20 Whole Foods That Start With G

Looking for an extensive list of foods that start with the letter G? 

Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

Browse this list of 20 whole foods that start with G to get some new cooking inspiration, learn more about where each food comes from, and understand the health benefits of each food.

Let’s dive in!

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Fresh galangal root and stalk on a wooden cutting board.

1. Galangal

Galangal, also known as “Thai ginger,” is an herbal root belonging to the Zingiberaceae family, which also includes ginger and turmeric (1).

It looks similar to ginger but has harder flesh — which is more difficult to grate — and smoother, pale reddish-brown skin.

Galangal’s flavor is slightly sweeter and more peppery than ginger, and it has notes of pine and citrus.

This powerful root contains galangin, a flavonoid that acts as an antioxidant and may improve metabolic health by lowering blood pressure and blood sugar levels (2, 3).

Look for galangal at Asian markets and online, where it is often available dried, powdered, or fresh.

It is a key ingredient in many Thai dishes, such as Tom Kha Gai, and can be added to soups, stir-fries, and curries.

Four whole heads of garlic and two peeled garlic cloves on a white background

2. Garlic

Garlic is a popular root vegetable and member of the genus Allium, along with onions, shallots, and leeks (4, 5).

The garlic bulb, which grows underground, is made up of several small cloves covered in papery skin that is removed before consuming.

Garlic is famous for its pungent, almost spicy flavor that becomes milder and sweeter after cooking.

When garlic is crushed, an enzyme called alliinase reacts with sulfur compounds to form allicin — a compound responsible for many of garlic’s health benefits (6).

Most grocery stores carry several different forms of garlic, including fresh garlic bulbs, canned or refrigerated minced garlic, garlic powder, and dehydrated minced garlic. 

Garlic is a perfect seasoning for just about any savory dish — add minced garlic to salad dressings, dips, marinades, soups, stir-fries, and meatballs.

Fresh live geoducks in the shell submerged in water at a seafood market

3. Geoduck

Geoduck (pronounced “gooey-duck”) is a large clam native to the west coast of North America.

These unique clams burrow deep into mud, sand, or gravel and use their long, tan-colored neck — called a “siphon” — to bring clean seawater down to their body, which is housed in a large, pale gray shell (7, 8).

Both the siphon and the body (also called the belly or breast) of geoducks can be eaten. They have a slightly sweet and briny flavor and a crisper texture than other clams.

People who live on the west coast of the United States might be able to find geoduck at their local seafood markets. It can also be purchased online here and here.

Geoduck is typically sliced thinly and served raw with soy sauce or other dipping sauces, but it can also be boiled, fried, or sautéed.

Fresh whole ginger root, sliced ginger, and minced ginger on a large wooden spoon

4. Ginger

Ginger is the root of the ginger plant (Zingiber officiale), which originated in Southeast Asia and belongs to the same family as turmeric and cardamom (9, 10).

Fresh ginger root is gnarled and bumpy, with short protrusions — referred to as “knobs” — covered in a thin, light brown skin.

The pale yellow flesh of young ginger is crisp-tender but becomes tougher and more fibrous as it matures. It tastes pungent and spicy, with a hint of sweetness.

Ginger’s strong flavor comes from gingerols — plant compounds with antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and anti-cancer properties (9, 11).

In addition to fresh ginger root, many grocery stores carry a variety of other ginger products: ginger paste, ginger juice, ginger tea, pickled ginger, and crystallized ginger.

For a refreshing, spicy kick, toss a spoonful of fresh minced ginger into marinades, soups, curries, stir-fries, and even smoothies. Ground ginger is better for baked goods, like cookies and muffins.

Closeup of whole and shelled ginkgo nuts on a white background

5. Ginkgo nuts

Ginkgo nuts are the seeds of the Ginkgo biloba tree, which originated in China and is now grown throughout the world (12). 

These unique nuts have creamy white shells filled with soft, tender flesh that ranges in color from yellow to bright green and has a pungent, cheese-like flavor.

Be careful not to consume excessive amounts of ginkgo nuts — they contain a compound called ginkgotoxin, which can cause seizures in some people. The toxic dose in adults can range anywhere from 40 to 300 nuts, but is much lower for children (13).

