The most comprehensive list of black vegetables you can find on the Internet. Includes fun facts, taste, texture, and uses in cooking! Basically, all you need to get to know these black vegetables!

Table of Content

Intro and Disclaimer

Using the definition of vegetable as any edible part of a plant, I have also included black beans, legumes, grains, seeds, and spices in this list of black vegetables. Gotta make sure that this article really lives up to its title of the most comprehensive one on the internet, you know 😉

And a short disclaimer, some of these vegetables may not look really black in color. However, I still include them since they have the word “black” in their name.

And since spring is here, if you’re still looking for something fun to plant this year, pick some of your favorite black vegetables from this list, buy some seeds, plant them in some fresh soil, and before you know it, you got yourself some pretty ingredients to use in your next cooking adventure!👨‍🍳

Alright, without further ado………🥁🥁🥁


1. Black Eggplant

Eggplants from above

Fun fact(s):

Since the Black (Beauty) Eggplant is quite a common vegetable that is used in many cuisines, here are two fun facts about eggplants (or aubergine for our European and British friends)!

  • Eggplants are technically (well, botanically) a fruit. A fruit is defined as the mature ovary of a flowering plant that contains seed. By this same definition, tomatoes, cucumber, and bell peppers are technically (or, botanically) fruits!
  • Eggplants have so many different varieties both in shape and color. The term “eggplant” itself originated in reference to a type of white eggplant which really looks like white eggs, as you can see in my List of 35 White Vegetables with Pictures!

Taste and Texture: When raw, black eggplants have a mild, slightly bitter flavor and tender texture that resembles that of zucchini. When cooked, black eggplants have a moist, creamy texture that makes them so well-loved and therefore widely used in many cuisines.

Uses: As it also absorbs flavor well, it is a great meat replacement in vegetarian in vegan dishes. In fact, that is also my favorite way to use eggplants. I’ve had great success using it in making a Japanese teriyaki bowl, and roasting cubed eggplants to use in salads or grain bowls!

2. Black Tomatoes

A bunch of black tomatoes growing on the vine

Fun fact(s): These black heirloom tomatoes (or black beauty tomatoes) are grown from seeds that have been passed down for generations. They are also typically open-pollinated, meaning they are pollinated naturally by wind, insects, or birds.

Taste and Texture: They often have a more complex and sweeter taste when compared to regular red tomatoes. Texture-wise, it is very similar to regular tomatoes.

Uses: My favorite way to cook heirloom tomatoes is to…not cook them at all! As in, serve them raw😉 This way, you’d be better able to really taste it, noting the deeper, richer, and more complex notes that your black tomatoes have. Think of using them in your salads, salsa, sandwiches, bruschetta, or gazpacho!

3. Black Olives

Black olives on the branch

Fun fact(s): Black olives are actually the same as green olives with the only difference being green olives are harvested when they are still unripe whereas black olives are harvested when they are already ripe. And oh, raw, uncured olives are probably not something you want to eat as they don’t have a pleasant taste!

Taste and Texture: This black vegetable have a rich, slightly salty, and tangy flavor, with a meaty texture. They are soft and fleshy, making them a great addition to many dishes.

Uses: Olives are often used in Italian, Greek, and Mediterranean cuisines. Some of my favorite ways to eat olives are in pasta, pizza, and in tapenades!

4. Black Pumpkin

A couple varieties of black and gray pumpkins from above

Fun fact(s):

  • There are actually so many varieties of black pumpkins out there with various shapes and skin textures. Some popular varieties are the Thai Kang Kob pumpkins and kabocha pumpkins. One thing they have in common though, is that their skin is dark in color with a bright yellow to orange flesh just like your usual orange pumpkins.
  • Talking about the best Halloween decoration, aren’t we?🎃👻

Taste and Texture: Although black isn’t the most appetizing color, the flesh of black pumpkins tastes earthy, sweet, and slightly nutty. Sounds like yums!

Texture-wise, they are tender and have creamy consistency when cooked.

Uses: This black vegetable is perfect to use as substitutes for your regular pumpkin in classic recipes such as pumpkin soup, pumpkin pie, roasted pumpkin, or even pumpkin risotto!

