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Issue 005
Easy Apple and Bacon Cinnamon Rolls
Easy Apple and Bacon Cinnamon Rolls, courtesy of Premeditated Leftovers

Our intrepid staff has been scouring the world wide web looking for trends and ideas for food bloggers. We've got a pretty packed issue for you this week, so let's get to it!

Trending: Tiger Nut Milk, Flour and Butter

Sometimes trends seem to explode out of nowhere. One day you’ve never heard of a thing, and the next you’re seeing it everywhere. That’s the case for us and tigernuts. Suddenly they’re what a lot of people are talking about...

Indeed, tigernuts are being touted as a nutritional "superfood." They’re naturally vegan and gluten-free, of course, and they are high in fiber, Vitamin E, and Iron.

Despite their appearance and name, tigernuts are not really nuts at all, but root vegetables.

tiger nuts

Blended with water, they become tigernut milk. While tigernut milk is just arriving on shelves in the US and the UK, it’s long been a popular staple in West Africa and parts of Europe. And since “alt-milks” are a growing and popular trend, we expect tigernut milk to be part of the craze in the future.

Tigernuts are also appearing as butter and flour, both of which are on the rise in web searches. We’ve also seen tigernuts as a starring ingredient in pancake mixes, ice cream, and (of course) meatless burgers.

Tigernuts are coming to blogs near you, too. Audrey at Unconventional Baker has a recipe for tigernut milk. Martina at the KetoDiet Blog shares instructions for making both tigernut milk and butter.

We’re interested in watching where this trend goes. At the very least, tigernuts have got a cool-sounding name going for them. Tigers are more interesting than peas and walls, right? (No offense to fans of peanuts or walnuts.)

Easy Apple and Bacon Cinnamon Rolls

A look at Slickstream's "filmstrip" on
Pinch of Yum

Mini-Banners via Slickstream

    A clever and cool way to increase engagement

One of our all-time favorite cooking blogs is Pinch of Yum.

Pinch of Yum is just great — and it has racked up a lot of well-deserved success. The proprietors Lindsay and Bjork Ostrom are smart business people – and they have done quite well in the blogging space.

Our goal here at the Eats Index newsletter is to share trends and ideas that could help food bloggers achieve success with their websites. Well, we feel we could practically focus our reporting on Pinch of Yum alone. They just do everything so well – they're definitely worth watching!

Okay, our crush for Pinch of Yum aside, we wanted to report yet another cool thing Lindsay and Bjork have implemented...

As you scroll around a recipe page on Pinch of Yum, you can see a little banner appear at the top, with six to eleven related photos and recipe links. (The number varies based on how wide your browser window is.)

This is so very smart. This mini-banner is very appealing, and it absolutely can keep visitors exploring the site and its recipes, not getting bored and leaving. Keeping visitors engaged is job one for food bloggers, don't you agree?

Sweet Peas and Saffron
"Filmstrip" in action on Sweet Peas and Saffron

The good news is that you can capitalize on this, too, and add the banner with your related recipes to your website. This little banner is not something proprietary developed for Pinch of Yum.

The little banner – which is called a 'filmstrip' – is offered by a company called Slickstream, and is part of their 'engagement suite' that also includes a cool, appealing ways for visitors to search your site and like your posts, among other things.

From what we can see, Slickstream looks pretty easy to set up.

Slickstream does start at $25/month, so make sure it fits into your budget before implementing. That said, it does look like a valuable tool that could pay for itself.

(We are not affiliated with either Pinch of Yum or Slickstream. We are just here to share insights with you. We do, however, wish Lindsay and Bjork continued success!)

Jump to Recipe

Mediavine Jump to Recipe

They resisted it for years, but Mediavine is finally supporting a “jump to recipe” feature.

Mediavine, if you don’t know, is one of the major ad networks – and one of the top three used by food bloggers.

(If you don’t use Mediavine, this topic is still relevant to any blogger whose site includes ads.)

“Jump to recipe” is a button or link at the top of a page which takes the website visitor straight to the recipe, skipping the main body of the post.

Mediavine certainly had a good reason for dragging its heels on this issue: jumping to the recipe skips a lot of ads in the process. Since advertisers pay for clicks and impressions, ad networks don’t want web visitors jumping past advertisements. Ad networks are in the business of serving up ads!

