No matter your age, you have been eating fruits and vegetables for your entire life. You put them on sandwiches, put them in salads, casseroles, and eat them raw. You even assume you know what category the foods you eat belong to. For instance, people tend to put only vegetables in salads and on sandwiches.
However, both fruits and vegetables are added to sandwiches and salads because, technically speaking, any part of a plant that develops from the ovary of a flowering plant is considered a fruit, whereas all other parts of the plant are considered vegetables.
The following fruits are often mistaken for vegetables.
Avocados are often treated as a vegetable when placed on sandwiches or used in salads. However, like other fruits, they make excellent milkshake ingredients. Just put them in a blender with a banana, some chocolate, and perhaps some honey. One of the healthiest fruits a person can consume, they contain such nutrients as many of the B vitamins, vitamins K and E, potassium, and lutein, which is great for vision health.
2. Bell Pepper
Bell peppers have a flavor that works well in most savory meals. They are high in beta carotene and in B vitamins, and are an excellent source of vitamin C. Although they are not a part of the vegetable family, go ahead and keep adding them to your favorite vegetable toppings and dishes.
3. Butternut Squash
This winter squash may look like a vegetable, but it is most definitely not. When it is roasted or mashed to use in soups or casseroles, it is treated as a vegetable. However, it is also used in muffins or breads, just as bananas often are. Whether prepared like a vegetable or as a fruit, it is an excellent source of fiber, potassium, and vitamins A and E.
Cucumbers, though thought of as a vegetable when added to salads and turned into pickles, are botanically known as a berry. They’re more than 90 percent water, but they also provide nutrients such as vitamin K. They are also low in caloric value, so even as a fruit, they are healthy.
Olives are often thought of as a vegetable, especially when their oil is used for cooking. The fruit from the olive the tree is a good source of vitamin E. Because a single olive tree can live to be thousands of years old, maybe its fruit has comparable health benefits that should be considered seriously.
Eggplant, also known as an aubergine, is a fruit commonly treated as a vegetable. It has a meaty texture and is often used as a meat substitute in vegetarian dishes. Be careful how you prepare this fruit, though. On its own, it is low in fat, but when fried in oil or cooked with other sauces, it easily absorbs much of the other potentially high-calorie and high-fat liquids.
Peas, or rather peapods, are commonly mistaken for vegetables. It is not hard to see why, though, considering that peas are often taken out of the pod before they are eaten. Nonetheless, the pods come from the ovary of a flowering plant. Nutritionally, they are high in fiber, protein, iron, zinc, and several vitamins.
Like other squash varieties, pumpkins are often thought of as a vegetable. When cooking, a pumpkin is usually boiled or roasted, though it can also be steamed or pureed to be used in soups or baked goods. They are rich in antioxidants such as vitamins A, C, and E, making them the perfect fall treat.
Tomatoes come in several different varieties, but one thing they have in common is that they are all a fruit, not a vegetable. They are often diced into salads or pureed into savory sauces. They are an abundant source of an antioxidant called lycopene, which help protect the body from cell-damaging free radicals.
Even though a zucchini is another squash fruit, it may be the fruit most commonly mistaken for a vegetable. Zucchinis are a good source of folate and potassium, so feel free to continue preparing them as a vegetable.
These 10 fruits may not be vegetables, since they come from the ovaries of flowering plants, but they fit in nicely with things like spinach, lettuce, and broccoli. They have superb nutritional value and taste great along side their vegetable counterparts.