5. Black Potatoes

Black potatoes purple inside

Fun fact(s): Some common varieties of black potatoes are the Shetland black potatoes, purple Peruvian, purple majesty, all blue, and Vitelotte potatoes. I am also fortunate since here in the Netherlands, purple potatoes are often sold in the winter months. Finding one when you go to the supermarkets made up for the cloudy, grey, and often rainy winter I would say!

Taste and Texture: The taste and texture of the specific type of black/purple potatoes vary. Some would hold their shape well when cooked, making them great for roasting and boiling. Whereas some other varieties are more crumbly when cooked, making them more suitable to be used in mashed potato recipes. But in general, the taste is similar to your regular potatoes.

Uses: Depending on the texture of your black potatoes, the most suitable uses would vary too. If it’s more crumble and creamy, it would be great for recipes such as mashed potatoes. But if it’s a firmer variety, it would be great for roasting as a side dish, or in homemade chips!

6. Black Truffle

Two black truffles stacked

Fun fact(s): Black truffles grow underground. And since they grow underground, you need trained dogs or pigs to guide you to find the truffles, after which you have to carefully dig them out of the ground. No wonder they are so expensive!

Taste and Texture: Black truffle tastes earthy, woody, and umami with a chocolatey tone. It has a deep rich flavor which makes it unsurprising that it is so well-loved all over the world.

Uses: They can be incorporated in many dishes such as infused into oils or sauces, or shaved or grated as a finishing touch. Or why not try making your own Truffle Mayonnaise by using this vegan oil-free mayo recipe as a base? 😉

A little goes a long way with black truffles so you definitely do not need to have a full bite to be able to enjoy it!

7. Black Trumpet Mushroom

Black trumpet mushrooms on a colander

Fun fact(s): Looking like small trumpets coming out of the ground, I think it’s one of the cutest mushrooms ever! They also have hollow and fragile stems, which really remind me of trumpet flowers!

Taste and Texture: Black trumpet mushrooms have an earthy, rich, and smoky flavor. Some people also describe its taste similar to truffles, talking about a good substitute over here! Texture-wise, they have a meaty but tender texture.

Uses: They can be used in almost any savory dish but as always, if you’re trying it the first time, I recommend not mixing too many flavors together. Think of simple recipes like stir-frying them with olive oil, or using them in your risotto!

8. Black Fungus

Chinese black fungus dried

Fun fact(s):

  • Black fungus is also called the “tree ear” or “cloud ear” fungus, they are most often used in Chinese and Japanese cuisines.
  • As with many of the vegetables in this list, they are packed with nutrition! Like a lot of other types of mushrooms, they are low in calories and fats but high in protein and fiber.
  • It has many health benefits such as promoting a healthier gut, protecting cognitive health and even against cancer.
  • Most often sold in dried form in your local Asian supermarkets, you first need to soak them in warm water for at least 1 hour. They will then expand about 3-4 times in size so take this into account when portioning them.

Taste and Texture: Black fungus has a mild, subtle flavor and it absorbs the flavor of the dish it is cooked with. It is not as meaty as the more well-known mushroom such as white buttoned or portobello mushrooms but rather has a slightly crunchy and jelly-like texture. The texture and mouthfeel are indeed the reason why it is used in recipes, rather than its distinct taste.

Uses: My mum likes to use them in soups but you can also use them in stir-fries such as these Garlic Chives & Black Fungus recipe. Or this Tofu with Mushroom Sauce recipe.

9. Black Carrots

Black carrot discs cut up, purple or pink inside

Fun fact: Although they are believed to have originated in the Middle East, South Asia and East Asia, I’m lucky that here in the Netherlands where I live, most supermarkets would sell black/purple carrots, especially in the lead-up to Christmas. Cutting up a black carrot (another popular variety is the black nebula carrots) is such a sight since you can then see the deep, intense, pretty purple color inside the carrot!

Taste and Texture: Black carrots are sweet and earthy in taste, and some might have a slight peppery note. Regarding texture, it’s similar to regular orange carrots: firm and crunchy.

Uses: Since black carrots are not that different from orange carrots both in terms of taste and texture, you can use them the same way you use orange carrots. I’ve roasted them for a Christmas dinner once and the mere sight of it really made it a festive occasion. I also used it in my roasted pumpkin salad and they definitely make for cute decorations!

