2016 was filled with galaxy confections, poke bowls, and Pokémon-themed everything. But now that the year is ending, Food Business News has compiled a list of 10 cutting-edge food trends they predict for 2017. Here’s what we can expect in the coming year. 

Chocolate cake for breakfast

It’s finally socially acceptable to eat dessert in the morning, thanks to the positive health benefits linked to cacao and dark chocolate consumption. A recent study done by Syracuse University reiterates the benefits of habitual dark chocolate, especially on cognitive function.

Other research from Tel Aviv University suggests that eating dessert at breakfast could support weight loss because it reduces cravings. Combine the two and the only logical conclusion is dessert for breakfast, right? 

Eating for your dosha

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Image from WikiCommons

Dosha comes from the Indian medical practice of Ayurveda. The central concept is that health and mental wellbeing exist when our unique body energies are in balance. The three doshas, or biological energies, are Pitta, Vata, and Kapha.

For example, to combat poor circulation and sinus congestion common for Kaphas, eat garlic and plenty of vegetables and high fiber foods like legumes. Take a dosha quiz to figure out what you are.

Plants instead of meat

Kimberly Kao

A number of restaurants have been popping up serving steaks, burgers, and meaty hoagies, but they aren’t your typical meats. Chickpeas, corn, legumes, and fungi are becoming the new normal as chefs try to accommodate vegans and carnivores alike with elaborate recreations of classic meat dishes.

Momofuku made headlines this year for adding the Impossible Burger to their menu, which is a veggie burger that tastes like beef and even bleeds. Expect restaurants to offer new plant-based meals that mimic the taste and texture of meat. 

Repurposing scraps

In America, 70 billion pounds of food is wasted through spoilage and unwanted leftovers, which takes up precious landfill space and produces tons of methane. A growing trend among millennials is to save their food scraps and repurpose them in new ways.

Use carrot, celery, and onion tops to make your own veggie broth, which is perfect for soups for the cold months ahead. If you’re making cauliflower rice, use both the florets and the stems. 

Sardines for snacking

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Kimberly Kao

Sardines usually get a bad rap for being the salty, pungent pizza topping no one really wants, but their impressive health benefits are starting to make waves in the food industry. They are one of the highest sources of essential omega-3 fatty acids and contain nutrients shown to boost heart health, improve brain function, and protect against cancer.

They make a great addition to sauces, salads, and soups. Or try upping your toast game by topping it with avocado, sliced cucumbers, sardines, cilantro, and a sprinkle of black pepper. 

Hand-pulled noodles

cabbage, rice, vegetable
Kimberly Kao

Though this preparation method typical of Asian restaurants is not new, this craft has become a restaurant phenomenon diners can expect to receive more often. Hand-pulled noodles offer authentic taste and showmanship using a technique with precision akin to sushi making.

Restaurants like House of Pancakes in San Francisco allow you to peak into the kitchen to see the chef stretching noodles by hand.

Mocktails for parties

If you’re looking for a non-alcoholic drink alternative, mocktails offer powerful flavors that are much more sophisticated than a simple soda. More restaurants are experimenting with modern add-ins such as fresh-pressed juices, flavored teas, sipping vinegars, and muddled herbs and spices. Think of it like an adult Shirley Temple. 

Goat meat

A trendy new protein to hit the scene is goat. The rise in popularity of goat’s milk products implies diners may be game to experiment with this versatile meat. Goat contains less fat than other meats and its high protein content makes it a great addition to entrée menus. Look for big, bold flavor pairings like spicy and sour notes to bring out the umami taste of goat.

Cooking for strangers

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Luna Zhang

The sharing economy has finally extended into the culinary scene with new apps such as EatWith, which connects home cooks with hungry strangers. Whether you’re exploring a new city or craving a local experience, you can sign up for dining events that allow you to go to the chef’s house and share a meal with them.

The one-on-one experience allows you to really appreciate the food and foster deep connections with locals. Book a dinner with friends or be adventurous and go by yourself. You’ll come as strangers, but leave as friends.

Middle Eastern cuisine

Middle Eastern food is more than just hummus and kabobs. Refugee populations are bringing the foods of their homelands to new geographies, inspiring unique flavor fusions.

Afghan, Syrian, and Persian restaurants are popping up everywhere, offering dishes that include pomegranate, sour cherries, sumac, orange blossom, and more. These bold flavors can really elevate dishes, taking a simple vegetable dish and transforming it. 

With more plant-based options and unique menu offerings, 2017 is sounding like a foodie’s dream. While the healthy options are great, you can be sure I’ll be first in that brunch line for chocolate cake.