Vegetables and fruits are not only a vital component of a healthy diet but also fascinating things to explore in the plant world. However, sometimes it can be confusing to differentiate between a vegetable and a fruit. This is because there are various vegetables that are actually considered fruits from a botanical standpoint. In this article, we will uncover the truth about what vegetables are really fruits.
What’s the Difference Between a Vegetable and a Fruit?
Many of us commonly assume that vegetables are leaves, stems, or roots of a plant, and fruits are sweet and fleshy products. However, that’s not the whole truth! Botanically, fruits are structures that contain seeds or the ovary of a flowering plant. On the other hand, vegetables are parts of plants that are edible but lack seeds or come from non-flowering plants like fungi.
15 Vegetables That Are Really Fruits
Perhaps the most well-known ‘vegetable’ that is botanically a fruit is the tomato. The tomato is a juicy berry that grows on a vine, packs high in vitamin C and antioxidants, and is widely used in cooking.
Squash is another vegetable that is scientifically a fruit. From zucchini to butternut, every member of the squash family is a type of fruit, complete with seeds and the ability to mature into plants on their own.
Cucumber is a refreshing, crunchy fruit that is widely used in salads, sandwiches, and other dishes, but it’s also a member of the gourd family, making it a fruit.
Peppers are available in a range of shapes and sizes – from sweet bell peppers to hot chili peppers. They all belong to the Solanaceae family, making them fruits that contain seeds.
Olives are used in many culinary dishes, but they are another fruit that we often consider vegetables. Olives are the fruits of the olive tree, and they contain a single-stone in the middle.
Pumpkins are a popular fall fruit that are botanically a fruit. These large and versatile fruits are packed with nutrients and can be used to make soups, pies, and other dishes.
The avocado is a unique fruit that is often used as a vegetable. It’s also a fruit that is incredibly nutritious, packed with healthy fats, fiber, and essential vitamins.
Eggplant is an essential vegetable in many cuisines worldwide. Eggplant is a member of the nightshade family, making it a fruit that is botanically known as a berry.
Peas are often considered vegetables, but they are scientifically a fruit. The peas we eat are the seeds within the pods of the plant.
10. Green Beans
Green beans, also known as string beans, are a popular vegetable in many culinary dishes. They are a fruit that contains seeds and technically classified as a legume.
Corn is a versatile crop and highly nutritious, often considered a vegetable it is actually a grain that is botanically a fruit. It contains seeds and is a cereal plant grown for its edible seeds.
Rhubarb is a vegetable that we often turn into pies and other desserts, but it’s a fruit botanically. Rhubarb is a bright red stalk that is high in antioxidants and vitamin K, popularly used in many culinary dishes.
Okra is a vegetable that is popular in Southern cuisine that is a fruit from a botanical perspective. The elongated green pods have edible seeds, are often used in soups or frying, and don’t have a distinctive taste on their own.
Capers are a small, tangy, and briny fruit that is a lesser-known ‘vegetable’ that is botanically a fruit from Capparis spinosa plants.
Cilantro, also known as coriander, is an herb that is commonly used in cooking all around the world. Botanically, cilantro is a fruit, as it comes from the flowers of the coriander plant and produces seeds.
It’s surprising to know that many vegetables we eat are actually fruits. Knowing the difference between the two is helpful when it comes to understanding plant physiology and taxonomy. Whether you’re a chef or a health enthusiast, this article should give you a better understanding of what vegetables are really fruits.
- Q: Which vegetables are botanically fruits?
- Q: What’s the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
- Q: Is a tomato a vegetable or a fruit?
- Q: Is corn a fruit or a vegetable?
- Q: What is the nutritional value of vegetables that are botanically fruits?
A: Some vegetables that are botanically fruits are tomatoes, squash, cucumber, peppers, olives, pumpkins, avocados, eggplants, peas, green beans, corn, rhubarb, okra, capers, and cilantro.
A: From a botanical standpoint, a fruit is a structure that contains seeds or the ovary of a flowering plant. A vegetable is any edible part of a plant that is not considered a fruit, such as stems, leaves, or roots.
A: A tomato is botanically a fruit, but it’s commonly known and used as a vegetable in cooking.
A: Corn is technically a grain that is botanically a fruit-bearing seed.
A: Vegetables that are botanically fruits are generally a rich source of fiber, vitamins, and antioxidants. They can help boost your immunity, maintain healthy digestion, and lower the risk of chronic diseases.