17 Foods That Start With Y

The good thing about articles like this is that they widen your knowledge and let you into the world of others and even your own world. If I were to ask you to mention a list of foods that begin with Y, you would be lucky if you can remember five foods immediately.

So, this article will provide a list of foods that begin with Y. Some of them might be very familiar to us, especially the ones within our cultures and the ones that are popularly eaten. This list will also expose you to a whole other food that you have never heard of.

It is exciting because you might become aware of many exciting and delicious dishes and recipes that you might want to try out after now. I hope you are excited as I am as I take you through this list.

1. Yogurt



In case you come across this food spelled as Yoghurt, do not be alarmed; this is also a different way used by some. Yogurt is produced through fermenting milk with a bacteria known as yogurt bacteria.

Yogurt has a whitish or creamy color, with a thick texture. This texture is gotten through the lactic acid produced during fermentation, and this acid acts on the protein in the milk to give yogurt its thick and tart flavor.

Yogurt is a dairy product, and most yogurts are made with milk, but some use goat milk, buffalo, camels, ewes, etc. Because of the health concerns of lactose intolerant and vegans, there are other versions of yogurt that are plant-based.

Yogurt can be used for various culinary purposes, and it can be taken by itself, used for salads, and can be used in baked goods and beverages. Yogurt is also nutritious and helpful for health.

The probiotics present in yogurt helps with digestion and your gut’s health.  Yogurt has rich amounts of protein, calcium which helps us develop strong and healthy bones. If you hope to lose some weight, you can include low-fat yogurt in your diet plan.

2. Yam



Yam is a tuber plant widely grown and used in African, Asian, Caribbean, and South American dishes. Yams are edible starchy plants, and they are perennial crops. Yams can grow to giant sizes of about 7 feet long and weigh about 150lbs.

Most people tend to confuse yams with sweet potatoes or cassava; well, they are different, each with their unique characteristics.  Yams do well in tropical and temperate regions, and there are a variety of species that fall under the yam family. The common species are the yellow yam, the water yam, and the white yam, also known as sweet yam.

Yams are a staple food in some places like Asia and West Africa; they grow this plant in large quantities, and it is part of their daily meal. There are several means of preparation; yams can be roasted, boiled, fried, or grilled, depending on what you want. Yams can also be mashed and used to make a pudding-like paste known as Pounded yam.

This pounded yam is served alongside different West African soups. Here is a recipe for pounded yam served along with Ogbono soup.

3. Yokan



Yokan is a dessert in Japanese cuisine; it is jelly-like and made with agar, sugar, and red azuki beans. This bean is in the form of a paste, and the jelly has a block-like shape. The jelly is sliced when it is served.

In the absence of red azuki beans, or depending on the recipe, you can also use white kidney bean paste. Yokan is a refreshing dessert, and it is the perfect dessert option during the summer months.

There are many recipes and flavors for this dessert meal, and you can find some with the addition of other ingredients like sweet potato, fruits, and chopped chestnuts. This dessert option is vegan and vegetarian-friendly. So if you are vegan with few dessert choices, you could consider adding this to the list.

If you ever consider making this recipe at home, here is the recipe to guide and instruct you.

4. Yardlong beans



Yardlong beans are a species under the cowpea family, and it is an important legume that is grown annually. This plant flourishes in warm regions, and it is cultivated for its edible green pods. They are green in color; both the pods and the seedlings within are edible.

This bean is widespread in southern Asia and is sometimes referred to as Chinese long beans, snake beans, and pea beans. These beans are used in many oriental dishes; they are added to salads, soup, sauteed, braised, and stewed.

These beans are usually in Chinese cuisine as stir-fried, and they are added to shrimp and potatoes. These beans are a good source of dietary fiber, proteins, and vitamins. They do not have fat and cholesterol, which makes them a perfect addition to your meal if you are looking forward to losing weight or reduce your cholesterol levels.

Yardlong beans are also rich in Vitamin C, and they reduce the risk of getting gout. The antioxidants help expel free radicals responsible for diseases like cancer, arthritis, and heart disease.

Here is a recipe for yardlong beans with ground pork.

5. Yuzu



Yuzu is a fruit that belongs to the citrus family. This fruit has the appearance of a grapefruit, with a green or yellow color and an uneven rind. Yuzu is flavorful and aromatic, and these characteristics make it a frequent ingredient in dishes to add an extra zing flavor.

It can be added to sauces, desserts, juice, and seafood, and the oil from this fruit has medicinal value. The oil extracted from the skin of yuzu increases blood circulation around the skin, boost immunity, and keeps the skin smooth.

Yuzu is rich in antioxidants and Vitamin C, and the fragrance can help one uplift one’s mood. The antioxidants present in this fruit can remedy chronic inflammation and neutralizing free radicals in the body.

