6 Offbeat Foods You Should Add to Your 2015 Diet


January is like one big month of Monday’s. There are no more holiday parties, no days off and definitely no more gifts. In an effort to make your January plans more interesting, I'm bringing you six hot foods that will perk up your resolutions to eat right in 2015, or at least that first week.

1. Kelp noodles: These crunchy clear noodles made from sea algea (think seaweed) have the wonderful benefit of being crazy low in calories, gluten-free, fat-free, AND easy to dose with big flavors, like a spicy Thai peanut sauce or a simple lemon and pepper sauce. While kelp doesn’t have any protein, it is an excellent source of iodine, vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin B2. The noodles come in a bag and are easiest to buy online, but they’re beginning to crop up in local markets.

2. Green tea yogurt: They say that green tea is the healthiest thing you can drink because of its high concentration of catechins, antioxidants that are said to fight and prevent cell damage. Well now you can eat your green tea. This January Chobani is launching their newest limited batch flavor, green tea Greek-style yogurt. Green Tea and dairy actually go well together (no surprise to anyone who has had green tea ice cream). One container has 140 calories and is made with 2% milk fat yogurt. Look for it in most major markets, or if you’re in New York, at their yogurt bar in SoHo.

3. Savi seeds: The savi seed tastes like a nut, but is a seed, which means they’re perfect for anyone with a painful nut allergy. These seeds grow from star-shaped pods and are native to the Amazon rainforest where they’ve been consumed for centuries. One ounce of savi seeds delivers 9 grams of plant-based protein, 5 grams of dietary fiber and 6 grams of Omega-3, which is more than you’ll get from salmon or fish oil supplements.

4. Cricket anything (flour, powder, bars): Some call this the gateway bug because where bugs are concerned these are the ones least likely to make you recoil. These cute creatures are typically roasted and then ground up making for a mostly taste free source of protein and fiber. They also provide more iron than beef, and, unlike beef, they’re also low in cholesterol and saturated fats. The bugs come in all kinds of diet-friendly concoctions: flour and cookies from Bitty Foods, powder from All Things Bugs, protein bars from Exo and Chapul and chips from Six Foods.

5. Oysters: Number five on our list should bring cheers all around, if only for the sheer quantity of oyster-based happy hours cropping up. But, as long you limit your alcohol, you’ll find oysters to be a super healthy appetizer or snack. Six medium raw oysters range from 43-58 calories, and these delicacies are both high in zinc and omega-3. The best news? January is an exceptional month to be eating these guys because they’ve been putting on weight to keep warm in the winter. Go eat oysters now.

6. Wood ear mushrooms: This common Chinese ingredient is also called tree ear mushroom. In Chinese medicine these are said to improve breathing, circulation, and well-being. The dried ear-shaped cap is stem-less, dark brown to black and you can find them dried, like you would shitake mushrooms. The beauty of these mushrooms, and others like them actually, is they’re low in calorie and a perfect way to add texture, but not calories, to any dish. We can get behind anything that ups our well-being and not our weight.

Originally published for Food & Wine Magazine.