The Top 15 Flavors + Foods to Look for in 2015
We’re already a month into 2015, and the food fads and flavors of the year are really coming into focus. One of the trends we’re happy to see across several categories is healthy snacking. Whether you prefer off-the-rack or homemade options, it’s never been easier to satisfy your munchies. As for everything else, well, there are a lot of familiar things hitting it big, but they turn the tables on convention when it comes to how and when they’re being used. Get ready to have your mind blown — after all, what’s not to love about a good hack? You’ll definitely want to keep these 15 flavors in mind for your next grocery run!
1. Vanilla Bean: “Plain vanilla” is no longer synonymous with basic in 2015. You’ll find vanilla beans coming out of their shells — well, pods — in all kinds of sweets, like our Rhubarb Strawberry Vanilla Panna Cotta, and even in cheese. (via Brit + Co)
2. Lentils: We’ve bean there, done that when it comes to a lot of legumes, so it’s nice to see lentils getting their time in the spotlight. Look for a wide variety of chips and other snacks made with these petite nutritional powerhouses on store shelves near you, or make yourself some goodies at home. How about a little Poppadom-crusted Asian Style Baked Tofu action? (via The Cupcake Confession)
3. Maple Syrup: Pure maple syrup has been the refined-sugar-free darling of the paleo world since
prehistoric times the start of the diet, and it’s still going strong. But now sappy-ness is going mainstream, adding its distinct-yet-complementary flavor to more than our weekend short stacks. Case in point — these Maple Bourbon Caramels. (via Tutti Dolce)
4. Garbanzo Beans: Chickpeas are making it out of the bowlful of hummus in a big way. You’ll love their satisfying crunch when roasted, whether it’s munching on ’em solo, sprinkling them atop a salad in lieu of croutons or just going nuts with these vegan Spicy Roasted Chickpeas. (via The Whinery)
5. Powdered Peanut Butter: Powdered peanut butter is a great way to add a concentrated nutty flavor to baked goods and smoothies, all while lowering the fat and calorie count (versus the spoonable stuff) at the same time. Not sure where to start sprinkling? Go straight for these Double Chocolate Chip Cookies. (via The Spiced Life)
6. Seaweed: Enjoy seaweed in between trips to the sushi bar by nibbling on crispy nori sheets as a snack or sprinkling flakes over popcorn and more for a unique, salty seasoning. If you want to get super serious with the stuff, check out this recipe for Furikake Kettle Corn. (via Heo Yeah Yum)
7. Turmeric: Turmeric — ginger’s reddish rhizome relative — and Southeast Asian flavors from India to Thailand will exhilarate your palate and perhaps inspire your inner jet setter at the same time. Raise your glass to a mouthful of Fresh Turmeric Tonic every loving morning. (via Feasting at Home)
9. All Things Breakfast: Breakfast foods know no bounds in 2015; serve up the most important meal of the day no matter what time it is in the form of this paleo Chorizo and Poblano Breakfast Skillet. (via The Paleo Fix)
10. Matcha Powder: Even if you don’t live in Washington or Colorado, you can still add a little greenery to your desserts — in the form of matcha powder, of course. It lends a mellow caffeine boost, subtle green tea flavor and gorgeous hue to everything it graces, including scoops and scooops of Green Tea Ice Cream. (via The Farmer’s Daughter)
11. Sriracha: Sriracha may have had a little bit of a hiccup a couple years ago, but it’s back and bigger than ever, and we’re dipping all of our Crispy Smashed Potato Bites into the stuff. (via No Spoon Necessary)
12. Cheese: There’s never been a better time to be a fromage fanatic. It won’t be hard to get your fill of cheese and cheese-flavored products in ’15. So the next time you’re thinking outside of the blue box, make sure you go for this triple threat, known as Three Cheese Bacon Mac and Cheese. (via Living Better Together)
13. Coconut: Sorry, Nutella, we’ve got a new nutty love in our lives: coconut. Savory Coconut Flakes made from shreds of its meat are so delicious that we won’t even mind if you call us flaky for eating them by the handfuls. (via Our Paleo Life)
14. Healthy Grain Cereals: Healthy cereals, like puffed quinoa and other grains, are giving the super sugary stuff a run for its money. The best part: They go from the cereal bowl to the mixing bowl with ease, as exhibited by these Quinoa and Cacao Crispy Treats. (via Deliciously Yella)
Which of these trends are you looking forward to trying out? Share your faves with us below!
