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5 Food trends to watch in 2016

From cups of flavourful bone broth to anything you can imagine putting on a piece of toast, 2016 will be an interesting year for Canadian foodies.

Food and drink trendspotters and industry folk recently shared their predictions for what Canadians will be seeing more of on restaurant tables in 2016. Take a look:

1. Eat your vegetables

Kale may have reigned supreme for a while, but it’s safe to say Canadians can expect more variety in the new year as the craze for meat-free mains hits tables. “It was kale on everything, kale this and kale that, kale chips. I think squash is going to come back with gangbusters. There’s so many varieties. It’s easy to grow here in Canada,” Donna Dooher, president and CEO of Restaurants Canada, tells The Canadian Press.

Global food trendspotter Christine Couvelier adds that Canadians should expect “a continuation on understanding fresh and local and being very innovative and creative in the kitchen.” And what kind of vegetables should we look out for? Expect dishes to feature everything, including sunchokes or Jerusalem artichokes.

2. Toast, toast and more toast
Think toast is just a quick, easy meal? Think again. Restaurants across Canada have been giving the humble breakfast staple a makeover, topping it with everything ranging from upscale bone marrow spreads to pickled anchovies. “It is certainly a very innovative dish to develop recipes and thoughts around. I’m watching it as the ingredient of the year,” says Couvelier.

More: We tried toast broth so you don’t have to (and it was surprisingly good)

3. Bone broth is the new black

When you think of broth, if you’re anything like me, you probably imagine OXO cubes. But Canadian foodies are expected to go nuts over a broth more like the old-school type your grandmother would make, as chefs roast then boil bones to release a healthy, protein-dense broth. The trend has already hit New York, where chef Marco Canora serves takeout cups of bone broth at his new bone broth bar, Brodo.

Expect chefs this year to take full advantage of the potential of different bone broths in cooking: “You can put them in soups or stews,” says Couvelier. “Chefs are putting them on their menus, and they can add things to them like coconut milk or beet juice or ginger juice. And just a couple of months ago, bone broth started showing up in the stock section of grocery stores.”

More: I made ramen ice cream, and it wasn’t nearly as bad as I expected

4. Ice isn’t just ice anymore

Expect to see more ice cubes infused with flavours that get slowly released into your drink as the cube melts this year, says Couvelier. She anticipates that the new craze in ice cubes, flavoured with everything ranging from smoke to alcohol, will give you a more dynamic flavour, as you’re getting “a different flavour at different times when you sip the drink, because it would change as the ice melted a little bit.”

5. Yogourt goes savoury

Forget vanilla. Chefs are starting to take advantage of the full flavour potential of yogourt. “When you think of it as an ingredient application, it’s brilliant,” says Couvelier. Expect to see yogourt in everything ranging from salad dressings to innovative sauces, as yet another breakfast staple gets dressed up for dinner in 2016.

More: Deep-fried Goldfish cracker shooters are the best way to eat tomato soup

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