Bug burgers and algae buns – just what’s cooking in Ikea’s innovation kitchen?

Bug burgers and algae buns – just what’s cooking in Ikea’s innovation kitchen?

Ikea’s test kitchen Space10 has been at it again, coming up with sustainable meals that really make you think about what we eat.

Two years ago Space10 introduced the world to Tomorrow’s Meatball, which used alternative ingredients such as insects, algae and lab-grown meat.

Since then the lab has continued to explore dishes that showcase the kind of food people could be eating in the not-too-distant future, and now has five recipes to show for its work.

The Dogless Hotdog

(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)
(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)

Space10’s twist on the classic snack is made with dried and glazed baby carrots, beet and berry ketchup, mustard and turmeric cream, roasted onions, cucumber salad and a herb salad mix.

Then there’s the bun. It’s made with spirulina, a micro-algae that contains more beta-carotene than carrots, more chlorophyll than wheatgrass, and 50 times more iron than spinach.

And more protein than a “real” hotdog, says Space10.

The Bug Burger

(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)
(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)

Each patty contains 100g of beetroot, 50g of parsnip, 50g of potatoes, and – wait for it – 50g of mealworms — the larval form of a darkling beetle.

Here it’s served in a white-flour bun, topped with relish, beetroot and blackcurrant ketchup, chive spread, and a hydroponic salad (more on that later).

“One bite, and we believe you’ll be crawling back for more,” says Space10.

The Neatball

(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)
(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)

Ikea is famed for its meatballs as much as Billy bookcases. This new version helps people reduce their meat consumption by using an alternative protein.

“We’ve developed two kinds of Neatball — one made with mealworms (‘Bug Balls, anyone?’), the other with root vegetables such as carrots, parsnips and beets.

“And for a true Swedish experience, we like to serve them with mashed potatoes, gravy, and lingonberry sauce,” explains Space10.

Local Salad

(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)
(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)

This isn’t a salad with a side of bugs, but a futuristic meal jam-packed with sustainability.

Space10 has been growing “literally tons of microgreens in our basement” as it’s worked out how to

grow crops in water and without soil, a method know as hydroponics.

“With hydroponics we can serve delicious, locally produced food, more sustainably — giving us the perfect spring day, every day,” says Space10.

Microgreen Ice Cream/Popsicles

(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)
(Kasper Kristoffersen/Space 10)

It’s not just savoury food being cooked up in the innovation lab. Ice cream and popsicles are also on the menu.

The ice cream uses herbs and microgreens grown hydroponically with fennel, coriander, basil and mint flavours available.

The base includes sugar (60g for a 600g batch), with additional sweetness coming from a mix of apple juice, apples and lemon juice.

The popsicle, again made with hydroponically grown herbs, comes in coriander, Spanish chervil, woodruff and sorrel.

So who’s feeling hungry?

“We had an important principle in mind at all times,” said a Space10 spokesman. “The dishes shouldn’t just be healthy or sustainable. They had to be delicious, too.

“To change people’s minds about food, to inspire them to try new ingredients, we can’t just appeal to the intellect — we have to titillate their taste buds.”

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