It’s amazing how many varieties of fruit and vegetables there are around the world. If you were to try to make an encyclopedic list of every vegetable beginning with the letter N, you would be dealing with a challenge.
While there are quite a few fruits that start with the letter N, such as navel oranges, things can get a bit trickier when you try to think of vegetables.
So to help you with your foodie quest, we’ve collated a list of all the vegetables that start with the letter N in their name.
This can help you to list as many as you can the next time someone asks you, or the next time the question pops up in a quiz!
All you will need to do is memorize this list, then confidently recite your newfound foodie knowledge.
Let’s take a look at all the vegetables that start with N as the first letter of their name!
First up on our list of vegetables that start with N is the napa cabbage. This variety of cabbage is particularly popular in Asian cuisine, and is also known as the Chinese cabbage because of its origins in the Beijing region of China.
Ever since the 1900s, napa cabbage has spread out across the rest of the world, and is a particular favorite in Australia, America, and some areas of Europe.
Napa cabbage can be enjoyed both cooked and raw. It makes a wonderful addition to salads thanks to the leafy nature of the vegetable.
It also makes a fantastic addition to stir fries. Napa cabbage is often used in soup dishes, for making kimchi, and is often used as a stuffing for dumplings.
Perhaps one of the more unusual inclusions on our list, you may also have heard of nopal by its other name, the prickly pear. Nopal is actually the Spanish name for the prickly pear, so this is the same vegetable.
You would be forgiven for having never heard of this as a vegetable before, as the prickly pear tends to be spotted in deserts as a type of cactus. However, the pod of the nopal is actually completely edible.
Nopals are usually eaten as a side vegetable with a lot of other Mexican dishes. It is typically used as an ingredient in its own right for certain Mexican recipes, such as tacos and salads.
A wonderfully nutritious vegetable, the navy bean gets its name from the fact that the American navy included it in the diet of their sailors to ensure they got all the essential vitamins and minerals that they needed.
The navy beans are also known by several other names, including haricot beans, peas, or Yankee beans.
These beans pack a healthy punch. They are chock-full of dietary fiber, folate, protein, magnesium, thiamin, phosphorus, as well as iron.
So they will be a welcome addition to your diet if you want to give your immune system a boost!
Navy beans are considered to be the main ingredient in recipes for baked beans. They are often combined with a tomato based sauce and molasses.
They can also be added to casseroles, soups, and stews for a boost. These beans are best consumed cooked rather than raw.
Chances are that you have heard of neeps by another name. This is Scottish slang for the popular root vegetable otherwise known as swede or yellow turnip.
Neeps and tatties – or swede and potatoes – are a popular Scottish side dish to the other traditional Scottish meal of haggis.
They are typically served on Burns Night in January to celebrate the life and work of Scotland’s famous poet, Robert Burns.
This dish tends to feature mashed swede. When raw, neeps can typically vary in sizes and tend to have a purple skin, with a cream-colored flesh inside when you cut the root vegetable open.
One of the most popular varieties of potatoes, we couldn’t make a list of vegetables starting with N without including new potatoes!
This variety is typically smaller than the standard potato, and are usually harvested towards the start of the growing season.
The potatoes themselves are typically waxy, crisp, sweet, and tend to be packed with moisture. You will enjoy this variety of potato best if you cook them,
and in contrast to their relative varieties, new potatoes tend to keep their shape even after being cooked.
New potatoes tend to be used for making potato salad, or even as a complimentary side dish to salmon and other types of fish.
One of the more unusual inclusions on our list is perhaps the nelumbo nucifera. This is the Latin name for lotus root, which is an unusual tuber vegetable that is incredibly popular in a range of Asian dishes.
It’s very similar to a squash at first glance, but if you were to slice it open you would notice a striking appearance in the shape of holes.
This is a tasty vegetable that packs a healthy punch. There are lots of essential vitamins and minerals
locked inside this fascinating root vegetable, including vitamin C, vitamin B6, zing, thiamin, copper, pantothenic acid, iron, potassium, manganese, and phosphorus.
