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 U, 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 U. (There aren’t many though!)
Vegetables that start with U
Ube is a bright purple yam that originated in the Philippines. It is similar to sweet potatoes, except it is a beautiful bright purple and is even sweeter. This root can be used in sweet and savory dishes, and also can be used as a juice.
Tiki huts around the coast have been known to use ube not only for the color, but also, the tropical coconut flavor that comes from it. A popular Filipino dessert is ube halaya which consists of mashed ube as the main ingredient, coconut milk and butter.
South Asia produces a black lentil that is called urad bean (also known as urad dal or black gram dal). This seed-like bean is very high in protein and is a great source of Vitamin C. Once cooked, these beans have a mucousy texture which makes them great for making soups.
If cooked long enough, these beans will actually disintegrate, creating a rich creamy texture, similar to how flour or a potato would thicken a soup.
Fruits that start with U
Also known as the Jamaican tangelo or the uniq fruit, the ugli fruit is basically a cross between a mandarin orange and a grapefruit. Its name comes from the appearance of the fruit; it is a rather ugly fruit.
Despite its appearance, this Jamaican citrus fruit is an excellent source of Vitamin C and can be used in many of the same ways as oranges and grapefruits. It’s a slightly sour fruit, but still sweeter than grapefruit.
Other foods that start with U
Udon noodles are thick noodles used in many Japanese dishes. These noodles are made from whole grain flour which makes them a healthier choice compared to other noodles. Common dishes that include these types of noodles are stir-fry and soups.
Also known as Pampushki, and originating from Ukraine, these are baked dough balls that are seasoned with a butterfly garlic sauce and have a brown crust and a fluffy center. These rolls are used as a side for many dishes.
Umbricelli pasta is a hand rolled, Italian noodle that is thicker than spaghetti noodles. Being that these noodles are heavier they tend to be used in more hearty dishes with thick sauce.
Unagi is also known as freshwater eel. This dish contains high levels of omega-3 fatty acid. While I typically eat unagi as a sushi roll at sushi restaurants, there are several ways to prepare it if you’d like to try.
Try brushing a light coat of soy sauce on a deboned fillet and have it grilled. You can skip out on the soy sauce and season with only salt and roast it. Another delicious option is to fry it.
Upside-down cake is a popular dish in the United States. The most common upside down cake is made with pineapples and cherries, but other fruits can also be used. In this recipe, the cake is literally baked, upside down and allows the delicious cake to soak up all the juices that come from baking the fruit, but does not cause the cake to be soggy.
The sweet flavor of the fruit adds natural sugar, so you won’t need to add much, if any, to the cake batter. Fresh out the oven, add a scoop of ice cream on top and enjoy!
Urfa Pepper Flakes
Urfa Peppers are cultivated in Turkey and have a similar heat level as chile peppers. These pepper flakes are used on so many different dishes. The semi sweet, semi salty and smokey flavor pair well with almost anything. It is used while cooking and even sprinkled on top of raw vegetables. It seems to be a great addition to any spice rack.
Urgelia cheese is semi-firm cheese that has mild flavors of mushroom and umami. It only takes about 45 days for this cheese to cure, which is actually quite quick. It is made from pasteurized whole milk that comes from the cows in Spain. This cheese is typically used in making a cheese sauce or adding to a sandwich.
These are simply scones that have been fried, and coated with honey and powdered sugar, YUMMY! These are similar to Native American fry bread.
These leaves come from the plant Uziza that is grown in Africa. These leaves are rich in dietary fiber and have a peppery flavor and are used whole, or ground. Multiple soup dishes use this leaf to add that unique flavor.