Upcoming food trends of 2016

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With each new year, new food trends come onto the scene (juicing, the year of kale, etc), and it is always interesting to see what chefs and home foodies come up with! Below are some interesting up-and-coming trends you will be seeing this year at both restaurants and grocery stores. Get ready for some unique tastes!

  1. Increase in pulses: Pulses are the legume family that includes lentils, chickpeas, peas, and dried beans. Chefs are increasingly incorporating them into their food dishes, and the United Nations hopes these foods will become household staples. They reduce cholesterol, help with weight loss, and are packed with fiber and protein.
  2. Keeping it spicy!: Unique blends of flavors, including unexpected spices are coming onto the scene, especially in the world of yogurt. Instead of just vanilla, yogurt companies are debuting flavors such as vanilla cardamom, blackberry serrano, and even savory flavors that include spices such as smoked paprika.
  3. Root to stem eating: Many vegetables have less appreciated parts, such as the leafy greens of carrots, the stem of broccoli, and so on. New recipes and restaurant dishes plan to incorporate the lesser used parts of vegetables.
  4. Jerky for all: Jack Links, the largest company for beef jerky, ups its game by marketing to women as they try to get females interested in this high protein, low carb snack. They will use grass-fed beef to make more interesting flavor combinations that appeal to more than just men.
  5. Less sweet snacks: Our country tends toward sweet snacks, but food marketers and developers are changing this by offering sophisticated flavor combinations that are both salty and sweet, or savory versions of traditionally sweet items (yogurt, protein bars, etc)
  6. A rise in poke: The Hawaiian dish of raw fish, fruits, vegetables, and sauce is trending in a big way. The West Coast has already adopted it in the form of build-your-own-bowl style restaurants.
  7. Spam is back!: The canned meat is making a comeback, from retro throwbacks to more innovative dishes that incorporate the long ignored meat.
  8. Artisan ice cream: Many ice cream joints are continuing to create unique and unexpected flavors, from the inclusion of bacon in salted caramel to “out there” flavors such as bacon and egg or summer corn.
  9. Move over, kale: Seaweed is the new green of the year. It is filled with nutrients such as iodine, healthy fats, and antioxidants. Look for an increase in packaged seaweed snacks and other ways to eat this nutritious green.
  10. Ube: Ube is a vibrant purple type of yam which is included in many new doughnuts, cheesecakes, ice cream, and more.
  11. Ferment! : Fermented food such as sauerkraut have gotten a bad rap for their strong scent, however these foods are excellent for the health of your gut. Expect to see more fermented foods on the menu and in the grocery store, and consider giving them another try. Behind the strong smell are bursts of flavors and the health benefits are substantial.
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