Interestingly, Nelumbo nucifera is considered to be useful for a whole range of health issues. It is thought to help lower cholesterol, as well as lower the risk of suffering from heart issues such as heart attacks.
New Zealand Spinach
Despite this vegetable’s name, New Zealand spinach isn’t actually related to standard spinach at all. The reason for this similar name is because of how similar the two vegetables are in flavor.
It could be argued that New Zealand spinach actually tastes even better than its standard rival.
Just as the name suggests, you can of course find New Zealand spinach in New Zealand. You can also find it in some areas of Asia, as well as Australia.
New Zealand spinach packs a healthy punch, and is packed full of vitamins C and A. You can cook and prepare New Zealand spinach just as you would normal spinach.
You will get the best results if you steam, braise, or sauté your New Zealand spinach. You can also enjoy it fresh.
We couldn’t possibly make a list of vegetables beginning with the letter N and not include the delicious nori! Nori is of course a variety of edible seaweed, which is often used to make sushi.
It is a particular favorite in Japanese cuisine, and can also be used to make other Asian dishes.
Nori typically refers to the finished product once it has been processed. The raw state of nori is red colored algae which is closely related to other types of edible seaweed.
Since sushi has boomed in popularity in recent years, you would think that production of this tasty vegetable would have been ramped up to meet demand.
However, 60% of nori production actually still happens around Asian countries such as China and Korea.
The flowers and leaves of the neem tree are treated like a vegetable in its native India. These tend to be added to dishes such as soups to give some added flavor as well as a healthy boost for the immune system.
The neem leaves are packed full of several essential vitamins and minerals, as well as several antioxidants.
Interestingly, neem leaves tend to have a very bitter taste. This might make them an acquired taste, but it will be worth it to have the health boost added to your diet.
There are a multitude of ways that you can use your neem leaves. You can either fry up the neem leaves before you add them to your dish, use them to make chutney to utilize alongside other dishes, or even use them to brew tea.
If you’re not already familiar with the culinary uses of nettles, you may be wondering why we have included this weed on our list of vegetables that start with N.
However, despite its stinging properties, the nettle plant is a wonderfully versatile vegetable that can be used in a wide range of dishes.
Nettles are typically very rich in essential vitamins and other nutrients. So they will be very beneficial to add to your diet. However, you will need to blanch them first to remove their stinging properties.
The nettle plant can be used for a wide variety of culinary uses. You can add this vegetable to salads, use them as a garnish, use them to make a tasty sauce, make a tasty nettle tea, or even add them to cheese for an unusual treat.
Nasturtium officinale is of course the Latin name for the vegetable known as watercress. This is a wonderfully versatile vegetable that can be used in a wide range of dishes.
Nasturtium officinale can be eaten both cooked and raw, and is a popular addition of salads, sandwiches, and garnishes.
Interestingly, watercress is typically harder to grow than its close relative, land cress. The two can be used interchangeably as they have a similar flavor and texture profile.
This is a tasty vegetable that will really benefit your health. It comes with over a whopping 50 different essential vitamins and minerals, and even has more vitamin C than an orange.
Last but not least are the wonderful nigella seeds! Popularly used as a spice in Middle Eastern and Indian cuisine, nigella seeds are wonderfully versatile.
They can be added to dishes as you cook them for some added spice and flavor, or you can also roast them to give them a nutty, smoky flavor for use in other dishes.
Even though some of the most popular uses for nigella seeds are in soups, stews, and curries, you can also use them for baking pastries and types of bread. They can also be added as a garnish to salad dishes.
In terms of flavor, you will note that nigella seeds tend to have a similar taste to a mixture of oregano, onion, as well as black pepper. Some people even get notes of a nutty aftertaste.
And there you have it! Who knew that there were so many vegetables that had names starting with the letter N?
We hope that we have opened your eyes as to the wonders of many of the vegetables starting with N that we included on our list.
There are so many to choose from that there are sure to be vegetables that you’ve never heard of before. Why not aim to try them all at least once to further expand your foodie knowledge?
Are there any tasty vegetables with names starting with the letter N that you think we’ve missed off our list?
How many of the vegetables that we’ve covered above did you know about? Let us know in the comments below!
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