Fruits That Are Actually Vegetables


There are many fruits that are actually vegetables. Botanically, there isn’t much difference between vegetables and fruits. For example, cucumbers and tomatoes are both considered vegetables – as well as peppers, beans, squash and pumpkins. There are many fruits that are actually vegetables, but not all of them. In this article, I’ll discuss 15 fruits that, as it turns out, are actually vegetables and how they’re used.


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Fruits That Are Vegetables

We are aware that many fruits, such as cucumbers and eggplants, are sometimes referred to as vegetables, but what about the other way around? Are you seeking vegetables that are fruits instead? Let’s look at eight species of fruits that, despite what the general public thinks, are essentially vegetables.


There is rarely any middle ground when it comes to people’s attitudes of rhubarb. When cooked, this stringy, sour plant transforms into an odd mush that resembles pink celery when eaten raw. Since it requires a lot of sugar to even be edible, it is frequently eaten alongside strawberries and other sweeter fruits.

But what’s this? Since the stalk, not the fruit, is consumed when eating rhubarb, it is classified as a vegetable in the aforementioned classification.


This one is a little hard because strictly speaking, squashes, pumpkins, and other members of the Cucurbitaceae family are fruits. However, as other sections of the squash plant are also edible, they have been included in this list of fruits that are vegetables. In particular, squash blossoms, which are frequently filled and fried, are delectable. As a result, squashes can be considered both fruits and vegetables.


Fluted pumpkins are cultivated as leafy vegetables rather than as fruit since the fruited flesh of regular pumpkins is inedible. In fact, their tasty, fatty, nutrient-dense seeds are consumed raw, turned into soups, and cooked into porridge in addition to being utilized in a variety of West African recipes.


Here’s another conundrum. Due to their ability to be categorized in three different ways, beans are also included on the list of fruits that are actually vegetables. They are categorized as fruits because they grow from the blooms and have long, string-like bean portions. Bean sprouts, which are so tasty in Chinese and other Asian recipes, are classified as vegetables whereas the mealy seeds within are labeled as legumes.


Peas are included on this list as well, for the same reasons as their bean relatives. Peas have spherical seeds and green bodies, which make them legumes, just like beans. The delicious green pea shoots that can be cooked in stir-fries, however, are categorized as vegetables.


We have a plant that is cross-classified once more. Because the starchy, tuberous roots of these fruits are so sweet and are mostly used to make desserts like sweet potato pie or fudge, some people classify them as vegetables. These plants can sometimes be referred to be vegetables because their iron-rich, dark green leaves are also edible.


Just like their sweet potato cousins, yams are used as fruity additions to various recipes, but their edible, nutritious leaves plant them firmly into the vegetable category. Just keep in mind that the leaves of some types can disturb your stomach, so make sure you do your homework before consuming them.


Despite the fact that grapes are technically classified berries rather than fruits, the grape plant is also regarded as a vegetable. This is due to the fact that its leaves can be consumed. As a result, even though grapes themselves are not vegetables, grape plants are.

These are merely botanical classifications in the end. Because of this, it shouldn’t significantly affect how you decide to employ these substances. For instance, sweet potato pie is fantastic, but both those tubers and yams may be included in hot, savory meals like Bengali curries or Moroccan stews.

Vegetables that are actually FRUITS – how many can you guess?

Which vegetables are really fruits?

Fruits are sometimes thought of as “sweet” foods and veggies as “savoury.” However, from a botanical perspective, things aren’t usually so simple. So how can you determine whether something is a fruit or a vegetable?

A fruit is actually something that produces seeds inside.  The seed develops from the ovary of a flowering plant, Vegetables on the other hand come from the leaves, roots and stems – but not the fruit that emerges from the flower.

This in fact means that quite a number of foods that we think of as vegetables are actually fruits!

How many fruits do you know that think they are vegetables?

Okay, just for fun, don’t peek. Think of all the’vegetables’ you are familiar with that are actually fruits while closing your eyes.

After that, scroll down to see how many were accurate.

Fruits that think they are vegetables

1. Tomato

Let’s start with this easiest first. Tomato is that one ‘fruit’ which most people get! It is most certainly a fruit – a very popular one at that. This delightful food originally started out as a bitter fruit aeons ago, growing wild  in the coastal desserts of South America. Over the years, more sweeter varieties evolved and were favoured, becoming the tomatoes we know today. These days they grow all over the world in a variety of colours and sizes.

