Home Gluten free diet American to New Zealand: food translations. Coconut products and flour alternatives.

American to New Zealand: food translations. Coconut products and flour alternatives.


We may speak the same language but we have a number different food names. Many paleo cookbooks list food ingredients that we in New Zealand have never heard of. Occasionally these foods are uncommon in New Zealand shops – but frequently they are just know by another name.

Here is a list of common US foods and the NZ translations. Note- not all of these are paleo: *NOT Paleo

Protein Foods

Egg substitutes – In New Zealand we only have carbohydrate based egg substitutes which are not suitable as a true egg substitute.

Canadian Bacon – a bacon roll that is very low in fat


Acorn squash – An oval-shaped pumpkin, it has dark green or orange or pale yellow skin and orange flesh.

Arugula lettuce = rocket or roquette

Bell peppers = capsicum or green and red peppers

Cilantro = leaves of coriander plant

Collard greens – a dark green leafy vegetable – an older member of the cabbage family, I have not seen it on New Zealand shelves. Also known as Borekale. Here is a guide to growing it in NZ: Growing Collards

Endive or Belgian endive = whitloof or whitloof chicory – a long narrow 6” cigar shaped with pale green and white narrow leaves, found in many vegetable shops

Escarole – A type of endive with broad slightly curved pale green leaves, milder in flavour than Whitloof, known as “frisee lettuce” in NZ

Jalapeno peppers – a cultivar of capsicum, milder in heat than chili peppers

Jicama – An edible tuberous root, originally from Mexico, I’ve not found it in shops, but you can grow your own from Kings plant barn seeds

Kale – a dark green frilly leafed vegetable, a member of the cabbage family. It is very rich in many nutrients. Becoming more common in NZ, easy to grow available in Harvest / Huckleberry wholefoods and similar stores and farmers markets. Grow your own

Kohlrabi – a member of the cabbage family, dark green leafy vegetable, sometimes called a cabbage turnip, not common in NZ. Grow your own

Mustard greens = Chinese mustard or gai choy, a leafy vegetable with a pungent peppery flavour. Available in some supermarkets and Asian vegetable shops, or grow your own.

Navy beans* = haricot beans or canellini

Pearl onions – very delicate and small onions, sweet when cooked

Romaine lettuce = Cos lettuce

Scallions = spring onions or green onions, very immature onions

Snow peas – also called sugar snap peas or Chinese peas

Spaghetti squash – a member of the squash family like pumpkin, when cooked the flesh comes out of the squash in long strands, hence the name spaghetti. Rarely available in New Zealand. Grow your own from Kings plant barn seeds.

Summer squash = zucchini or courgettes, most common in NZ is the green courgette

Sweet potato = Kumara or golden kumara. There are 3 common colours in NZ, the traditional purple skinned kumara, which is dense and starchy. The orange and gold colours which are the same as the American sweet potato.

Swiss Chard = silver beet comes in different colours, but the white stalked variety is most common here

Turnip greens – the edible leaves of a the turnip

Winter squash = various varieties of pumpkin, buttercup, acorn squash.

Yellow squash = yellow zucchini or courgette, not very common in NZ



Cantaloupe = Rockmelon

Wheat flour altenatives for paleo recipes and Coconut products

Flour alternatives: I usually use a combination of almond flour and tapioca starch.

Ground almonds or almond flour, very high in calories and omega 6 fats. I’d use it sparingly. Make your own by putting whole raw almonds through the blender

Cornstarch* = cornflour (not paleo but is gluten free, so some people may use this instead of flour if not sensitive to it)

Tapicoa starch: Widely available in wholefoods shops and asian stores

Potato Starch: not for those with auto-immune disorders, but okay for most paleo people. Widely available in wholefoods shops and asian stores

Arrowroot flour or starch: again made from a root vegetable, widely available at supermarkets and other stores

Rice Flour* Not paleo but can be used if you are not sensitive. Is a safe starch according to Perfect Health diet principles. Widely available – inexpensive at Asian stores.
Coconut flour (see below)

Coconut products:

Coconut flour: I often use desiccated coconut (widely available at supermarkets) that has been put through the blender until it is really fine, otherwise coconut flour can be found at online shops or wholefood. See list below

Coconut aminos: fermented coconut sugar – from Matakana Superfoods, and other places listed below

Coconut oil: widely available from the places below and many wholefoods shops and some fruit and vegetable and Asian shops

Deodorised coconut oil: if you want coconut oil, but not the flavour use Chantal organic deodorised coconut oil

Coconut cream and milk: widely available in supermarkets. Look out for additives like carrageenan E407 as it can be a gut irritant. ( Review of harmful gastrointestinal effects of carrageenan in animal experiments) Check the label to get the highest fat content per 100grams, add water to get coconut milk as in NZ the coconut milk or light coconut cream is essentially watered down coconut cream. I like TCC brand that is found in the international section of supermarkets. It has no additives.

Coconut Kefir: a fermented coconut water, full of probiotics: stockists Make your own

Coconut water: can be used post workout or during long training sessions, has minerals like potassium and sodium and some sugars. Not recommended outside of training. www.nuju.co.nz is nice, but there are many others

Huckleberry farms, 

Nature Foods NZ


The Sacred Path

I.E produce

Zenian Organic

Natural Abundance


Matakana Superfoods (on special right now)


The coconut oil shop

Longlife health


Do you know of any other foods that I have missed translating? Let me know and I’ll add them to the list

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  1. re: making your own coconut water kefir,
    do you think its OK to use the store bought coconut water rather then fresh coconuts??
    Thanks 🙂

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