25 Naturally White Foods (With Pictures!)
Adding touches of brilliant white to your dishes can provide a contrast that makes other colors pop.
There’s a surprisingly wide range of white foods to choose from. Many of them are packed with nutrients, so as well as adding interest and tasting delicious, they provide valuable health benefits.
So join us on our tour of 25 white (or nearly-white foods) and let us inspire you to include them in your weekly shop.
One of the most versatile white vegetables, there are endless ways to prepare cauliflower. Mashed with butter, it makes a delicious alternative to potatoes. Roasted in thick slices and topped with any number of sauces, it can be served as a tasty vegetarian alternative to steak.
The only limit is your imagination! And cauliflower, as a member of the brassica family, contributes significantly to a healthy diet.
Transparent when cooked, sliced onions add crunchy white crescents to salads and garnishes. They’re full of antioxidants and have been used for centuries in folk medicine to ward off coughs and colds.
The humble turnip is a white-skinned root vegetable popular for human consumption and livestock feed for centuries.
Like most root vegetables, they provide essential nutrients and minerals including calcium, phosphorus, vitamin C, folate, and niacin. They’re also high-fiber and low-calorie. As they take on the flavor of sauces, they’re an excellent, inexpensive addition to stews and soups.
Parsnips resemble funny white carrots, but they have a distinctively sweet and earthy flavor. You can grate and eat them raw, but the cooking brings out their taste and texture. They’re the perfect addition to winter menus.
Small parsnips are noticeably more tender than larger ones, which can have a woody core that you’ll need to remove before cooking.
5. White Mushrooms
With their mild, earthy flavor, white mushrooms complement almost any recipe. In addition, they’re much less robust than brown alternatives, so they will add nutrients to any dish without overpowering the flavor.
They’re also delicious when sliced, drizzled with oil, and garnished with cilantro or stirred into mixed salads – especially those dressed with walnut or hazelnut oil.
Soft peppery, creamy white cashews are equally delicious whether enjoyed as a healthy snack, tossed into stir-fries, as pesto, or added to smoothies.
Cashews are high in protein, healthy fats, and polyphenols, so they can provide several significant health benefits. In particular, they contain significant levels of magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and zinc. They are a useful source of vitamins B6 and K.
Garlic is typically used to flavor salad dressings, vinaigrettes, marinades, sauces, vegetables, meats, soups, and stews. In addition, it is often used to make garlic butter and garlic toast.
Although it’s inexpensive and sold worldwide, garlic powder can be substituted if you run out of cloves – 1/8 teaspoon of garlic powder equals a medium fresh clove.
Garlic has been prized for its powerful healing properties for thousands of years.
The white meat of chicken and other poultry is a staple ingredient of every major cuisine worldwide. It’s not only an economical choice. It’s endlessly versatile and can be fried, stewed, roasted, and served as a partner for rice, pasta, root vegetables, and more.
White poultry meat comes from the bird’s breast, wings, and legs. It’s an excellent source of high-quality, easily digestible protein, low in fat and calories.
9. Greek Yogurt
Thick, creamy, and delicious Greek yogurt is strained to remove the whey and lactose. The the result is a luscious treat with an almost solid texture. It’s higher in protein and fat than regular yogurt but lower in sodium and carbohydrates.
Drizzle with honey and sprinkle on a few chopped walnuts to whip up a simple yet sumptuous dessert for any gourmet. Yogurt also makes a healthy substitute for thick cream (to make ice cream), sour cream, or even mayonnaise.
10. White Cheese
Although cheese comes in many colors, there’s something about white cheese that makes it versatile.
Whether you’re going for crumbly, brilliant white feta, or pale dolce latte threaded with contrasting blue veins, white cheeses are perfect for dips, sauces, and toppings.
They also work well in desserts, giving a salty twist that balances the sweetness of other ingredients.
11. Egg White
As many recipes call for egg yolks, cooks often find themselves with leftover egg whites.
There’s no need to waste them. Egg whites aren’t only rich in protein; they’re also a valuable ingredient in many other dishes. These include meringues, royal icing and different frostings, glazes for cakes, and roasted nuts. They can even froth-up cocktails!
Icy white coconut meat can be enjoyed raw as a snack, grated into a range of savory and sweet dishes, or used as decoration. It can also be mixed with water to make coconut milk, a popular lactose-free substitute for cow’s milk.
