If there’s one thing that can be said about sweet trends in 2017, it’s that there will be plenty of variety. Whether you’re watching your waistline or are ready to indulge entirely, this year will have a little something for everyone. Get ready to dig into updated versions of childhood desserts, flavors from around the world, and yes, healthy ice cream that actually tastes good.

Healthy ice cream. If you’re someone who can take down a pint of ice cream in one sitting without thinking twice, then you’re definitely going to want to pay attention to this trend: healthy ice cream. Don’t worry – this is not the froyo of yesteryear with the weird aftertaste. Brands like Halo Top Creamery still make their ice cream with milk, cream, and eggs. The key is that they use natural sweeteners like stevia and erythritol instead of sugar, resulting in a pint of ice cream that clocks in at just 200 or 300 calories. It may sound too good to be true, but it’s a trend worth checking out this year.

Indian flavors. The line between sweet and savory is getting blurred a bit this year, and trending Indian-inspired flavors will have a lot to do with it. Western palates will be warming up to curry in their desserts, especially when it’s fused with the richness of chocolate. Kulfi, a frozen treat from South Asia made with evaporated and sweetened condensed milk, is also slated to become quite popular.Nostalgic desserts. As the world spins madly on, nothing anchors us more than the nostalgic desserts of our childhood. Restaurants and bakeries across the country are capitalizing on this trend by creating sweet treats that recall simpler times. Momofuku Milk Bar might capture this best with their Cereal Milk Soft Serve (topped with crunchy cornflakes, for authenticity) but other places are following suit. Gotta Have S’More in Los Angeles is dedicated entirely to that classic campfire dessert, while the Bake Shoppe and Café in Texas features its very own Ding Dong cakes. If you love updated versions of childhood classics, then 2017 is going to be your year.

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Sugar alternatives. As people have become more and more conscious of their sugar intake this past year, they have been seeking out replacement options. In 2017, be on the lookout for alternative sweeteners that are a little healthier and easier on the body. Coconut palm sugar will be a popular choice, namely because it can be swapped out for cane sugar fairly easily and boasts a low glycemic index. Stevia and erythritol are also becoming more popular, especially with the low carb crowd. Even plain old honey is now recognized a kind of superfood, with antifungal and antibacterial properties that are believed to promote good health. We may not be able to drop our sweet tooth entirely this year, but we can make it a little more healthy.

Hawaiian shave ice. When summer 2017 arrives, Hawaiian shave ice will be a strong contender for most refreshing sweet treat around. And don’t even think about calling it a snow cone, which is made with crushed (rather than shaved) ice. Although you’ll find Americanized flavors of this dessert, expect tropical flavors like lychee, passion fruit, and guava to become more mainstream.    

CLICK HERE to view our interview with Sam Mason of Oddfellows Ice Cream NYC

Toast. Avocado toast has dominated for the past couple of years, but it’s time for it to step aside in favor of some sweeter flavors. Dessert toast is going to be a big hit this year: think thick, fluffy slices of white bread that are toasted until just barely browned, then topped off with generous drizzles of sweetened condensed milk or chocolate sauce. This trend may be an acquired taste – but then again, plain avocado on bread sounded pretty weird a few years ago, too.

Instagram-worthy desserts. Over-the-top milkshakes might have gotten their start in 2016, but they’ll still be going strong in the new year – mostly because they are one of the most Instagram-worthy desserts around. As more and more social media platforms continue to crop up, people will be sharing their photos more than ever. Snapchat views and double taps on Instagram will likely dictate what the biggest trends in sweet treats are in 2017. So whether it’s a rainbow bagel or a funfetti macaron ice cream sandwich, any dessert that photographs well and is accompanied by a good hashtag is likely to be trending this year!

Keep an eye out for more 2017 Trends on in-sight, including Culinary and Beverage trends!

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