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8 Hot Food Trends for 2017

Every year brings new trends in fashion, tech, travel, design—all aspects of our world. So which food trends will be hitting plates in 2017? Check out our list of trending tastes coming to stores, restaurants and social media feeds near you.

1. Jackfruit

Jackfruit, native to Southeast Asia, has a shredded meaty texture similar to pulled pork and a crunch similar to artichoke hearts. Its pleasant tropical flavor has made it a long-standing meat substitute in Asia. Growing interest in meat-free options in the U.S. has led companies to begin selling jackfruit in grocery stores stateside. Try heating some up with your favorite barbecue sauce and dinner rolls for a hearty sandwich.

2. Probiotic Drinks

There’s only so much yogurt one person can eat. Now other probiotic options are hitting the shelves, making it easier to keep tummies happy.

Some of the most convenient are probiotic drinks like kefir. Kombucha and drinking vinegar are a great option for those avoiding dairy. Look out for bottles in your local deli and supermarket - they make it easy to grab a probiotic pick-me-up on the go. And since fresh flavors are being added regularly, you’ll have plenty of ways to keep your taste buds interested.

3. Multi-Colored Veggies

Roses are red, violets are blue, cauliflower is...purple? Specialty farmers and top chefs have created more and more interest in naturally colored vegetable varieties. Red carrots, yellow beets and white peppers are just the beginning.

Not only do these veggies have subtly different tastes, they also have additional nutrients. Each unique hue, from purple to orange, is associated with specific antioxidants, like anthocyanins and carotenes. After-school snacks just got way more fun.

4. Maple Water

We’ve all tried maple syrup, but how about maple water? Now that coconut water has enjoyed its fifteen minutes of fame, it’s time for a new flavor to grab the spotlight.

Although tapping maple trees for their subtly sweet sap is nothing new, enjoying the fresh unboiled sap has long been reserved for maple farmers and their families. Now that a few enterprising pioneers are bottling this delicious, refreshing beverage, we can enjoy it year-round without doing any tapping ourselves.

5. Exotic Purees

Celery root, parsnips and cauliflower are the new mashed potatoes. Once boiled, mashed and pureed, they have a creaminess not far from the classic with a welcome update on flavor. Branching out to new mashed vegetables also means bringing different nutrients to the table. And don’t worry, they still taste great with gravy.

6. Gourmet Toasts

Move over, burgers. There’s a new game in town for inventive flavor combinations. In 2017, we’ll see why modern twists on the traditional bruschetta are here to stay.

Multigrain with fig, brie and apple; baguette with blue cheese, pears and walnuts; sourdough with corn, shrimp and avocado salsa. Restaurants are working with flavors from Mexican and Spanish to French and Creole. Whip up your own with Texas toast, smoky brisket and jalapeño jelly.

7. Nontraditional Proteins

Watch as more goat and venison options appear on menus and grocery shelves nationwide. These alternative red meats are lean and full of flavor.

And vegetarians need not feel left out; new varieties of beans are hitting shelves too. Look for brightly colored and speckled heirlooms like Christmas Limas or Steuben Yellow that bring unique flavors and new textures to bean staples.

8. Vegetable Tops and Bottoms

They’re not scraps anymore. Broccoli stems, carrot tops and beet greens are finally getting the attention they deserve, whether you’re making stock or juice.

Scientists find that the leaves and stems on many root vegetables have nutritional benefits that their more popular parts do not. Try pulsing beet greens into your next smoothie instead of spinach or shredding up leftover broccoli stems for coleslaw. Your wallet and taste buds will appreciate the change.