In my experience, they don’t preserve their bright purple color when cooked. So if you want to preserve the color in your dishes, one tip I have is to opt for recipes when they are prepared raw.

10. Black Garlic

Two cloves of black garlic with one clove peeled

Fun fact: Black garlic is not a naturally growing variety of garlic. Instead, it is essentially the same as your regular white garlic, but it has been aged over a couple of weeks (or even months). The garlic cloves go through the Maillard reaction to transform the proteins and sugars in the garlic to produce that distinctive flavor.

Taste and Texture: Black garlic has a unique flavor profile and does not have a garlicky taste at all. It has a sweet, umami, and slightly tangy taste with a note of balsamic vinegar or molasses.

Texture-wise, black garlic is also softer, closer to the texture of plump dried fruits instead of being firm and a little bit crunchy like white garlic. If you ever have the chance to try black garlic, I would highly suggest doing so as it has a rich, complex, and umami flavor–an experience that you shouldn’t miss!

Uses: Although the taste is different, black garlic could be used to replace regular white garlic. Two of my most favorite ways to use black garlic are in making black garlic ramen and black garlic pasta. Some other ways people use black garlic are in making black garlic butter, aioli, sauces, and dressings. You can also add it to your soups, pasta, pizza, rice, and noodle dishes!

11. Black Corn

Black corn close up

Fun fact(s): Black corn is an ancient corn variety grown by the Aztecs, which is also why they are often called black Aztec corn. One popular variety is called the Maiz Morado black corn.

Taste: They have a slightly sweeter and nuttier flavor compared to traditional yellow or white corn, but have similar texture profiles.

Uses: You can use them to substitute your regular corn in recipes. So think of tortillas, tamales, porridge, and even popcorn! Sounds like a great Halloween snack huh🎃👻

12. Black Radish

One whole black radish, and one cut up

Fun fact: Black radishes have often been used in traditional remedies such as in alleviating cough and phlegm, and supporting digestive health in traditional Chinese medicine.

Taste and Texture: The taste of black radish is sharp, pungent, and spicy. As such, they are often used only in small amounts to add a burst of flavor. In terms of texture, it is similar to the regular radish so it is also firm and crunchy when raw.

Uses: Try roasting them into chips or adding them to your salads (both raw or roasted). Be sure to balance its sharp taste with other milder and sweeter ingredients!

13. Salsify

Salsify with some parts cut into discs

Fun fact(s): Salsify is also known as an oyster plant, because guess what, it kinda tastes like an oyster to some! Well, talking about some good vegan alternatives, isn’t it? 😉

PS And if you don’t think it tastes like oyster, some other people say that it tastes like artichoke.

Taste and Texture: The taste of black salsify isn’t as strong as it sounds like. In fact, it is actually quite mild. Since it is a root vegetable, it also has similar textures to parsnips and carrots.

Uses: Once you have peeled the skin, you can cook salsify the same way as you cook your root vegetables. Try roasting them, adding them to soups and stews, or as a standalone vegetable!

14. Nori Sheet

Nori sushi sheet on a grey background

Fun fact(s):

  • Although nori sheets look dark green to black, it is actually made from red algae. This red algae turns dark green when dried, which explains the color that we see.
  • Nori sheets are made similarly to the way papers are made. The seaweed is shredded and pulped, before pressing them into thin sheets and drying them.

Taste and Texture: Nori sheets have a mild and slightly salty taste, with an umami flavor. Nori sheets are thin and crisp, with a slightly chewy and brittle texture.

Uses: Nori sheets have gained worldwide popularity as it is used in making our beloved sushi. These days, sushi comes in so much variety from the traditional ones up to the Americanized version (hello California roll!) and creative flavors such as this vegan kimchi sushi!

If you’re not a fan of sushi, you can also cut them up into shredded nori to use as a garnish on Japanese dishes!

Beans, Legumes, and Grains

15. Black Beans

Black beans close up

Fun fact(s):

This nutrient-dense food is a good source of plant-based protein, fiber, iron, and other vitamins and minerals. It’s also a staple food in many Latin American, Caribbean, and African cuisines.

Taste and Texture: Black beans have a slightly sweet and earthy flavor, with a hint of nuttiness. Regarding the texture, they have a dense and meaty texture, with a smooth and creamy interior when cooked. This creamy texture makes them a popular ingredient in many dishes from chilis, salads, to creamy bean dips!

