Vegetables That are Actually Fruits

Photo by: Bigstockphoto
Photo by: Bigstockphoto

According to Merriam-Webster, fruits are defined as “edible reproductive body of a seed plant.” Most times, fruits are sweet and taken as desserts such as melons, berries, and apples. But some varieties of fruits are best enjoyed as a savory treat because of their rich texture. The fact is, some of the vegetables you know might not be vegetables at all. In today’s post, we are listing down fruits that are often mistaken for vegetables.


In the west, Avocado is served as a vegetable but you’d be surprised that it is actually a fruit! In the US, avocados are used in guacs and salads. Sometimes, avocados are baked with eggs as a nutritious breakfast. Thanks to its rich, velvety texture, it is easy to mistake avocados for vegetables but in the east, it is enjoyed as a fruit. In Vietnam, Indonesia, the Philippines, and Singapore, avocados are used as dessert ingredients. This fruit is also mixed in smoothies.


Yet another fruit with a soft, velvety texture and distinct flavors! Eggplants are typically served as a vegetable in the west. It is used in stews, serves grilled, or enjoyed as a salad ingredient. But the fact is, eggplants are actually a fruit, not vegetable. Botanically, eggplants are a fruit because of the plant’s formation as well as the distribution of the seeds.


Cucumber is widely used as a salad ingredient. It is enjoyed pickled or eaten fresh as a refreshing snack. You can use cucumbers as a sandwich filling or as a garnish to food and drinks. But surprisingly, cucumber is not a vegetable at all. It is, in fact, a fruit. Botanically, cucumbers are classified as pepoes, a type of berry. However, cucumber is traditionally served as a fruit so it is all too easy to mistake it for one!


The Supreme Court ruled that tomatoes are vegetables in 1893 for trade purposes. The case involved Nix v. Hedden, a tomato trader who was accused of not paying the proper import duty on vegetables. Nix v. Hedden, insisted that tomatoes are not vegetables, but are fruits. He might’ve lost the case but Nix v. Hedden, was actually right. Botanically, tomatoes are fruits because they belong to the berry family.


Did you know that all types of squash, including pumpkin and zucchini, are fruits? Butternut squash has a sweet flavor and rich texture so it is often served as a vegetable. The same thing goes for pumpkins. Squash is considered as a fruit because it has all the qualities of a fruit. However, the other parts of the plant are considered as a vegetable.


Just like squash, all types of peppers – sweet and spicy alike – are considered as fruits. Sweet bell peppers, which are typically served as a vegetable because they contain the seeds of the plant. Immature green peppers can actually become sweeter over time.


Just like eggplant, okra has a rich texture and fibrous flesh so it is mistaken for a vegetable. But surprise! Okra is a fruit. These nutritious pods are savory so they are often used in stews as a base thickener.

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