2. Cucumber

Cucumbers are actually part of the cucurbit family (see Pumpkin & Squash below), but, given their popularity I thought they deserved a mention of their own. These salad ‘fruits’ come in different varieties. Some are tough and bitter, others are soft skinned and gently sweet, whilst some are better suited to pickling.

3. Sweet Peppers, Chilli or Capsicum

Sweet bell pepper, chilli, capsicum are all part of the same family. Capsicums are essentially berries with a hollow interior, containing its seeds. Did you know that Columbus gave capsicum the name ‘pepper’ when he compared their spicy nature to black pepper? The original Aztec name was chilli. Peppers vary from mind-blowingly hot, to the sweet variety that we enjoy with salad.

4. Pumpkin & Squash

Part of the cucurbit family (which includes pumpkin, winter squash, summer squash, courgette/zucchini, cucumber, gherkin and melon), with a myriad of different varieties and properties. These ‘fruits’ grow from the flowers of a vine-like plant, that either trails along the ground or is trained up a trellis.

5. Olives

The olive is indigenous to the Eastern Mediterranean area and yes, you got it – is a fruit! Did you know that olives are exceedingly bitter right off the tree. In order to make them palatable, they need to be cured with water or a brine (made of salt & water or/ salt, vinegar & water) or just in salt. Curing helps to removes the oleuropein compound, which then in turn makes them tasty.

6. Aubergine or Eggplant

Either called aubergine or eggplant in the English language (depending on which part of the world you are in). Yes, the aubergine is also a fruit. Most commonly known for it’s dark, purple ‘aubergine’ colour, it comes in many different varieties, shapes and shades.  Aubergine is the prime ingredient in the Middle Easter dip, baba-ganoush. Also makes a good substitute for meat, owing to it’s meaty-like texture.

7. Sweet corn

I was surprised to learn recently, that sweet corn is a fruit. It turns out that each tiny ‘grain’ on the ear of corn is indeed a fruit. Corn is typically yellow, although it also comes in white, blue, red and green varieties too.

8. Avocado

This well loved creamy delight is a fruit. The avocado originated in Central America and is actually a member of the laurel family. Did you know? Its original name ‘ahuacatl’ comes from  an Aztec language (which sounds very similar to the Spanish word for avocado ‘aguacate’)… Ahuacatl means testicle – named after the shape of this fatty fruit. Read All About Avocados HERE.

9. Green beans

We’d be easily forgiven for not realising that green beans are fruits. They are born from the flower of a bean plant. Many of us eat the young pods with immature beans inside steamed, sautéed or even raw. However, if the beans are left to mature, then we are able to crack open the pods to find high-protein, hard beans (such as black beans or pinto beans). These beans can be stored over long periods of time. Mangetout (that produce flat pea pods), pea pods and runner beans are also in this category.

What’s the Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables?

The majority of individuals are aware of the health benefits of fruits and vegetables, but less are aware of how they differ from one another.

Fruits and vegetables differ greatly in terms of structure, flavor, and nutrients.

The distinctions between fruits and vegetables and the potential health advantages will be examined in greater detail in this article.

The Difference Between Fruits and Vegetables

Botanical and gastronomic classifications of fruits and vegetables are used.

According to their botanical origin, fruits and vegetables are divided into different categories.

The flower of a plant produces a fruit, while the rest of the plant is classified as a vegetable.

Fruits have seeds, whereas vegetables might have stems, leaves, and roots.

Fruits and vegetables are categorized in the culinary world according to taste. Fruits can be used in desserts, snacks, or liquids and typically have a sweet or sour flavor.

Typically consumed as a side dish or main course, vegetables have a milder or savory flavor.


Botanically, fruits contain seeds and come from the flower of a plant, while the rest of the plant is considered a vegetable. In cooking, fruits are considered to be sweet while vegetables are more savory.

Fruits Often Mistaken for Vegetables

You presumably have a fair idea of which items, at least in terms of cuisine, are regarded fruits and which are called veggies.

Though they are frequently categorized as vegetables due to their flavor, several plants are really fruits.