Coconut cream is used widely in many Asian cuisines. However, in the West, solid white coconut oil has recently become popular as it is promoted as part of a ketogenic diet due to its high levels of MFAs (medium-chain fatty acids).
13. White Asparagus
White asparagus is prepared and served in the same ways as green asparagus: steamed, baked, roasted, and sautéed. However, the stalks tend to be a little woodier, so peel the bottom third, and expect the cooking time to be a little longer.
White asparagus is perhaps most delicious when you drizzle the tender spears in melted butter or maybe dip them into hollandaise sauce.
Tofu is a curd made from soya beans. A staple in Thai and Chinese cuisines, it can be prepared in different ways that change its texture from soft and velvety to crisp and crunchy. As the flavor is so mild and absorbs the tastes and aromas of other ingredients, it’s a helpful addition to add to stews and casseroles.
Soya is the only plant protein with all essential amino acids, so it’s also a valuable ingredient in vegetarian and vegan recipes.
15. White Corn
White corn kernels are tender, juicy, and crunchy when young and ripe. The kernels become chewier and doughier as they age.
White corn can be prepared and enjoyed in the same ways as golden varieties, as the flavor is mild, sweet, and slightly nutty.
16. White Eggplant
White eggplants are suited to all the same cooking methods as the more common purple-skinned varieties. However, as their skins are thicker, it’s best to peel them before cooking.
White eggplants partner well with almost everything, so if your favorite recipe calls for regular eggplants, it’s OK to change things up a little with a splash of white!
Strictly speaking, most bananas are more cream-colored than white. However, they can still help add a delicious creamy contrast to berry salads or make the palest of smoothies, ice creams, or flavored yogurts.
A banana is a nutritional powerhouse, rich in potassium and fiber, and even providing a good dose of healthy prebiotics to help digestion.
Taro, also known as eddo or dasheen, is a starchy root vegetable native to Southeast Asia. Its brown skin conceals white flesh, which may have purple specks. Although it looks like a root, technically, it’s an underground stem or corm.
Taro tastes like sweet potato, and you can use the two interchangeably. However, when baked or fired, taro has a crisper texture.
Taro leaves can be toxic due to the high levels of calcium oxalate they contain. However, once you cook them, they’re perfectly safe.
Typically found in Japanese and other Asian cuisines, daikon is a white, crunchy root vegetable. Grated, sliced, or cubed, it adds a mildly sweet flavor and crunchy texture to various meals.
It’s nutritious too! A single daikon contains around 75% of the potassium in a banana and 50% of the quantity of vitamin C you’d get from a medium orange. It also contains fiber, folate, calcium, and magnesium. So daikon is a worthy addition to your list of vegetable staples.
With blue or green skin concealing its brilliant white flesh, kohlrabi is an incredibly versatile vegetable. The taste and texture is reminiscent of cabbage and broccoli stalks. Slice it and add to slaws, use it in stir-fries and fritters, steam, or grill it – the only limit is your imagination. Oh, and the leaves are also edible.
An as-yet unsung hero of the brassica family, kohlrabi is a valuable source of vitamin C and also provides fiber, vitamin B6 and potassium.
21. Dairy Milk
What is there to say about this ubiquitous white food that hasn’t already been said?
It offers valuable nutrients, is used to make cheeses and yogurts, and can be prepared in endless ways. Although plant-based kinds of milk have surged in popularity over recent years, dairy products, from cows, buffaloes, or goats, remain the first choice for most consumers.
22. White Beans
White beans come in different varieties. From cannellinis (used for canned baked beans), to giant butter beans, they all contain a ton of great nutrients.
Of course, if you buy dried, you’ll need to soak before cooking. But they’re so inexpensive it’s a great idea to have some cans in the store cupboard. Pro tip: to make a quick and easy white bean side, just put some in a pan and cook with a little fresh or dried tarragon.
Jicama is a staple of Mexican cuisine. It resembles a root vegetable but is, in fact, an apple-sized bean. It’s often prepared by peeling and cutting it into strips, then enjoying it raw, typically with lemon or lime juice and chili powder.
24. White Mulberries
White mulberries are typically enjoyed as a chewy treat in their dried form. As well as a sweet and delicate flavor, these naturally white fruits offer an excellent range of nutrients, including iron, calcium, vitamin C, protein, and fiber.
25. White Watermelon
White watermelon tastes just as sweet as red and is equally nutritious.
This refreshing summer snack also contains citrulline, which is reputed to help blood flow and even improve athletic performance.
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