Uses: Ask any vegan or vegetarian and I bet they have at least heard about black beans. They are great to add on your chilis, stews, and soups, but can also be added to your salads, tacos, and burritos and even be blended up into a creamy bean dip similar to hummus!

16. Black Chickpeas

Italian black chickpeas close up

Fun fact(s): There are two main kinds of black chickpeas: the one cultivated in India (kala chana variety) and the one cultivated in Italy (ceci neri variety). Well, guess now we only need Indonesia to cultivate its black chickpea variety before we can do a black chickpea Eat Pray Love tour?🍴🙏💖

Taste and Texture: Anyways, the Indian varieties are often brown in color while the Italian varieties are deep black in color. They are both smaller in size than the regular chickpeas, but are richer in taste and creamier in texture.

Uses: Some common ways to use them is to make curries, or use them the same way you use the regular chickpeas which is in making that rich, creamy, and luscious hummus!

PS: Have 5 minutes to spare? Make my 5-minute homemade hummus which will convert you from #TeamStoreBought to #TeamHomemade hummus right away!

17. Black Soybeans

Black soybeans close up

Fun fact(s): Surprise surprise, Chinese fermented black beans are not made from black beans, but from black soybeans instead. I didn’t know this before and almost put “fermented black beans” under “black beans” instead of “black soybeans” but I guess this information was lost somewhere in translation, isn’t it?

Anyways, similar to black beans, black soybeans are also a nutritional powerhouse. It is packed with fiber and plant-based protein, while at the same time reducing the risk of coronary heart disease and strengthening your bones.

The last fun fact is that when cooked, black soybeans change color from black to dark brown or dark green. Makes me feel like I’m doing a science experiment whenever this happens!👩‍🔬🧪

Taste and Texture: Contrary to its name, black soybeans taste closer to black beans than to soybeans. Texture-wise, black soybeans have a firm texture that holds up well when cooked. Similar to black beans, it also has a smooth and creamy interior.

Uses: Similar to regular yellow soybeans, you can make black soy milk out of black soybeans. Another recipe you can try is making Kuromame (sweetened black soybeans), which is a classic Japanese New Year delicacy.

18. Black Lentils

Black lentils close up

Fun fact(s): Sometimes, black lentils are also called Beluga caviar lentils due to their resemblance to caviar. Sounds like a great vegan substitute huh?😉

And in case you’re wondering, although the Indian “urad dal” is commonly translated to black lentils, they are not of the same variety. Urad dal looks more like mung beans (but black) instead of looking like lentils.

Taste and Texture: Black lentils have a more earthy and richer flavor than the other lentil varieties. It holds its shape quite well when cooked, although it will also taste creamy when mashed!

Uses: Since black lentils hold their shape quite well, it’s great in both salad and stew recipes! Try a black lentil salad with roasted vegetables, or add them to your soups for more bulk!

19. Black-Eyed Peas

Black eyed peas on a scooping spoon

Fun fact(s): Black-eyed peas are often eaten on New Year’s Day in the Southern United States as they symbolize good luck and prosperity.

Taste and Texture: Black-eyed peas have an earthy and slightly nutty flavor and creamy consistency when cooked. The texture is comparable to other beans, so they are soft and creamy inside, while still firm on the outside.

Uses: For a traditional Southern dish, try Hoppin’ John: a combination of black-eyed peas, rice, and pork. To make it plant-based, feel free to omit the pork!

Other recipes to try are black-eyed pea curry, stew, or even dip!

20. Black Badger Carlin Peas

Black badger carlin peas close up

Fun fact(s): If black-eyed peas are often on New Year’s Day in the Southern United States, these black peas are eaten on November 5th in the North of England.

Taste and Texture: These black vegetables have a slightly nutty and earthy flavor, similar to regular green peas but with a slightly firmer texture. When cooked, it becomes creamy!

Uses: For a traditional recipe, try making some parched peas which are basically cooked black badger carlin peas, served with malt vinegar and salt. Or cooked, and then oven-dried to make them crunchy!