Ginkgo nuts are very popular in Chinese and Japanese cuisine, so they can often be found at Asian food markets in the refrigerated produce section.

To prepare ginkgo nuts, simply boil them for about 10 minutes, then remove the shell and sprinkle on some salt before eating. They can also be roasted or pan-fried in oil.

Raw goat leg steaks on a plain white background

6. Goat

Goat is a type of red meat commonly consumed in Asia, Africa, and Central and South America (14).

Goat meat looks and tastes similar to beef or lamb, but with a slightly sweet, gamey flavor. It can be tough if not cooked properly.

A 3-ounce serving of roasted goat meat provides just 3 grams of fat, along with 3 mg (17% DV) of iron, 4 mg (36% DV) of zinc, and 1 mcg (42% DV) of vitamin B12 (15, 16).

Look for goat meat at butcher shops, farmers’ markets, international markets, and online. It may be available at some supermarkets as well.

Goat meat is delicious in stews and curries but can also be grilled, roasted, or pan-fried.

Dried goji berries in a small wooden bowl on top of a wooden table

7. Goji berries

Goji berries (also called wolfberries) are tiny, reddish-orange berries produced by two closely related species of shrubs — Lycium chinese and Lycium barbarum (17).

These sweet and sour berries are native to Asia and are especially popular in China, where they have been used both as a food source and medicine for centuries (17).

Goji berries are a rich source of antioxidants, including vitamins A and C, and have an unusually high protein content (4 grams per serving) compared to other fruits (18).

Fresh goji berries aren’t easy to find in the United States. Instead, your best bet is to opt for dried or powdered goji berries, which are available at most supermarkets.

Dried goji berries can be sprinkled over oatmeal and desserts, or mixed into granola and homemade granola bars. The powdered version is better for smoothies and energy balls.

To rehydrate dried goji berries, soak them in warm water for a couple of hours. Doing this makes them a little more flavorful and easier to blend into smoothies.

Fresh golden berries in their papery skins on a wooden cutting board

8. Golden berries

Golden berries, also known as cape gooseberries or Peruvian ground cherries, are a tropical fruit belonging to the Solanaceae (nightshade) family (19).

These small, bright orange fruits are wrapped in a papery husk that must be removed before consuming — much like their relative, the tomatillo (20).

They have a sweet-tart flavor that some people have described as a cross between pineapple and mango.

Golden berries are rich in quercetin, a powerful antioxidant that may help protect against heart disease, cancer, and diabetes (19, 21).

Fresh or dried golden berries can be found at specialty produce stores, online, and sometimes at supermarkets like Trader Joe’s.

Toss a handful of the fresh berries into salads and smoothies, or use them to make sauces, syrups, and jams.

Fresh golpar herb growing in the wild

9. Golpar

Golpar, also called Persian hogweed, is a flowering plant native to the Middle East, where its tan-colored seeds are ground into powder and used as a spice (22).

In Iran, golpar is one of the most popular spices, prized for its strong, herby aroma and slightly bitter flavor.

Golpar powder can be found online or at Middle Eastern markets, where it is often mislabeled as “angelica” — an entirely different herb (23).

Sprinkle golpar powder over salads and legume-based side dishes — it pairs well with pomegranate arils, fava beans, and olives.

Whole raw goose on dark metal background surrounded by aromatic herbs and spices

10. Goose

Geese are large birds that live near rivers and lakes — their meat is popular in European, Middle Eastern, and Chinese cuisine.

Due to its high fat content, goose meat is tender, dark, and incredibly flavorful.

A 3.5-ounce serving of cooked goose meat provides 29 grams of protein, 13 grams of fat, 3 mg (17% DV) of iron, and 3 mg (27%) of zinc (15, 24).

Whole goose can sometimes be found at supermarkets (often in the frozen section), butcher shops, and farmers’ markets.

Roasting is the most popular way to prepare a whole goose. It is often seasoned with Chinese five spice and orange juice and paired with potatoes and carrots.

Wild gooseberries growing on a branch

11. Gooseberries

Gooseberry is the common name for several species of plants belonging to the genus Ribes, which are native to North America and Europe (25).

Although they look and taste similar, gooseberries are unrelated to amla (also called Indian gooseberries) (26).

