The BBC Good Food trends forecast 2016

Looking to stay ahead of the curve in 2016? We reveal the top new trends for the year ahead, plus which food favourites are going to continue to shine brightly in January and beyond…

Banana & custard cake

When it comes to food trends this year we're in for a real treat - from fermenting sauerkraut to turning our favourite chocolate bars into a luxury bake, there's plenty going on to get us hot under the collar. So hold on to your apron strings, you're in for quite a ride…

Creme egg cakeTrashy flavours  

Oreos, Bounty bars, Crème Eggs and Caramacs – when it comes to baking, these retro bars have been taking the scene by storm. Instagram and Pinterest are crammed full of these super sweet bakes and it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop anytime soon. Just check out blogger Karen Booth-Burns' Creme Egg cake, right. Catch up with the cool kids with our luscious banana & custard cake, it’s sure to cause a stir.

Chicken, red pepper & almond tray bakeProtein power

Pulses, lean meats, nuts, protein-rich yogurts and seeds are no longer the preserve of fitness bloggers, but an increasingly popular way of eating healthily. High-protein diets have been a big trend in America for some time, and it’s a trend we expect to see continue to grow in the UK, especially in snacks. Discover high-protein recipes, what your protein requirements actually are and what the best sources of protein are with our expert guides. 

Microwave chilli eggsMicrowave magic

Health and time-conscious cooks are increasingly turning to the microwave – and not just for making porridge and warming plates. Lakeland will launch a range of gadgets for cooking imaginative meals in the microwave this year, from bao buns and omelette to a whole chicken. Feeling inspired? Our microwave recipe collection includes speedy suppers such as Jack Monroe’s microwave mac ‘n’ cheese, healthy kale & chilli eggsveggie chilli and sweet treats like these microwave peanut butter & jam brownies. Lunch time in the office will never be the same again…

FermentationGerman Fermentation

The art of fermentation has been making waves for some time – but it now looks like Korean kimchi is being kicked to the curb by a frenzy of hipsters frantically fermenting their German sauerkraut. Street food outlet Mumma Schnitzel has been making waves at Spinningfields market in Manchester.  Want to know what all the fuss is about? We take a look at the health benefits of fermenting and what it actually means for your body.

Extreme pastry Croquembouche

We’re suckers for a bit of extreme baking - mountains of spun sugar, chocolate pastry and infused custard are the stuff of our foodie dreams. So as you can imagine we had a pretty good time catching up with GBBO Winner Nadiya Hussain. As well as getting top tips from former GBBO contestants – from Richard Burr’s guide to rescuing desserts to Kimberley Wilson's top 10 ways to tackle decoration dilemmas. Read carefully and this stunning croquembouche should be a breeze.

Activation station Nuts

Health food writers, such as the Hemsley sisters, have long advocated the benefits of soaking seeds and nuts to ‘activate’ them, and this trend is set to continue, with oats and grains being activated too. Soaking seeds, nuts, pulses and grains kick-starts the germination process, which increases the nutrient content and makes them easier to digest.

Tanya’s health food café in London’s Chelsea has activated hazelnut milkshakes on the menu, and others are following suit. To activate nuts and seeds, soak them in lightly salted water for at least four hours, then dry well before storing or eating.

All nuts have different nutrition credentials and will offer various health benefits - from a boost in protein to a hit of calcium, discover the facts with our expert guide to the health benefits of nuts.

Top five - out with the old in with the new

While we're still not ready to ditch our bowls of courgetti, we are getting excited about some foodie rivals coming on the scene to give some of this year's top trends a little bit of competition...

Congee - the new bowl food 

Highly instagramable bowls of oats, Bircher muesli and quinoa pudding are being joined by congee, an Asian savoury rice porridge. Try your hand at the art of congee making with our brand-new, beautiful congee with soy eggs recipe - you won't look back. 

SeaweedSeaweed - the new kale

Now found in smoothies, salads and biscuits, to name but a few, we think it's fair to say that seaweed is now giving kale a run for its money. One of our favourites is dried Pembrokeshire seaweed. But is it all just a passing phase? We discover the health benefits of seaweed.

Mead - the new craft beer Craft beer

No longer just the tipple of Game of Thrones fans, mead is gaining a wider following. The fermented honey drink is traditionally quite heavy, but we like Gosnells lighter version. But with language like hipster hops, bottle conditioned and unfiltered IPAs penetrating our vocabulary, we've created a simple guide to the world of craft beer.

CourgettiBrocoodles - the new courgetti

It's broccoli's turn to have a bit of the spira-limelight, and we're making noodles from the stem. Great with garlic and toasted pine nuts. Not quite ready to go this far? Worry not, we have courgetti recipes for you to try, as well as guides on how to get the best spiralizing results.

Funnel cakes - the new waffle Funnel cake

These hot, latticed, crispy treats are a staple of American carnivals and the trendiest way to indulge in deep-fried batter. Sorry waffles, but it's not all about you anymore. Don't know what your missing? Try our indulgent new funnel cake recipe.

What are the food trends you're most excited about in 2016? Have you tried any of our favourites? And if so what do you think? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below...

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