21. Forbidden Black Rice

Forbidden black rice close up

Fun fact(s): The Chinese type of black rice is sometimes called “forbidden rice” because, in ancient China, black rice was reserved exclusively for the aristocracy and therefore forbidden for the common people.

And fun fact, the intense color also makes it a great natural purple dye!

Taste and Texture: They have a slightly nutty flavor and are a bit more aromatic than the usual white or brown rice. There is also a slightly sweet and floral tone.

Texture-wise, unlike its glutinous black rice cousin (which we will cover soon!), Chinese black rice is not sticky and can be eaten just like regular rice.

Uses: You can make Chinese congee (rice porridge) with black rice for a traditional recipe. Or maybe try making some Chinese sweet dumplings, so good!😋

22. Glutinous Black Rice

Glutinous black rice close up

Fun fact(s): Similar to the Chinese black rice variety, but they’re sticky! The glutinous version is very popular in Indonesia since it is commonly used to make a breakfast/dessert recipe of black rice pudding. The color also means that it’s rich in antioxidants which reduces the risk of chronic conditions such as heart disease, Alzheimer’s, and some types of cancer.

Taste and texture: Unlike regular rice, glutinous black rice is sticky and more chewy. Flavor-wise, it has a nutty and sweet flavor. I also think it’s more fragrant than your regular white rice!

Uses: This glutinous rice variant is more commonly used in sweet dishes, such as in Thai black sticky rice with mango, and in Indonesian black rice pudding. Both of which are some of my favorite vegan desserts!🥭🥣

23. Black Quinoa

Three colored quinoa from above

Fun fact(s): Quinoa (including black quinoa) is technically not a grain, but a seed. However, since it has a similar nutrient profile and is often eaten the same way as grains, it is classified as a “pseudocereal”.

It contains all 9 essential amino acids, making it a very popular plant-based protein source. Other than that, it is also packed with nutrients and is naturally gluten-free.

Taste and Texture: Similar to other quinoa varieties, black quinoa tastes earthy and nutty. However, people often describe it as slightly sweeter. It has a firm and slightly crunchy texture when cooked.

Uses: Some delicious dishes to pair up black quinoa with are in salads or buddha bowls, poke bowls (such as this 30-minute Vegan Poke Bowl recipe) , quinoa and bean burger, stuffed vegetables, as a substitute for rice in stir-fries, or to serve your chilis with.


24. Black Sesame Seeds

Black sesame seeds close up

Fun fact(s): A very versatile ingredient widely produced in Asia (mainly Japan, China, and India) that can be used both in savory and sweet dishes!

Taste and Texture: Similar to the regular white (hulled) and brown (unhulled) sesame seeds, which btw made it to my List of 35 Brown Vegetables (+ Photos!), black sesame seeds have a nutty, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor that adds a complex and deeper tone to your dishes. When toasted, the flavor becomes deeper and a little bit smoky. Similar to all other seeds, they have a firm and crunchy texture.

Uses: A popular way to prepare black sesame seeds is to make black sesame paste which could then be used as fillings or flavorings in many Asian desserts and baking. From using black sesame paste as a filling in buns, in rice flour balls (like this tang yuan), to ice cream! For savory recipes, try some black sesame-crusted tofu or black sesame hummus!

P.S. it’s also great as garnish for Asian-inspired recipes such as this 30-Minute Rainbow Poke Bowl, or this Quick and Easy Sticky Tempeh recipe!

25. Poppy Seeds

Macro shot of poppy seeds

Fun fact(s): Not only do poppy plants produce beautiful poppy flowers, but the same flowers also produce these crunchy, earthy, and nutty poppy seeds that are commonly used in baked goods! Talks about beauty and practicality over here!

However, if you are expecting a drug test, it’s best to skip eating poppy seeds at least 48 hours before since although poppy seeds themselves do not contain opium content, they might be contaminated by opium alkaloids (such as morphine, codeine and thebaine) in its extraction process.

Taste and Texture: Poppy seeds have a nutty and slightly sweet flavor with a crunchy and slightly gritty texture. When used in baking, they can provide a slight crunch to the texture of the dish which always adds a nice depth to the dish.

