Are you ready to kick kale and quinoa to the curb? You might not want to get rid of these nutritional powerhouses, but perhaps you're ready to have them replaced as the “it” foods of the year. If so, you’re in luck. A new year will soon be upon us, and with it, some new food trends. I’ve noticed several 2015 food trends are already being predicted, and I like a lot of what I’m seeing.

  1. Fermented foods. The Chicago Tribune predicts that the popularity of preserving foods by fermentation will continue to rise. You’ll be seeing pungent kimchi, kombucha, kefir, and lacto-everything on menus as well as in people’s kitchens because of the growing awareness of how these foods affect digestive health.
  2. Smoked everything. Another of the Tribune’s predictions is that smoked foods, like smoked vegetables and cheese, will be trendy. I’ve recently discovered that I love smoked beers, and I put smoked paprika in just about every recipe that calls for regular paprika, so I’m excited to explore this smokey trend.
  3. Local grains. CBS News reports “the next level of local” will be locally grown grains. I’ve noticed the rise in local grains here in mid-Atlantic region, a region that hasn't been known for its grains since settlers started moving West. Grains can be grown anywhere, and many regions are reclaiming what grows well there.
  4. Matcha. This all-natural, energy-boosting drink made from crushed green tea leaves will be the next big thing at tea and coffee houses, says CBS News. Matcha has less caffeine than traditional green tea, but still provides an energy buzz that doesn’t come with a crash.
  5. Ugly, misshapen fruits and vegetables. Kitchen Daily predicts this trend that will help curb food waste. Consumers are increasingly more aware that imperfect-looking produce still tastes perfectly good. Instead of that produce getting sent to the compost rather than the farmers market or grocery store, we’ll be seeing more of it for sale. In France, grocery stores are selling out of ugly produce when it’s sold for 30 percent less than perfect produce. I am sure the same would happen here if consumers were given the chance.
  6. Nutrition apps. We’re no longer relying on just the nutritional information on packaging, including the deceptive front of package labeling, to know what’s in our food. Smartphone apps can give additional, more accurate information, and people are increasingly using them to make food choices, Kitchen Daily says.
  7. Whole animals. Culinote says one trend from 2014 that will continue into 2015 will be eating the whole animal. Every part of the animal from nose to tail will be valued, and offal and intestines will be seen as entrees.
Do any of these upcoming culinary trends have you excited for the upcoming year?

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Robin Shreeves ( @rshreeves ) focuses on food from a family perspective from her home base in New Jersey.

2015 food trend predictions: Ugly, smokey and smelly
But don't be put off by the headline: I'm excited about what I'm hearing about what's coming next year.