By peoplestaff225
Updated December 22, 2014 08:00 AM

Lisa Lillien is the author of the popular Hungry Girl website and email newsletter, featuring smart, funny advice on guilt-free eating. She is also the author of nine books, six of which debuted at number one on the New York Times Best Sellers list. Read her blog every Monday for slimmed-down celebrity recipes and more.

The year 2014 brought us chocolate pasta, bone-broth drinks and, of course, pumpkin-spiced everything. What will everyone be chewing in 2015? Here are my top five predictions.


Brown rice is nice, but it’s a bit passé. In the next year, less common grains will come to the forefront. Need proof? Consider the fact that mega-cereal Cheerios is planning to launch an Ancient Grains variety—I hear it’s got kamut, spelt, quinoa, and oats. For a portable snack, the tasty Old London Ancient Grains Melba Toasts (above) are crammed with millet, amaranth, buckwheat, and quinoa. And the gluten-free folks can’t seem to stop buzzing about teff, a.k.a. the smallest grain in the world, which comes from East Africa and is packed with protein, fiber, and calcium. (If “Teff” ends up becoming one of 2015’s hottest baby names, well, you heard it here first.)


Popcorn, which has long been a go-snack for virtuous eaters, is posed to have a major moment—and I’m not talking about the basic microwaveable bags. There are so many great options, I can barely keep track of them. Angie’s Boom Chicka Pop just debuted a Sea Salt & Vinegar variety, Smartfood, er, smartly rolled out a reduced-fat line, and kettle-corn connoisseurs will want to get their hands on some Gaslamp popcorn. There’s even a line out there called SexyPop with flavors like Brazilian Coconut and Bodacious Banana. And if you’re the type to drizzle a little rooster sauce over your kernels, Pop! has an official Sriracha flavor (above).


You’ve heard it before but I’ll say it again: Experts believe that eating a certain amount of bacteria (we’re looking at you, yogurt probiotics) can promote digestive health. If the strong flavors of kimchi and sauerkraut don’t do it for you, 2015 might be the year you jump on the train with something more newbie-friendly. Lifeway’s frozen kefir (above) is basically ice cream (add a few sprinkles if it helps you get in the mood). And KeVita Master Brew Kombucha has a pleasing, mild flavor that just might convince you start brewing your own.


When I heard on NPR that ugly fruits and veggies are becoming trendy, I couldn’t help but laugh. Mostly because we recently started an organic garden here at the Hungry Girl offices and we have been pulling up some less-than-attractive little carrots. (They’re kind of cute in the way that smushy-faced dogs are cute.) But advocates of these imperfect-looking ingredients point out that not only are they usually not molded by machines or treated with chemicals, buying the less attractive specimens also helps reduce food waste. So the point is this: Don’t judge that produce by its cover. Buddha’s hand, anyone?


I love the boost from a healthy smoothie, but I can do without the chalky texture and weird aftertaste of most protein powders. So I was thrilled to learn that Quest, the maker of my favorite snack bars, has just launched a new line of powder (seriously, try the peanut butter), and hopefully more companies will catch on too. Think of it as the “whey protein isolate for foodies.”

‘Til next time… Chew the right thing!