Uses: Poppy seeds to Eastern Europeans are like sesame seeds to Asians: it’s everywhere! Thanks to a Hungarian colleague of mine, one poppy seed recipe that I still am super curious to try is this Hungarian Beigli (a Christmas delicacy of poppy seed and walnut roll). Another delicious ways to eat poppy seeds are to incorporate them in your baked goods such as muffins, cakes, and bread. Two other favorites are poppy seed bagels and crackers!

26. Black Mustard Seeds

Black mustard seeds close up

Fun fact(s): Black mustard contains the lowest number of seeds per pod: only 4 seeds per pod. Compare this to white mustard which contains 8 seeds each, and brown mustard which contains 20 seeds per pod!

Taste and Texture: Black mustard seeds are smaller and have a stronger flavor compared to brown or yellow mustard seeds.

Uses: It is considered a staple in Indian kitchens as it is included in a lot of spice blends, which will often be tempered (fried in oil or ghee to release its aroma). Tempering also makes the flavor milder and slightly sweeter. Additionally, they are more often used in South Indian than in North Indian cooking.

Another popular use of mustard seeds is in pickles. They are often added in very little quantity due to their sharp taste!

27. Nigella Seeds

Macro shot of nigella seeds

Fun fact(s): Although they are also often called “black cumin”, nigella seeds come from different plant species.

Taste and Texture: Nigella seeds have a unique flavor that is slightly bitter, with a hint of onion-like flavor which also caused these seeds to sometimes be called black onion seeds. Some people also note the hint of oregano and black pepper. As you can imagine, the flavor adds depth and complexity to dishes.

Uses: They are commonly used as toppings on naan bread, in Indian, Middle Eastern, and North African spice blends. So if you want to experiment using this ingredient, try incorporating them into your bread-baking🍞 and curry/lentil-making🍛 adventure!

28. Chia Seeds

Macro shot of chia seeds

Fun fact(s): Chia seeds were considered an endurance food by the Aztecs and Mayans as the seeds were consumed on long hunting expeditions. The Tarahumara Indians are famous for their long-distance running capabilities and they consume chia seeds to fuel their runs! So if you’re training for a marathon, this would be something you could try!🏃‍♀️🏃‍♂️

Taste and Texture: When dry, chia seeds have a crunchy and firm texture similar to other types of seeds. However, after soaking, chia seeds turn to be pudding-like, but you might still be able to feel the crunch if you bite your chia seeds carefully. They have a mild, neutral flavor, making them a great addition to many recipes.

Uses: Chia seeds would expand their size up to 12x when soaked in water! This property also makes chia seeds an easy-to-find ingredient to make easy but tasty chia puddings!

They are also often used as an egg substitute in vegan cooking. Some other ideas to use chia seeds are to mix them in your smoothies or breakfast bowls, homemade chia jam, chia puddings (which is the cousin of a popular recipe of mine: 5-Minute Flax Seed Pudding with 3 variations!), or energy balls.


Small note: since spices are often only added in small quantities and not consumed whole, I will not elaborate on the texture in this section!

29. Black Pepper

Black peppercorns close up

Fun fact(s): Did you know that black pepper actually comes from green peppercorns? The drying process is the one that turns them black!

Not only that it adds a kick to your dishes, but it also has many great science-backed health benefits with its high antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. Some studies also show its ability in improving blood sugar control and cholesterol levels, and protecting against cancer and brain-related diseases!

Taste: Black pepper has a sharp flavor with a piney, woody, and citrusy notes.

Uses: Add them to any dish you’d like! They’re so versatile that they’re often paired with salt in salt and pepper! In any case, if you want to showcase the peppery note, I recommend making Black Pepper Aioli!

30. Vanilla

Two vanilla pods with white background

Fun fact(s): Vanilla comes from the orchid family, and it is actually the only orchid species which produces edible fruit. So not only is the smell and aroma so sweet, but the plants look beautiful too!

Most vanilla produced is actually hand-pollinated instead of being naturally pollinated by the melipona bee that is found in Central America. This labour-intensive process also makes vanilla the second-most expensive spice, right after saffron.

Taste: It has a sweet and creamy taste, with subtle floral and fruity notes.

Uses: Vanilla is widely used in sweet recipes such as ice cream, cookies, pancakes, cakes, puddings, you name it!

PS it’s also one of my favorite smells in the world!

