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 N, 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 N.
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Vegetables that start with N
Navy beans are a great source of protein, fiber, and many other vitamins and minerals. These beans got their name because they were very commonly used in the Navy back in the early 1900’s.
Navy beans are the smallest white bean and are used frequently in soups.
Also known as Chinese cabbage, has a sweeter taste than green or red cabbage and contains more vitamins and minerals.
This cabbage has a more mild taste than green cabbage, but can most definitely be used as a substitute in all the same dishes, such as salad, slaw, and soups.
Fruits that start with N
Nashi pears are commonly known as the Asian pear, but are also called many different names including the Chinese pear, Japanese pear, Korean pear (you get the idea – and it’s popular in Asian countries). Unlike regular pears, this type of pear is smaller and shaped more like an apple, which is why it is also sometimes called an apple pear!
This fruit is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin K, making it a perfect addition to a fruit salad or smoothie.
The natal plum is native to Southern Africa and it much smaller than regular plums.They taste similar to cranberries. They can be eaten raw or added to salads or used to make jam.
A common jam made from the Asain Plum is called num-num jam.
I just love navel oranges. They might even be my favorite N food!
Aside from being super juicy and delicious and packed with vitamin C, these oranges give you a surprise. Once peeled and split open, you get what looks like another baby orange. This is the navel and where the orange gets its name.
Navel oranges really are my favorite citrus fruit. They are great to eat alone, or combined with other fresh fruits into a fruit salad, or to squeeze into fresh orange juice.
Another one of my favorite fruits. The nectarine is similar to a peach, but is more crispy and has a smooth skin, not the velvet type skin.
The nectarine contains high amounts of vitamin A, vitamin C and fiber. This delicious fruit can be used in many desert dishes.
Of course, it is great to eat raw, but try cooking this fruit into an upside down cake or a nectarine sugar crisp. Tell me that doesn’t sound scrumptious!
The nutmeg melon is a green fleshed cantaloupe. This fruit is a great source of vitamin C and is delicious eaten by itself or added with other fruit.
With its subtle sweet flavor, it is a great way to add sweetness to a smoothie — and with its high water content, you won’t need to add much liquid.
Other foods that start with N
Naan bread originates in Asia and is often found in Indian cuisine, but is famous all over the world (especially in my kitchen, yum!). Naan is a flat bread made with an egg and yogurt base. These ingredients result in a thicker, more airy textured bread.
Naan is used in similar ways that cornbread is used. It is used to soak up all the sauce from a delicious curry dish and enjoy every last drop.
What do you call my cheese? Nacho Cheese! Was that too cheesy? Seriously though, who doesn’t like nacho cheese? It is hot and melty and you can use it as a sauce, or you can use it as a dip. Put it on hot dogs, or chips. Add this golden enhancement to chili, and you will definitely go back for seconds.
Our favorite way to eat nacho cheese is with a plate of nachos as the main dish for our meal. Just top some tortilla chips with your favorite toppings – ground beef, refried beans, shredded chicken meat, peppers – and drizzle everything with melted nacho cheese. Serve with a side of sour cream and salsa!
Also known as Indonesian Fried Rice, very much similar to traditional fried rice, with the only difference being the sweet sauce that caramelizes when cooking the rice, turning the rice a brown in color.
I am a huge fan of fried rice. I love mixing fresh veggies in with it, or having it as a side dish to a nice stir fry.
This cheese is very similar to cream cheese, aside from having 10% less milk fat, making it slightly healthier. It can be used in pretty much everything that you would typically use cream cheese for.
Use it as a spread for bagel or crackers, use it as a dip for fruits or use it to make the perfect cream frosting for cake.
These tiny black seeds are full of antioxidants and are said to help with many health disorders, such as Asthma and obesity. Most choose to use these seeds for medicinal purposes, however they are used in a variety of soups and salad dishes.
Nigella seeds have a flavor similar to roasted onion and are very tiny. They are used as a substitute for sesame seeds in some cases.
Nigiri is found in Japanese cuisine, and is the medium between sushi (rolls) and sashimi (plain raw fish). Nigiri is raw fish on top of plain vinegar rice. Simple as that. No seaweed, no cream cheese or avocado.
The rice is molded by hand into a small oblong roll with a thin slice of raw fish, such as salmon, tuna, cooked shrimp, or eel. Yellowtail is my favorite, and I enjoy it most with a tiny bit of soy sauce and wasabi.
Nori is a dried seaweed paper that is most commonly used when wrapping sushi rolls. This thin wrapper is very nutritional. It it packed full of vitamins and minerals.
Our favorite type of nori (and seaweed snacks) are the gimMe brand. You can find them in some local grocery stores such as Sprouts.
The French Apple Tart. Need I say more? So many great foods come from the French.. Apple, we all know how tasty apples are, and these apples are baked into a shortcrusted tart. Oh, my! This tart is filled with a French cream, baked apples and almonds. There isn’t much that gets better than those combinations, if you ask me.
There are so many different kinds of noodles and so many different ways to use noodles. Of course, in America, our number one use for noodles is in spaghetti.
Noodles are fairly inexpensive and are a quick and easy way to throw dinner together without planning ahead. Noodles can be paired with pretty much any type of meat and any type of sauce.
I absolutely love nougat! This wonderful treat is soft, and chewy and sweet. It’s made up of honey, egg whites, sugar and nuts. You can add fruits or chocolate to add even more flavor.
My absolute favorite type of nougat is a pecan log. It is a firm and chewy nougat that has been rolled and completely covered in crushed pecans. A very guilty pleasure of mine.
Do you have kids? Do they like chicken? I swear, If I left it up to my 2 youngest kids, we would live off chicken nuggets. I actually enjoy chicken nuggets. They are full of protein and can be grilled or fried.
There are so many different sauces to choose from also. Sometimes I get creative and make Chinese Orange chicken using chicken nuggets, and the kids never complain.
Nutella is a very popular chocolatey hazelnut spread that is used as a topping for breakfast breads, such as bagels and waffles, or rolled up in a crepe. It can be used also as a sauce for ice cream, or you can add it in a milkshake. My kids enjoy dipping sliced apples and bananas in Nutella.
Nutella originated in Italy, but can now be found in most grocery stores in the United States.
Nutmeg is a spice that is very rich in antioxidants and minerals. Nutmeg is commonly used in baking cakes, breads and other desert dishes that contain cinnamon or cloves. This spice is also used in helping flavor the traditional winter drink, eggnog.
There are so many different types and sizes of nuts. Sweet, salty, crunchy, soft. Most nuts are a great source of fiber and protein. Many nuts can be enjoyed by themself as a snack, but they can also be used to add flavor and texture to many dishes.
They are commonly used in baking cookies, cakes and pies, or adding as a topping to yogurt or salads.
Which “N” food is your favorite?
Do you have a favorite food that starts with N that isn’t on our list? Or even a favorite recipe? We’d love to hear about it, so leave us a comment below!