3 Whole Foods That Start With Z

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

Look no further, we’ve got you covered!

Browse this list of 3 foods that start with Z 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!

Za'atar herb, syrian oregano, closeup of leaves on white background

1. Za’atar

Za’atar (Origanum Syriacum, also known as Syrian oregano, Lebanese oregano, or Bible hyssop) is an herb native to the Mediterranean, western Asia, and southern Europe that belongs to the mint family (1).

It looks very similar to oregano, with soft green leaves, and tastes like a mix of marjoram, oregano, and thyme.

Za’atar is also the name of a Middle Eastern spice blend that includes za’atar (the herb) or other herbs along with sesame seeds, sumac, and salt (2).

Unless you grow your own, za’atar (the herb) can be difficult to find. Some za’atar spice blends include it, while others use oregano and thyme instead.

Most za’atar herb is used to make the za’atar spice blend, which can be sprinkled over meats and vegetables or mixed with olive oil for dipping bread. 

Zedoary, aka white turmeric, whole and sliced on a white background

2. Zedoary

Zedoary (also known as white turmeric) is an herb belonging to the Zingiberaceae (ginger) family and native to Asia (3).

The zedoary root is the part used for cooking. It has thin brown skin and light yellow flesh that tastes like a cross between ginger and green mango, with a bitter aftertaste. 

Fresh or dried zedoary is sometimes available at Asian markets and spice shops, and it can also be purchased online.

Zedoary is commonly used in Indian and Southeast Asian cuisine to flavor curries, soups, and other dishes.

Two whole fresh zucchini on white background plus two slices

3. Zucchini

Zucchini (also known as courgette) is a type of summer squash belonging to the Cucurbitaceae (gourd) family (4).

Zucchini squash is typically 6-12 inches long with thin skin that varies in color from light to dark green and creamy white flesh.

It has a mild, delicate flavor that becomes sweeter as it cooks, and a tender texture that can easily turn to mush if overcooked.

A one-cup (180 gram) serving of cooked zucchini provides 2 grams (7% DV) of fiber, 40 mg (10% DV) of magnesium, 509 mg (11% DV) of potassium, 33 mg (37% DV) of vitamin C (5, 6).

Look for zucchini in the produce section at grocery stores, health food stores, and farmers’ markets. Frozen zucchini (raw or cooked) is also sometimes available.

Zucchini can be eaten raw in salads and smoothies but has more flavor when cooked. It can be sautéed, baked, grilled, or fried and pairs well with tomatoes and parmesan.

Final Thoughts

From za’atar to zucchini, there are plenty of delicious whole foods that start with the letter Z.

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!

Amy Richter is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist based in Missouri. She is an experienced nutrition writer and medical advisor for Healthline and Medical News Today.  Amy is passionate about all things food-related and enjoys translating complex science into easy-to-understand articles.

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