Other benefits of adding this fruit to your diet include boosting your immune system, protecting brain health, inhibiting blood clotting, and saving you from getting a heart attack and stroke. Here is a recipe on how to make marmalade from the yuzu.

6. Yiros



Yiros, also known as Gyro, consists of fresh pita bread filled with chicken or pork, red onion, tomato, parsley, shredded lettuce, chips, and tzatziki sauce. Yiros has a resemblance to shawarma.

What makes yiros outstanding is the fluffy fresh pita bread and the creamy feta cheese. This meal is delicious and irresistible. You can marinate your meat with any flavor you like before adding it to the yiros, making the whole meal more flavorful.

Yiros is a popular late-night meal, but it can also be served at private and public events like weddings, birthday parties, engagements, christening; it is a versatile meal.

7. Yeast



We can not deny that yeast is an essential food ingredient in the culinary world. On its own, it has no use, but when used as an ingredient, it helps us achieve a lot of delicious dishes. Yeast is a microorganism that belongs to the fungus family.

To thrive, yeast needs warmth, moisture, and food; it converts its food to alcohol and carbon dioxide through fermentation. This carbon dioxide is what makes baked goods rise after kneading the dough.

Yeast is single-celled fungi, and they can be found on plant surfaces, in soils, fruits, and flower nectars. There are many types of yeasts, but our focus here is primarily on the one used for cooking and baking.

You can make your yeast at home for home uses, and you do not have to worry about buying it from the store. You can check out this recipe on how to make your homemade yeast.

8. Yolk



Yolk refers to the inner part of a bird’s egg which is surrounded by the eggwhite. Yolks are the most nutritious and proteinaceous part of the egg. The work of the yolk is to nourish the embryo by supplying it with food.

The yolk usually has a yellowish color and is used for a lot of breakfast recipes and dishes. They are easy to prepare, and they are very nutritious that you would not want to miss on on all the goodies.

Yolks might look tiny, but they have many uses in the culinary world; you can cook anything with eggs. Eggs can be used for an omelet, scrambled eggs, creamy dippings, ice cream, custard, baking goods, salads, mashed foods, and they can also be added to alcohol and beverages.

Yolks are rich in vitamins that are beneficial for healthy hair and can be used as a hair care remedy. Egg yolks are also rich in minerals like folate, calcium, copper, and iron, which help you maintain a healthy body.

The presence of omega-3 in yolks helps and increases brain development and functioning, and it also helps the retinal function of your eyes. This is why it is advised that children take eggs frequently to help them during their brain development. If you are thinking of what ways to include eggs in your menu, you can look at these 37 recipes.

9. Yuca



Yuca is the Mexican name for cassava, which is prevalent in a lot of Mexican dishes. Cassava is a root tuber plant, and it is cultivated for its edible tuber and leaves. It is cultivated annually, and it is a starchy plant. The starch from cassava known as tapioca is extracted and used for both human and animal food.

You can call yuca the cousins of yam, they have a similar appearance as tuber crops, but they are different. Yuca has rough brown skin, with an inner white skin; most of the recipes require you to peel off the skin before cooking the white flesh of the yuca. Some other recipes require you to cook the yuca together with the skin, and it is eaten that way.

Yuca can be prepared in many ways and used for many dishes; it can be roasted, boiled, fried, and grilled. Yuca can be processed as used as flour for baking, pudding, and cooking. You can make fries and chips with yuca plants just like potatoes.

Cassava flour is an excellent alternative to whole wheat flour, and it is a much healthier option. It is low in cholesterol and sodium and rich in vitamin C and manganese. Healthy consumption of cassava prevents malnutrition, promotes wound healing, and reduces blood pressure.

Here is a recipe for grilled yuca with garlic and mojo sauce.

10. Yamarita



You might ask or wonder if this name is not similar to yam? Well, you will be right if you asked such a question. Yamarita is a delicacy in Nigeria made with yam. If you ask most of the locals, they will tell you that yamarita is a yam dish with a master’s degree.

This is so because the method of preparing this yam makes it more exquisite and delicious, different from the common method of preparation. Yamarita is a plain yam that has been boiled, this yam is coated with flour, ginger, eggs, and salt, and it is deep-fried.

This makes the tiny sliced pieces of yam crispy and crunchy. The addition of eggs and flour makes this dish different from the regular yam fried plainly without coating. Yamarita is served with tomato or egg stew. This is the recipe for this fun dish.

11. Yodels



Yodel is a cream-filled cake that is frosted, and it can be served as dessert or used as snacks while you take your cup of tea. If you have a sweet tooth, this might just be one of the favorite snacks to add to your list.

12. Yorkshire pudding



This a baked pudding made from egg, milk, flour, and water. You mix these ingredients and make a batter out of them, which you bake to get your Yorkshire pudding. You can use gravy or sauce to moisten this pudding as you eat.

You can also serve this pudding with beef or any other meat of your choice. You can serve this pudding as a side dish or as a main dish. If you are hoping to add this to your dessert options, here is a recipe to help you.

