Can you tell apart your fruits from your veg?

Most of us think we can!

From a culinary and cultural perspective we are wired to believe that fruits are sweet and vegetables are savoury – this is usually the case right?

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You will be surprised to know that a number of common fruits are actually savoury

For example, let’s take an avocado, they are found in the supermarket vegetable aisle, so can they still be classed as a fruit?! Well botanically speaking – yes!

Avocados are creamy in texture, savoury in flavour and are often used in salads. Even though it’s technically a fruit, it would still look a bit odd sat in your fruit bowl wouldn’t it?

So to avoid confusion, this is just the reason why supermarkets stick these fregetable misfits down the veggie aisle!

So what makes a fruit a fruit? And a veg a veg?

Well it all depends on which part of the plant they grow from.

In general, fruits are the edible part of a plant which contain its seeds within itself, whereas a vegetable grows from any other part of the plant such its leaves, stem or flower buds (for e.g. cauliflower and broccoli) and does not have any seeds.

So to put it simply, if it contains seeds or it is meant to have seeds, then you can call it a fruit!

It’s strange to think that you may have been cooking your meals with fruits all along isn’t it? Although they grow differently, both fruits and vegetables have a great deal of health benefits.

Here are some popular fruits you thought were vegetables:

1. Olives

Strange to think this salty treat is a fruit aye? Olives are most commonly associated with Mediterranean cuisines.

They are high in monounsaturated fats, these are good fats which help to lower cholesterol and reduce the risk of heart disease. However beware of the sodium content especially if they are soaked in brine!

Enjoy these sparingly as part of a healthy balanced diet.

fruits and vegetables_22. Avocados

Now I’ve already told you they are a fruit but did you know these unique fruits contain more potassium than bananas?

Just like olives avocados are a good source of monounsaturated fats. But watch out for the calories!

Lots of good fats also means lots of calories. One small avocado contains about 150 calories while a large one may contain up to 400 calories! On the other hand its high calorie content, health benefits and soft mashable texture make it an ideal first weaning food for babies.

3. Cucumber

This juicy salad favourite is actually a part of the watermelon family.

Just like courgettes and squash (which are also fruits!) they are made up of mostly water, which is why they are cool, refreshing and light and low in calories!

4. Bell peppers

These fregetables are crisp, mild and sweet and come in a traffic light of colours! However you’d be surprised to know they are actually green to begin with!

As they ripen they change colour and they also become sweeter.

Bell peppers are packed full of antioxidants! They are a great source of vitamin C and fibre!

fruits and vegetables_35. Peas

This is a strange one to get your head around. Think of it this way, peas form in the pod a plant and the peas are essentially the seeds in the pod of a plant therefore this fregetable well and truly takes its title as a fruit!

6. Pumpkins

Yes this giant, fleshy, meaty, savoury Halloween fregetable is in fact a fruit! Pumpkins also have lots health benefit goodies!

Including: Vitamin A, C, E, Vitamin B5, potassium magnesium, iron and zinc! Wow!

And what’s more their seeds are also packed full of vitamins and minerals and not to mention protein! (So don’t throw them away!) How’s that for a Halloween treat?

7. Seeds and nuts

Ok, so they are not vegetables but it’s good to know that, yes! – Both seeds and nuts are fruits!

Bet you never knew that? Nuts and seeds are absolutely NUT-ritious! They are packed full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats and protein!

Did you ever think you could get all that from one plant?

Mix and match

From a health perspective all fruits and vegetables are grouped together in the eat well plate, so whether it’s a fruit, vegetable or fregetable, it’s easy to mix and match to get a diverse range of vitamins, minerals and fibre.  It is recommended that a third of your daily food intake is from fruits and vegetables. Have a go at eating a rainbow of colours every day to keep it fun and varied!

So do you still think you can tell apart your fruits from your veg?

I think looks and (taste) are certainly deceiving! However we must remember that the term ‘vegetable’ is culinary and is not scientific.

But now you know all about the difference in botanical classification, will you think twice and not judge a vegetable by its cover?

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