It’s time to reinvent bread and muffins, said Mollie Woods, executive director of the cherry industry board.
“Consumers’ taste preferences continue to evolve as they seek to discover new, adventurous flavors,” she said.
Creating such an experience can be achieved through unique combinations of fruits, nuts and seeds. These supplements attract consumers by appealing to their visual senses.
Bakers are getting creative because “not too sweet” sparks interest in fruit beyond apples, bananas and berries. These tend to be tart, citrusy, or sometimes both. Think of the cranberry orange.
“While consumer palates prefer less sweet and more adventurous tastes, fruits, nuts and seeds can venture into the salty side of baked goods,” Ms. Woods said.
Montmorency tart cherries, for example, bring a bold red color and tart flavor without turning a muffin into a cupcake. They are available year round in dried, frozen, canned, juice, and concentrate forms, making them readily available as a versatile nutrient ingredient for baked goods.
“Over 60 research studies have examined the impact of Montmorency Tart Cherries on sleep, inflammation, heart and gut health, and recovery after exercise,” Ms. Woods said. “Their flavonoid compounds are responsible for the acidity, intense red color, and potentially beneficial health properties.”
While “not too sweet” is all the rage, there are always opportunities for the sweet flavors of bread and muffins, said Jerome Davis, technical solutions analyst at Innovative Bakery, a division of Ardent Mills.
“Dessert and pastry flavors are a way to bring a little indulgence to bread formulations and incorporate them into the convenience of a pre-sliced loaf of bread that is easy to reheat or toast in a toaster. bread, ”he said.
Just as there are many forms of fruit ingredients available to bakers, so too are nuts. If visual appeal is important, go for diced, sliced, and striped shapes. But there are also butter and flour forms of most nuts, which contribute flavor, texture, and nutrition and can help functionally as well.
“Each shape has characteristics that make it more or less suitable for specific applications and desired product characteristics,” said Jeff Smith, chief marketing officer, Blue Diamond Almonds Global Ingredients Division. “For example, almond flour is a great gluten-free baking ingredient that allows you to easily adapt traditional flour recipes without compromising taste or texture. The ingredient provides a smooth mouth feel and adds a rich, buttery flavor to the formulations.
Plus, almond protein powder can be added to recipes for more protein, fiber, and reduced fat. When including almond protein, water adjustments may be needed to match the performance of the almond flour, Smith explained.
Unlike nuts, seeds are almost always used in a whole format, with the integrity of the pieces being highly desirable. The seeds are packed with plant protein, fiber, vitamins, minerals and essential fatty acids. For consumers who need nut-free products but still want a bite to eat, seeds are a smart option.
When it comes to improving their product line, bakers should confirm their presence on the invitation to incorporate fruits, nuts and seeds into their new product process.
This article is an excerpt from the December 2019 issue of Cooking & Snack. To read the full article on fruits and nuts, click here.