31. Black Cardamom

Black cardamom on a black background

Fun fact(s): Now if vanilla is the second most expensive spice in the world, cardamom sits in third place.

Taste: Black cardamoms have a smoky, earthy, and slightly sweet taste with a hint of bitterness. Remember that a little goes a long way here!

Uses: Unlike a lot of spices where you can use one variety to substitute for the other, don’t try doing that for black cardamoms! Green cardamom adds a subtle taste while black cardamom has a much stronger taste! So if you do want to substitute green cardamom with it, definitely only add a liiiiittle bit!

Similar to green cardamom, they work well in curries and stews, also in rice dishes.

32. Activated Charcoal

Activated charcoal powder

Fun fact(s): Activated charcoal is actually a manufactured product and cannot be found naturally in food. Due to that reason, just to be clear, I do not recommend prolonged and regular consumption of activated charcoal.

Moreover, Healthline concludes that studies supporting its health benefits are older studies and have limited scope. Just want to mention this since this is the exception to the rule of thumb that darker food means more antioxidants, which is because activated charcoal doesn’t grow naturally.

But hey, once in a while and just for fun wouldn’t hurt, right? 😉

Taste: Although charcoal has an intense and striking black color, it is both tasteless and odorless.

Uses: The tasteless and odorless properties make it a great natural food colorant and is commonly used to make black burger buns, pizza crusts, pancakes, cocktails, and my favorite way…ice cream!

33. Urfa Biber

Close up shot of urfa biber

Fun fact(s): A fan of sun-dried tomatoes? Now, how about sun-dried chilli peppers? Let me introduce you to Urfa biber, also called Urfa pepper or Isot pepper🎉

The chilli peppers are dried in the sun during the day, and wrapped in fabric or plastic at night to preserve their natural oil.

Taste: They come from Urfa, a region in Turkey and are a very versatile spice with a smoky, earthy, and of course, spicy taste. It also has a very subtle chocolate-like sweetness to it that complements the flavor well. The first time I tried this pepper, I immediately fell in love with the depth of flavor it brings!

Uses: Use them as spice rubs, in your stews, or as toppings if you’d like a bit of flavor boost to your meal. Urfa biber can even be added to chocolatey desserts to add a bit of smokiness which will balance out the sweetness!


What is the black pigment in vegetables?

The black pigment in some vegetables is due to the presence of anthocyanins, which are water-soluble pigments responsible for the blue, purple, and black colors in plants. Anthocyanins are produced to protect the plant from damage by external environmental factors.

These anthocyanins also have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties that are good for the body. A win-win solution, huh? 😉

Are there any naturally black foods?

Certainly! From black corn, black tomatoes, and black pumpkins, to things you might not heard before such as salsify, I’ve compiled a list of 33 black vegetables (with pictures) here — the most complete one on the internet right now!

Is black beans vegetables?

If you define vegetables as edible parts of plants, then yes. However, they are also considered a type of legume (which is a family of plants that include beans, peas, and lentils).

Are black olives vegetables?

Technically, olives are fruits and they are a type of drupe fruit which also includes cherries, peaches, and plums. However, due to their savory flavor and frequent use in savory dishes, they are often considered culinary vegetables.

What are some examples of black-colored vegetables?

Some examples are black carrots, black pumpkins, or an easy one would be black eggplants. If you’re interested to learn more though, I’ve compiled a list of 33 black vegetables (with pictures) — the most comprehensive one you can find on the internet right now!

Let me know if you’d like more posts like this!

And…..alright, congrats on making it til the end! 🎉 If you’re planning to plant some of these vegetables in your garden this year, or if this inspired you to go on a veggie hunt to your local market/grocery store, or whatever comment that you have, I would LOVE to hear from you!

Leave your comments in the comment box below; let me know what you think about this post.

And if you like this post, check out this 25 Pink Vegetables post (again, including pictures and more details, making it the most complete pink vegetables list on the internet)!💗 Or my 31 Brown Fruits List! 🤎 Or this 25 Red Vegetables❤️ and 20 Yellow Vegetables List 💛 for a brighter day!

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  1. Indeed it’s the most complete list! Love the pictures and the fun facts too!

  2. A great and very handy list, thank you! Was fun reading it and the pictures look beautiful 😍

  3. Great list, makes it very easy for me to scout for black vegetables.