The most well-known and contentious example of this is tomatoes.

In fact, the US Supreme Court declared in 1893 that tomatoes should be categorized under US customs laws as vegetables rather than fruits.

Tomatoes are a type of fruit according to botany. However, due to their flavor profile, they are still frequently referred to be vegetables.

The following are some further instances of fruits that are sometimes mistaken for vegetables:

  • Winter squash
  • Avocados
  • Cucumbers
  • Peppers
  • Eggplants
  • Olives
  • Pumpkins
  • Pea pods
  • Zucchini


There are many fruits that are often referred to as vegetables, including tomatoes, avocados and cucumbers.

Vegetables With a Sweeter Flavor

Even while many fruits are mistaken for vegetables, very few, if any, vegetables are actually classified as fruits.

However, some vegetable kinds are utilized in sweets, pies, and baked products analogous to fruits since their flavor is naturally sweeter than that of most other vegetable varieties.

In the United States, sweet potato pie is a traditional dessert served during Thanksgiving. Sweet potatoes are a type of root vegetable, not a fruit, despite their sweet flavor.

A baked dish including yams, another kind of edible tuber, is known as candied yams. Beets, carrots, rutabagas, and turnips are some more vegetables having a naturally sweeter flavor.


Some vegetables have a sweet flavor and may be used in baked goods and desserts.

How Do Fruits and Vegetables Compare Nutritionally?

Fruits and vegetables have a lot of similarities in terms of nutrition.

Both are high in fiber as well as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and plant compounds.

Fruits and vegetables are also naturally low in sodium and fat

As you might expect given their sweet taste, fruits tend to have a higher amount of natural sugar and calories compared to most varieties of vegetables.

One cup of apples, for example, contains 65 calories and 13 grams of sugar, while one cup of broccoli has just 31 calories and 2 grams of sugar

Compared to vegetables, some types of fruits may also contain more fiber per gram. The fiber content per 100 grams for fruit ranges from 2–15 grams, while leafy vegetables supply 1.2–4 grams of fiber for the same weight

The water content is also highly variable. Leafy vegetables may be composed of 84–95% water, while fruits contain slightly less, with between 61–89%

There are some nutrient differences among different categories of fruits and vegetables, as well. Here are few nutrition highlights:

  • Tubers: Rich in fiber, plus a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium and B vitamins
  • Citrus fruits: High in vitamin C, beta-carotene, folate and antioxidants that could offer protection against degenerative disease
  • Cruciferous vegetables: Contain glucosinolates, a group of compounds that has been linked to the prevention of cancer
  • Berries: Full of anthocyanins, anti-inflammatory compounds that have been studied for their ability to reduce oxidative stress and promote heart health
  • Leafy greens: A good source of carotenoids like lutein, which has been shown to reduce the risk of heart disease, stroke and cancer

Including a good mix of fruits and vegetables in your diet can ensure you’re getting a diverse range of nutrients.


Fruit is higher in sugar and calories than vegetables, but both fruits and vegetables are rich in fiber, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. Specific types of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients.

Health Benefits of Fruits and Vegetables

The numerous advantages of eating fruits and vegetables for health are well supported by research.

Eating more fruits and vegetables is linked to a lower risk of heart disease, according to several studies.

More than three servings per day, according to one study, reduced the risk of heart disease by 70%.

Fruits and vegetables may even assist in maintaining your weight control because they are low in calories but high in fiber.

Over a 24-year period, one study followed 133,000 individuals. It demonstrated that people’s weight tended to fall when they consumed more fruits and non-starchy veggies.

Increasing your consumption of fiber from fruits and vegetables could even lower your risk of developing cancer. Increased fruit and vegetable consumption has been related to a lower risk of colorectal cancer, according to numerous studies.

Finally, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables may help your blood sugar. These foods’ fiber helps control blood sugar levels by slowing the absorption of sugar.

According to one study, eating more fruits and vegetables can actually slow the progression of diabetes.

Notably, fruit juice was not included in these results; just fruits and vegetables were.

Fruit juice contains high amounts of the vitamins, minerals, and sugars included in fruit, but not the fiber or the associated health advantages.


Eating enough fruits and vegetables can decrease your risk of heart disease and cancer while controlling your weight and blood sugar.

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