily habit, Seriously, take whatever leftovers you have from the night before, throw them atop some raw greens, and toss a fried egg over the whole mess. Then you get to do whatever you want for the rest of the day because you were all virtuous and ate a salad for breakfast.
This is not new to you if you are familiar with Chinese street food or are in fact Chinese, but America may at long last be catching on to the marvel that is jianbing. They're a crispy, folded crepe stuffed with eggs, sauces, often a crunchy cracker or wonton, and all manner of fillings depending on personal preference. It's a glorious breakfast on-the-go. The dish is somewhat labor-intensive, since crepes are usually cooked and laden to order, but surely some large breakfast chain will figure out a way to rip off streamline the process and make them ubiquitous and watered-down in the quite near future.
Several weeks back, Taste senior editor Anna Hezel tweeted, "The only food trend prediction I will make about 2018 is what I'm calling the Big Lasagna Comeback." and people—me included—were quick to assent. This must happen, this needs to happen, and the only way it will happen is with ubiquity and persistence, starting with breakfast. This may entail eating last night's lasagna for breakfast, crafting a breakfast-specific lasagna, or asking your server if there is an off-menu breakfast lasagna at every restaurant you visit. As Hezel told me in a direct message, "I think that we're due to finish this current cycle of Instagram foods and return to ugly, functional comfort foods." And as God is my witness, it better not be oatmeal with mushrooms and crap in it.