Unripe gooseberries are bright green, crunchy, and very tart. During ripening, the berries become softer, sweeter, and take on a darker pink or purple color.

One cup (150 grams) of raw gooseberries provides 66 calories, 6 grams (21% DV) of fiber, 297 mg (6% DV) of potassium, and 42 mg (47% DV) of vitamin C (15, 27).

Fresh gooseberries can be found at some supermarkets and farmers’ markets while in season (from May to August). 

In the United States, gooseberries are best known for gooseberry pie, but they’re also perfect for making compotes, chutneys, and relishes.

Large wooden spoon filled with grains of paradise seeds.

12. Grains of paradise

Grains of paradise, also known as guinea pepper, are the seeds of the Aframomum melegueta plant — a native of Africa and member of the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family (28).

This unique spice looks similar to black peppercorns but has a more complex flavor that has been described as woody and peppery, with notes of cardamom, citrus, and ginger.

Grains of paradise are rich in gingerols, the same antioxidant compounds that give ginger its pungent flavor (28).

Look for grains of paradise at African food markets, international markets, and specialty spice shops, or consider purchasing online.

You can substitute grains of paradise for black pepper in any recipe. It’s also great for spice rubs and meat marinades, as well as baked goods like spice cakes and gingerbread.  

Ripe green and red grapes on a wooden table outdoors.

13. Grapes

Grapes are popular fruits (technically berries) grown around the world, including throughout the United States. 

These tasty berries range in color from bright green to dark purple but are typically divided into two main color categories: red and green (also called white) (29).

Table grapes (used for eating) are juicy, sweet, and tart, with thin skins, while wine grapes (used to make wine) are sweeter and have thicker skins.

Grapes are rich in antioxidants such as resveratrol, which reduces inflammation and may help protect against cancer and cardiovascular disease (30, 31).

At the grocery store, you’ll find grapes in multiple forms: fresh grapes, grape juice, grape leaves, dried grapes (AKA raisins), grape jelly, and grapeseed oil.

Grapes are delicious straight from the fridge as a snack, especially paired with crackers and cheese, like white cheddar or havarti.

On hot summer days, try frozen grapes — simply wash some grapes, place them in a freezer-safe container, and freeze overnight. They’ll take on a refreshing, sorbet-like texture. 

Large whole ruby red grapefuit, grapefruit half, and grapefruit segment.

14. Grapefruit

Grapefruit is a hybrid citrus fruit — a cross between a pomelo and a sweet orange — that originated in 1750 on the Caribbean island of Barbados (32).

This tangy, bittersweet fruit is large (about 5 inches in diameter) with a thick, yellow-orange rind and juicy flesh that ranges in color from pale yellow to dark pink.

Grapefruit is a rich source of vitamin C (53% DV per half fruit) and provitamin A carotenoids, a group of plant pigments that can be converted to vitamin A in the body (33, 34).

Check with your doctor before making grapefruit a regular part of your diet, as it can interact with many medications, including some statins and antihypertensives (35).

Most grocery stores carry fresh, whole grapefruit, as well as grapefruit juice, canned grapefruit, and refrigerated grapefruit segments.

Add grapefruit to fruit salads, smoothies, and beverages, or enjoy as a snack — simply slice the fruit in half and scoop out the juicy segments with a spoon.

Plastic cups filled with roasted grasshoppers for sale at a market

15. Grasshoppers

Grasshoppers are insects commonly consumed throughout the world, especially in Latin America, Africa, and Asia (36).

In the United States, grasshoppers (also called crickets) and other edible insects are growing in popularity as a more sustainable alternative to meat (37). 

A third-cup serving (20 grams) of roasted grasshoppers provides 3.5 grams of fat, 2 grams of carbs, 13 grams of protein, and an impressive 7.6 mcg (317% DV) of vitamin B12 (15, 38).

On their own, grasshoppers are fairly bland, although some people say they taste like chicken, sardines, or shrimp.

They’re typically prepared by frying, grilling, roasting, or sautéeing and can be marinated or seasoned with herbs and spices for extra flavor.

Roasted grasshopper snacks are sometimes available at international food markets, or they can be purchased onlineCricket flour (made from dried, ground grasshoppers) is also available and can be used as a flour alternative in baked goods, or added to smoothies and energy balls for extra protein.

