Surprise, Surprise! 8 Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits

NDTV Food Desk  |  Updated: July 31, 2017 16:33 IST

Surprise, Surprise! 8 Vegetables That Are Actually Fruits
  • Fruits are the reproductive parts of a flowering plant with seeds
  • Botanically speaking, some vegetables may actually be fruits
  • Other parts of a plant like roots, leaves & stems are used as vegetables
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 savoury 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 savoury. So, if you didn’t know, here are five foods that you thought were vegetables but are actually fruits.

1. Tomatoes

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. 
A fruit is a seed bearing part if a flowering plant. Photo Credit: Istock
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.
bell peppers
Vegetables are the other parts of a plant like the stems, roots and leaves. Photo Credit: Istock

3. Eggplant

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.

(Also Read: 5 Amazing Health Benefits of Eggplant You May Have Not Heard Before)
eggplant 620x350
Eggplant contains tiny seeds in its flesh which makes it a berry. Photo Credit: Istock

4. Avocado

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.

(Also Read: How To Ripen Avocados Quickly At Home)
Avocado is the matured ovary of the flower. Photo Credit: Istock

5. Pumpkin

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 flavour too which it derives from the plant. In fact, pumpkins are also popularly used to make both sweet and savoury muffins. 
pumpkin 625
Pumpkins contain seeds like other fruits and also have a sweetish flavour. Photo Credit: Istock

6. Green peas

Just because they have the quintessential green colour 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.
peas new 620
Pea pods develop from the pea flower. Photo Credit: Istock

7. Olives

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. 
Olives contain tiny pits which are actually seeds. Photo Credit: Istock

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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. 
The reproductive parts of a plant are known as fruits

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