Think you know your fruits from your vegetables? You’ll be surprised. There are many fruits in the plant kingdom that are often mistaken as vegetables. Now, this simply means that some foods may be classified as fruits biologically but are often used as vegetables in savory dishes and hence the confusion. In botanical terms, a fruit is basically a seed-bearing part of a plant that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, whereas vegetables are all the other parts of a plant such as its roots, leaves and the stems. Therefore, it is not really necessary that fruits are sweet and vegetables are savory. So, if you didn’t know, here are five foods that you thought were vegetables but are actually fruits.
This is one of the most commonly mistaken ingredients. It’s true. Tomatoes are actually fruits. They develop from the ovary located at the base of the flower, and also contain the seeds of the plant.
2. Bell Peppers
Bell peppers are actually fruits and so are cucumbers, green beans and red chillies! The bell pepper is the only member of the Capsicum family that does not produce capsaicin which is known to cause a burning sensation.
If you cut open an eggplant and look closely, it contains several tiny seeds embedded in its flesh which makes it a berry and not a vegetable.
The creamy avocado comes close to being a fruit and it is actually one. Scientifically speaking, it is a single-seed berry. According to University of California Agriculture & Natural Resources, the fruit refers to the matured ovary of a flower.
Well, it surely looks too huge to be a fruit, but pumpkin is. It contains seeds just like other fruits and in fact has a subtle sweetish flavor too which it derives from the plant. In fact, pumpkins are also popularly used to make both sweet and savory muffins.
6. Green peas
Just because they have the quintessential green color doesn’t mean that they are vegetables. Pea is a small round seed encased in a pod fruit called the Pisum sativum that develops from the pea flower.
Staple in a Mediterranean diet, olives are actually fruits of the olive tree. They are formed from the ovary of the olive flower and contain tiny pits which are the seeds. Essentially, the reproductive parts of a plant are known as fruits.
8. Lady’s Fingers
Okra is a flowering plant which is valued for its velvety green and edible seed pods that are also known as lady’s fingers. But in the kitchen, okra is primarily used as a vegetables often spiced with masalas or used in soups and stews.