Goji berries are so last year, coconut sugar is the sweet new craze, and cold-brewed coffee is what all the cool people are drinking. If you want to be in-the-know about this year's food trends, feast on our choice of nine new must-have ingredients

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Image: 9 latest ingredients you need in your life

Via: Jason / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: webbaliah

New growth on a purple prickly pear – kind of an exotic asparagus

 

Clarified butter

Also known as ghee, clarified butter contains vitamins A, D, E and K. Ghee is made by heating butter to boiling point, then skimming the top to remove any solids. It's not necessarily healthier than butter, but it's great for frying food at a high heat or over an extended period of time because it doesn't burn. This also makes it the perfect base for traditional Indian curries; try David Lebovitz's clarified butter recipe, then swap it for the oil in this easy turkey curry recipe.

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Clarified butter also known as ghee

Via: Larry Jacobsen / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: ljguitar

 

Cold-brewed coffee

Not to be confused with iced coffee (which is hot coffee poured over ice) this coffee is brewed slowly over cold water, and then served over ice. There is a difference. Thought to originate from Indonesia way back in the 1600s, this method had a resurgence of interest from Australian barristas looking for a better iced coffee. Cold-brew tastes less acidic, smoother and slightly sweeter than your usual cup, but you can't do this with it.

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Cold brewed coffee

Viajakeliefer / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: jakeliefer

 

Pomegranate molasses

Want to get your mitts on a chef's secret ingredient? Reach for a bottle of pomegranate molasses. This concentrated pomegranate syrup has a tantalising flavour that's both sweet and tart, which makes it a staple of Middle Eastern cuisine and adds a certain je ne sais quoi  to casseroles, stews and roasted meats. Try it in this very green quinoa, or sling some in a G&T

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Lotus root

Not an obscure yoga position, but the actual root of the lotus flower. Seriously popular in Asian cusine, it's particularly tasty in stir-fries or cooked in a light tempura batter. Peel it and boil it the same way you would carrots and serve in a salad for added crunch, or deep fry until crispy for an impressive stir-fry. 

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Lotus root

Via: Windell Oskay / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: oskay

 

Coconut sugar

Sugar has been slated in the press recently but let’s be honest, come 3pm most of us crave a sweet treat. Want an alternative sugar fix? Let us introduce you to coconut sugar – made from the sap of the coconut plant. It contains iron, zinc, calcium and potassium, but let's not get too excitied now – it’s still technically sugar, so not to be mistaken for healthy. OK? Swap coconut sugar for caster in a dark chocolate cake to bring out it's molasses-like flavour, or replace the light brown sugar in these butterscotch cookies.

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Coconut sugar

Via: Biona

 

Kaniwa

Never heard of it? We hadn't either. This little-known grain is actually a close cousin of quinoa. And how exactly do you pronounce it? "Ka-nyi-wa" apparently. Also known as 'baby quinoa' the two are pretty interchangeable when it comes to recipes. Try swapping quinoa for kaniwa in this vegetarian sausage, butternut and red pepper stew.

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Chia seeds

The ancient Aztecs loved scoffing chia seeds found on a native flowering plant which can sprout in a matter of days. The tiny black seeds contain omega-3 fatty acids, antioxidants, protein and fibre, and make a tasty addition to any bread recipe or homemade muesli. Munch them al desko when the mood take you, too.

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Chia seeds

Via: Stacy Spensley / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: notahipster

 

Prickly pear

Baloo brought the fruit to fame in his bare necessities and the Mexicans have been using it as a hangover cure for years. So why aren't we eating it too? Well, the rest of the world is starting to catch up and you're likely to see it pop up in health drinks everywhere. Try it yourself: peel and slice into a homemade smoothie or add a splash of colour to your next fruit salad. Watch those spines though – it's not called a prickly pear for nothing!

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Prickly pear

Via: Ken Bosma / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: kretyen

 

Za'atar

Not heard of this yet? You soon will. 'The Ottolenghi Effect' means this spice is becoming increasingly popoular with food trendsters as a perfect flavour for Middle Eastern style cooking. Za'atar is a blend of sumac, sesame seeds and herbs that tastes great sprinkled over lamb meatballs or add a teaspoon to this spiced butternut squash and chicken couscous.

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Za'atar

Via: Veganbaking.net  / CC BY-SA 2.0 / Flickr: vegan-baking

Are you a recent convert to a new taste sensation? Tell us about it below.