13. Yellow beet



Yellow beets are a species of beetroot vegetables, and their cousins are the red beetroot which might be more familiar to people. Yellow beets are also known as golden beets, and they are less sweeter than red beets.

Golden or yellow beets add a zesty look when you add them to your dish. They taste a little bit less earthy, and they have a more mellow intensity than red beets. Yellow beet is healthy for you, and they are excellent for your kidneys; they lower blood pressure, cleanse your system and contain antioxidants that expel free radicals from your system.

You can use yellow beets for dips, salads, main dishes, and juice. They can be roasted, cooked, or eaten raw. Here is a recipe of curried yellow beets and peanut hash that you might want to try.

14. Yabby



Yabby is a crayfish found in freshwater; this burrowing crayfish is found in Australia. They are an endangered species, and they are farmed for edible purposes. It is eaten mainly by the natives of Australia.

This crayfish is tasty and flavorful, and this crayfish is feared to be going into extinction. Hence the farming of these crayfish is controlled. This means that you might not find them easily; they are served as a gourmet meal in some of the best restaurants.

Freshwater crayfish are used in a lot of recipes like Cajun. The claw meat, tail meat, coral, and mustard are the edible parts of the yabby crayfish, with the tail meat being the biggest part. You can et these crayfish on their own, especially the large ones, or you can add them to your soup or stew.

15. Yam Bean



Yam bean is a legume popular in Mexican cuisine, and It is also known as Jimaca. It is a tuber plant with pods that can be eaten when they are young. When the plant matures, the pods are no longer healthy for consumption.

This tuber plant has a balloon shape, it has an outer brown skin, and the inner flesh is white. It has a crunchy flesh and bears some resemblance to the potato. Yam bean has a sweet flavor, and it is a starchy plant.

It is important to peel off the back before eating this tuber, and you can either eat it in its raw state or when it is cooked. This plant is used mainly for salads, but you can add them to other dishes and recipes.

They are rich in nutrients and vitamins like vitamin A, B, C, K, and low-calorie content. Yam bean helps your body to absorb minerals which helps promote the body’s metabolism.

Iron deficiency in the body can lead to anemia; jimaca is a good source of iron, helping your body to be able to produce more red blood cells. Also, because of this plant’s fiber content, healthy consumption of jimaca will reduce your chances of getting stroke, obesity, hypertension, and diabetes.

This vegetable is suitable for those with diabetes, asthma, those hoping to lose some weight and contributes to having a healthy heart. You can check out this recipe for jimaca and carrot slaw.

16. Yellow Bell Pepper



Yellow bell pepper belongs to the species of capsicum annuum. It is less pungent pepper that also comes in green, red, orange, and white colors. This pepper is classified among the group of sweet peppers.

This pepper is used as a vegetable in several dishes and recipes. These peppers are used for salads, they are included in the main dish, and they are used as toppings and fillings for foods like pizza, tortilla chips, pita bread, and tacos.

You can also use this pepper as a side dish, they can be eaten raw, or you can boil, fry, grill, and roast them. They take on a slightly different flavor depending on the method of preparation. They add a whole lot of color to your meal, especially your fresh salads. Apart from the culinary value, these pepper also has health benefits.

Yellow peppers are packed with minerals and vitamins that boost your immune system, help your body function properly, and rid your body of infections and cancer.  Yellow peppers contain antioxidants that cleanse you of toxins and free radicals. Hence you can add this vegetable to your diet if you are looking for a natural body cleanser.

Eating this pepper helps with digestion, lowers your cholesterol levels, maintains blood pressure, livens your mood, improves your hair’s health, and helps you with weight management. It is important to eat this pepper in moderation.

Here is a simple recipe for grilled yellow bell peppers.

17. Yacon



Yacon is a tuber plant grown in regions with a mild climate. It is widely grown in South America, Australia, and some parts of Asia. This plant is cultivated for its edible tuberous root. You can eat this plant raw, just like potatoes or cassava, but yacon is sweeter than the rest.

This plant is also valuable because of the syrup that serves as a substitute for sugar in sweetening food. It is a healthier option than regular sugar, and you can use the leaves of this plant to regulate your blood sugar levels.

It is easy for you to plant this tuber in your garden at home. The leaves of this plant are in high demand because they are believed to help with the treatment of diabetes. The compounds present in yacon inhibit cancer cells from growing and reproducing.

This plant promotes liver health, aids digestion, strengthens the immune system, and helps with weight loss and management. Check out these seven recipes on how you can use yacon tuber.


These are some of the foods that begin with the letter Y, and I am sure some of them were familiar, and others were not. There are exciting dishes here that you should try out, and you can follow the recipes mentioned here or some others.

I have also tried to include these foods’ health benefits to help inform you on making a better choice. We are what we eat, they say, so go for the foods that bring you more nutrition and improve your health.

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