When you live with picky eaters – whether they are your children, your spouse, or maybe even yourself – you have to get creative with how you introduce different foods into your meals. Eating a variety of foods can be fun when you turn it into a game. We decided to try a new food from A to Z, and created this list of foods to have options to choose from. Here is our list of foods that start with I, including fruits, vegetables, and other fun things to eat!
Why eat foods from every letter of the alphabet?
When you step outside of your food comfort zone, you have the opportunity to discover a new food that you never knew you could enjoy. There are so many foods that we haven’t tried, for various reasons – because our parents never cooked them, they weren’t available in our area, they are popular foods in different cultures, or just because we didn’t know they existed!
Trying different foods, especially fruits and vegetables, can provide our bodies with a variety of nutrients that we wouldn’t normally have. It can also get us out of the “what’s for dinner” rut when we get bored of eating the same old things over and over again.
These food lists are also great when teaching the alphabet, or when looking for a fun food for show and tell day at school!
If you’re looking for a little flavor in the kitchen, or a way to spice up your life, try one – or all! – of these foods that start with the letter I.
Vegetables that start with I
Iceberg lettuce is the most common lettuce purchased and consumed in the US. Most restaurants use this leafy green vegetable on their sandwiches and burgers. It is crisp and doesn’t have an overpowering taste.
Iceberg lettuce pairs easily with many other flavors. It is also great for making salads.
Ice Cream Bean
Can you guess what this South American bean tastes like? You got it, ice cream! Of course with that flavor it is no surprise that folks would choose to eat these raw or use them to help flavor desserts.
Idaho potatoes are the most popular type of russet potato. The category of potato that they are labeled for, suggest that they are used for more starchy recipes, like baked potato or mashed potatoes.
The climate in which the Idaho potato is grown is said to produce a fluffier baked potato and french fries that are more firm and crispy. Idaho (I don’t know) about you, but I love potatoes!
You may not be very familiar with Indian peas, as they are used mainly in Mediterranean cuisine. You may have seen them as the crunchy pea covered in horseradish, also known as wasabi peas. I could munch on those all day! They can also be cooked down and mashed down to make hummus.
Also known as Tinda, looks like a small green pumpkin, on the outside, but the same soft, but dense flesh of a squash. This vegetable is packed with vitamin A. It is a common ingredient when making stews and soups, but given its shape, it can also be used similar to a bell pepper and stuff it with meat and other vegetables.
Fruit that starts with I
These fruits are very interesting. They are commonly known as palm fruit. They are large and look similar to an egg plant. Once you cut the outer layer, you will be amazed to see that the inner fruit is transparent. Similar texture to a lychee, but tastes more like a coconut. They are used as natural coolants. So they are perfect for eating during the hot summer months.
Also known as African Mangosteen. And yes, it’s similar in taste to the mango, sweet and tangy. This fruit isn’t very popular yet because of the amount of seeds inside the fruit. For this reason, the plant is used more for landscaping, but still can be used to eat the fresh fruit or make jams or jellies.
This South American fruit goes by many names. In Columbia, they call it fruit del amor, meaning love fruit. That makes me want to go get some right now. Here in America, it is more commonly known as Golden Berry, still sounds interesting.
Like most berries, you can eat these raw. They are more often used in the same way you would use raisins – Dried out and added into a Chex mix, salad, fruit salad or baking.
Indian Almond Fruit
This Fruit is grown from a tree that can only grow where it remains hot all year round. The pods of fruits are produced from the flower and look similar to an unripe green pecan. Once pisces, you split the pod in half and you can retrieve the almond.
The fruit tastes similar to hazelnut and it is used for many health benefits. It aids in weight loss, inflammation, brain and heart health, and the list goes on and on. It is very wise to add these as part of your daily snack.
Indian Fig Fruit
Also known as the prickly pear, the only thing in common these have with a pear are their shape and size. These melon flavored fruits are commonly used in jams or making cocktail syrups.
It can be consumed raw, but must be properly prepared first. The sharp thorns need to be removed before you decide to chew on this delicious fruit. The seeds can either be removed, or spit out.
This fruit is considered a superfood based on the high amounts of antioxidants and vitamins and minerals. These berries, unfortunately, have a very sour taste and aren’t great for eating raw. They can be used in soups or stews.
More commonly these berries are dried and ground into a powder and made into a paste. The paste can be used to aid in hair growth or skin care.
This fruit was first cultivated over 2,000 years ago and has many benefits aside from consumption. When used in cooking, most prefer to use it in chutney or to make a sweet pudding. The medicinal side of using this fruit are amazing. It can be used to heal sores and break fever.
It has been told to aid in healing blood diseases and also be an antidote for snake bite poisoning. That is a powerful berry!
This plant brings the promise of longer days and less rain, being that they are upon the first plants to bloom at the end of winter. The fruit produced is much similar in appearance to the typical plum, however they taste very bitter. Native Americans would eat the fruit fresh, dried or cooked.
Similar in taste to the Western lime, the Indonesian lime has a bittersweet and citrus flavor. These fruits do not produce much juice, but the leaves are also used in cooking to give a stronger flavor. The aroma that fills the air when cooking the leaves is so incredible.
This fruit is so popular in Thailand that almost every home has their own tree. Not only do they use the fruit and leaves for cooking, but the variety of health benefits outnumbers the uses for cooking by a lot.
Other foods that start with I
I scream, you scream, we all scream for ice cream! Dating back to 200 BC, this popular dessert has been enjoyed by so many. And now, offering over 1,000 different flavors, it’s almost impossible to not find one that you love. (Vanilla ice cream is one of my favorites!)
This cold creamy treat is great as its own dish, but scooping it into a waffle cone or pairing it with a hot fudge brownie are two of my favorite ways to enjoy it. You may even want to try an ice cream float!
How do you like your ice cream? Are you the type that likes the classic neapolitan variety, or do you prefer salted caramel or chocolate covered strawberry?
Ice Cream Cake
Oh goodness, this is my go-to for birthdays. Who likes cake? Everybody! Who likes ice cream? Everybody! So let’s combine the two and have the most delicious frozen dessert, ice cream cake. This multilayer cake is perfect! The bottom layer is made from a regular cake mix, top that with hot fudge, top that with any type of cookie crumble that you wish, and then top that with Ice cream. Top it all off with whipped cream and more cookie crumbles. How delicious does that sound?
Delicious and rewarding, ice pops can be made from any type of juice. My kids prefer to make them with real fruit, which also increases their nutritional value. I usually make a variety of flavors. Some with pineapple, some with oranges and cherries. I make some with just apple juice or grape juice. These treats are a perfect way to add some nutrition in their diet along with cooling them down after a hot play date.
Mmm, I just love Indian food – especially curry! Indian curry is a sweet and savory dish very traditional in the South Asian culture. This dish is a sauce or soup served over rice. The curry is a mix of spices, typically cumin, red chilies, cloves and cinnamon. It is very similar in texture to a stir fry. Not too thick but also not watery.
Irish Soda Bread
Irish soda bread is typically raisin bread without the yeast. Instead this bread is made from baking soda and buttermilk, and of course, raisins. It is extremely dense and has the perfect crust. Just as we would serve a buttermilk biscuit, Irish soda bread is most commonly served with jam or jelly or on the side of a stew or soup.
The perfect summer treat! Italian Ice is made up of finely shaved ice with a sweet flavored syrup poured over the top and eaten with a spoon. For those that are vegan, or lactose intolerant, but want to have a delicious frozen treat, Italian Ice is the perfect option.
Which “I” food is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite food that starts with I that isn’t on our list? Or even a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!