But Mediavine is a savvy company – and they recognize that user experience is important. That is, if people visiting your site can’t find the information they seek, they’re not going to have a good experience. They’re not likely to appreciate the ads there – or to become a repeat visitor.

jump to recipe in context

Mediavine is being smart about this whole thing. While they recognize that visitors are likely to see fewer ads, they have developed a way to serve up an optimized ad in the recipe area. As Mediavine points out, this ad is likely to be viewed more and clicked more than others.

Here at Eats Index, we are in favor of the “jump to recipe” feature – and we like seeing it on food blogs. The feature gives blog readers the ability to choose how much time they want to spend on a post. It truly does make for the best experience.

So kudos to Mediavine for figuring out a great way to maximize benefit for advertisers, bloggers and readers alike!

Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche
Spinach Sheet Pan Quiche, courtesy of Smitten Kitchen


    Sheet pan love at the New York Times

If you’ve followed the New York Times cooking section at all this year, you know how the writers there’ll swoon over any recipe that includes the words “sheet pan” in its title.

Actually, they’ve been crushing on sheet pans for a while. But recently, the cooking section has featured sheet-pan fajitas, shrimp, potatoes, chicken (of course), ratatouille, pizza and more.

In 2019, the humble sheet pan has been elevated to the highest culinary heights. What trends are coming to the world of food in 2020? We’ve got our eye out – and we’ll certainly be sharing with you!

Pioneer Woman New Book

    New From Pioneer Woman

One of the most heartening stories about food bloggers is that of Ree Drummond. Her famous blog, The Pioneer Woman, has inspired hundreds of thousands – and transformed her life. What’s more, the blog has brought a boom to her small Oklahoma town of Pawhuska. Ree has opened a store, restaurants, and a boutique hotel.

And on top of all that, she seems like a nice, genuine person.

As a testament to the strength of two current food trends, Ree’s new cookbook features sections that she had not previously touched on: Instapot cooking and low-carb fare. The low carb recipes are a reflection of her current eating habits, she says.

Her new cookbook is out now. We wish Ree well – and hope the book sells like (low carb) hotcakes!

    Crystal Clear Pumpkin Pie

One of the nice things about building an audience is receiving suggestions from readers. We love having our readers out there reporting cool trends in to us – that we can then pass on to you.

This one was sent to us by a reader...

'Tis the season for pumpkin pie, of course. We are intrigued and inspired by this creative take on the classic fall dessert, developed by renowned Chicago restaurant Alinea: clear pumpkin pie.

That's right: the essence of pumpkin pie is distilled into a clear gelatin, making for a very contemporary and unusual execution of this traditional treat.

You can see a photo of clear pumpkin pie over at 12 Tomatoes.

We’re fascinated by this creation. And we can’t help but wonder: could transparent desserts help people craftily hide their late-night snacking from family members? If you can’t see the food we’re sneaking, then maybe no night-time indulging is taking place??

payment dashboard


    Wordpress Recurring Payment Feature

You may have heard the news – that last week WordPress released functionality that allows people to collect payments from visitors.

This is another tool to consider when it comes to making money from your blog – it’s along the lines of Patreon and WooCommce.

“Especially from a . . . small business, sustainability perspective, subscriptions and memberships are such a key foundational element to monetizing your site in 2019,” says Mark Armstrong, on the editorial team of Automattic and

If you opt to go this route, you could charge for weekly newsletters, accept regular donations, charge for access to exclusive content – or develop a new, custom way of earning money from your regular visitors.

In order to get this working, you’ll need to sign up for an account at Stripe – a big and popular internet payment processor. From what we’ve seen, it’s very easy to set up and customize.

We really love the free content provided by food blogs across the internet. But we also want bloggers to get paid for their contributions and your work! This new feature from WordPress could help make that happen.

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Our writers don’t take breaks, and they’re already busy cooking up many useful and entertaining tidbits for next week’s issue.

✓   A free robot that will help you write your blog posts (!)

✓   A trending spice blend from the Middle East

✓   Another way to format your blog posts that readers will like

✓   A lot more that will fascinate, entertain and wow you!

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