Pile of uncooked Great Northern Beans isolated on white background.

16. Great Northern beans

Great Northern beans are a type of white bean and one of the main varieties of beans grown worldwide (39).

They are larger than navy beans but smaller than cannellini beans and have a mild, nutty flavor with soft, smooth flesh that seems to melt in your mouth.

One cup (177 grams) of cooked Great Northern beans provides 15 grams of protein, 12 grams (42% DV) of fiber, 3.8 mg (21% DV) of iron, 89 mg (21% DV) of magnesium, and 692 mg (15% DV) of potassium (15, 40).

Both canned and dried Great Northern beans are available at most supermarkets in the canned goods aisle.

Due to their mild flavor, Great Northern beans can be used in a variety of dishes. Add some to stews, chilis, and salads, or puree them to make tasty dips and spreads. 

Raw green beans on a white background

17. Green beans

Green beans, also known as string beans or snap beans, are the immature pods of the common bean (Phaseolus vulgaris) (41).

The long, slender green bean pods are filled with several small, edible seeds. They have a grassy flavor and crisp texture that softens when cooked. 

These popular vegetables are featured in classic dishes like green bean casserole, three bean salad, and minestrone soup.

A one-cup serving of cooked green beans provides 50% of your daily requirement for vitamin K, a nutrient needed for proper blood clotting (15, 42, 43).

Fresh, frozen, and canned green beans are available year-round. Some supermarkets and health food stores will also carry fried green beans (called green bean chips).

Cooked grouper filet on a white plate

18. Grouper

Grouper is the name for many different species of fish belonging to the Serranidae family that are found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. 

Some of the most popular species are red grouper, black grouper, gag grouper, and goliath grouper.

Grouper has moist, white flesh that tastes very mild and slightly sweet. 

A 3-ounce serving of cooked grouper provides 21 grams of protein, 1 gram of fat, 404 mg (9% DV) of potassium, 40 mcg (40% DV) of selenium, and 0.6 mcg (25%) of vitamin B12 (15, 44).

Look for fresh or frozen grouper at grocery stores and seafood markets or purchase from online fish markets.

Grouper holds up well to most cooking methods, but it is often pan-seared, blackened, or grilled.

Three dried guajillo chiles on a white background

19. Guajillo chile

Guajillo chiles are one of the most popular peppers used in Mexican cuisine. They are the dried form of the mirasol pepper, which is rarely consumed fresh.

These beautiful peppers are about 2-3 inches long with dark, reddish-brown skin and a very complex fruity and smoky flavor.

They are considered mild to medium peppers, measuring 2,500-5,000 SHU on the Scoville scale, a system that evaluates the spiciness of peppers and other foods (45).

Guajillo chiles are a rich source of carotenoids, a group of red, orange, and yellow plant compounds with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties (46, 47).

Look for guajillo chiles at supermarkets and Mexican grocery stores, where they are typically sold whole or powdered.

Guajillo chiles can be used to add flavorful heat to and moles, stews, and sauces, including authentic enchilada sauce

Whole guava fruit, guava cross-section, and guava segment on a white background.

20. Guava

Guava is a tropical fruit native to Latin America, where it is prized for its sweet, flowery flavor (similar to a cross between a strawberry and a pear) (48). 

Guava fruit is small (about 2 inches in diameter) and pear-shaped, with thin skin that ranges in color from yellow to bright green to dark purple. 

The soft flesh can be white, pale yellow, or pink (depending on the variety), and is filled with tiny edible seeds.

Two whole guava (110 g) provide 250 mg (278% DV) of vitamin C — that’s 3 times the amount found in an orange (15, 49, 50)!

Fresh guava and guava nectar can be found at many supermarkets, while frozen guava pulp and dried guava are often available at Latin food markets.

To enjoy as a snack, simply slice fresh guava into quarters and take a bite — the skin is edible, so there’s no need for peeling. You can also cut the fruit in half and scoop out the pulp with a spoon.

Final Thoughts

From galangal to guava, there are plenty of delicious foods that start with the letter G.

We hope this list has inspired you to be adventurous and try some new foods, or to gain a new appreciation for some of the foods you already eat every day. 

Comment below to let us know which of these foods are your favorites, and how you use them in the kitchen!

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