As Vietnam moves toward healthier food and lifestyle choices, so should your menu. We’ve compiled a list of healthy trends that chefs need to take notice of – and implement into their restaurants to keep up with growing demand.

1. More beans

With Vietnamese diners becoming more aware of healthy lifestyles and food choices, beans are slowly creeping into our diet – which is fantastic as beans are a sustainable, affordable source of plant-based protein.

Include this new age superfood as a part of your recipes in 2017 and you’ll be ahead of the curve when it comes to keeping abreast of dining trends.

2. The rise of fermentation

Kimchi burst into Vietnam menus and supermarkets at the same time the Korean craze hit. In 2017, pickles and sauerkraut are joining this list of fermented favourites.

In addition to being healthy food choices, these foods also curtail food wastage. (When was the last time you saw diners waste huge amounts of kimchi and salted vegetables?) Think about including these items in your menu if you’d like to offer salty delights that aren’t of Asian origin.

3. Turmeric takes over

Turmeric has a reputation for being a healing herb, especially on our side of the world. Now, the rest of the globe is quickly catching up to the incredible health benefits of turmeric.

Thanks to its attractive colour and aroma, turmeric can enhance your dishes by making them more appealing and flavourful.

4. Heirloom ingredients

Heirloom ingredients are produce that haven’t been crossbred or genetically modified for at least 50 years. They have leaped from the produce aisles into the world of packaged goods.

What does this mean for innovative restaurant chefs? It may be time to start diversifying your menu to include heirloom fruits and vegetables.

5. Root-to-stem eating

As more and more consumers appreciate the value of eating entire vegetable pieces, it makes sense to start creating meals that make it simple for them to do so.

From carrot top presto to green stir-fries, make it easy for your guests to eat their veggies from root to stem. Aside from reducing food wastage and saving money, root-to-stem dining reintroduces diners to a fresh array of flavours and textures that were previously lost when we tossed parts of our produce out

6. Ugly produce is now beautiful

The shape of our vegetables doesn’t match its nutritional value. A bent broccoli doesn’t mean it will taste bad or have a lower nutritional value than a perfectly-shaped one.

Hence, smart chefs around the world have begun buying “ugly” produce that others have rejected (for purely aesthetic reasons) at considerably lower costs. This allows them to keep costs down while pleasing customers with food that continues to taste great.

7. No GMOs

According to research done by Alter-Net, 43% of people across the world say they would gladly pay more for GMO-free foods. In fact, food brands are already fighting tooth and nail to gain a better share of the natural foods market.

Offer GMO-free items in your menu and be known as a forward-thinking, health-conscious restaurant that truly cares for its diners and understands their wants.

8. Plants are taking over!

Plant-based food is becoming a champion of human and planet health. They’re also available in an incredibly diverse range, allowing chefs to create delicious plant-based meals.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway for chefs is that 2017 is not only “The year of the vegetables”, but of an increasing awareness that diners have of what goes onto their plates – and into their stomachs.