Welcome to Selfmade Finance School, our new money series with Block Advisors to help small business owners with their tax, bookkeeping, and payroll needs year-round. This week, we explore the tax implications of bringing family members into your business.
The question for today is this: Does hiring your family members make sense for your business? Let me be clear. This is not a piece about whether hiring your family members makes sense for your relationships with those family members. As someone who is part of a family business, I could fill up a lot more than 600 words on my opinions about that. For today's purposes, we focus on whether it makes sense from an overall "good business and tax implication" perspective. As it turns out, there is a decent amount of tax nuance when it comes to employing your family. Let's break it down based on relationship to the employee:
You X Ventures for Unsplash
Spouses Who Are In Business Together
Personally, if I had to be in business with my husband, it would not go well. However, many couples build viable, strong businesses together and I say, good for them! Depending on how you have your business entity structured, it will make a big difference on the tax treatment of you and your spouse working as partners. Because a business jointly owned and operated by a married couple is generally treated as a partnership for Federal tax purposes, the spouses must comply with filing and record keeping requirements imposed on partnerships and their partners. The election to file two Schedule C (Form 1040) forms, (one for each spouse) permits certain married co-owners to avoid filing partnership returns, provided that each spouse separately reports a share of all the businesses' items of income, gain, loss, deduction, and credit. Under the election, both spouses will be subject to self-employment tax and on net earnings from self-employment and receive credit for Social Security earnings.
One Spouse Employs Another
If you have a dynamic where your spouse is an employee of your business, then your spouse's wages are subject to income tax withholding, Social Security and Medicare taxes. If you are self-employed (not a corporation or a partnership), your spouse's pay does not have to be included in your federal unemployment tax account (FUTA) contributions and payments. However, if your business is a corporation or a partnership you must include that spouse's pay in your unemployment tax contribution calculation.
Kobu Agency for Unsplash
You Employ Your Child
First, let's be clear. I work in my family business, but I am an adult, so I am treated just like a normal employee. However, if you, for example, run a family restaurant and want to hire your children under 18 to work for you, there are some tax benefits. But first, you should check with your state for rules on how many hours minors can work (in non-agricultural jobs) and reference the Fair Labor Standards Act for information on limitations on the kinds of work children can perform.
"This is an often overlooked or under-utilized strategy. Paying your children for true services they provide in your business can be a powerful tax-saving tool," says Cathi Reed, Block Advisors Regional Director. "If you are a sole-proprietorship or single member LLC, and the child is less than 18 years of age, the business is not required to withhold FICA or payroll taxes. The child can use his or her standard deduction against income you pay."
You Hire Your Parent
Oh dear. If you are brave enough to do this, know that you will need to pay Social Security and Medicare taxes on your parent's wages and make the appropriate withholdings, but you don't have to pay unemployment taxes. Now all you have to do is convince your parent that you are the boss. Have fun with that!
Is Hiring Family Members Worth It For The Tax Benefits?
"There are some positive tax advantages to hiring family members. It's important to treat a family member like any other employee. Hiring your children can result in substantial savings for businesses. Make sure your child has real, age-appropriate work to do and a reasonable pay rate, comparable to other employees. Consult with a Block Advisors small business certified tax pro to ensure that you are complying with all requirements," advises Reed. "Block Advisors, a team within H&R Block, is dedicated to meeting the tax, bookkeeping and payroll needs of small business owners year-round. To start working with the tax experts at Block Advisors, visit blockadvisors.com."
In my opinion, you should not hire a family member solely because of the tax benefits. You should always hire based on whether that person is right for the job and keep in mind how this hire could materially impact your relationship with that person and others in your family. Finally, as I mentioned, make sure you have a tax professional on your team when making these determinations. As you can see, things can get a little tricky!
*All details were sourced from IRS.gov and blockadvisors.com