Fruits You Thought Were Vegetables

We’re not shaming anyone here, there are multiple definitions of fruit and vegetables, and Healthy Gourmet is just here to clear things up. We explain what makes an edible plant a fruit and what makes it a vegetable below. To get straight to the point, here is a list of fruits you may have thought were vegetables.

List of fruits you thought were vegetables:

By a strictly botanical definition, these are considered fruits. By culinary definition, most of these are called vegetables, as they are used in savory cooking.

  • Tomato – some know-it-all has told you this at some point in your life. Why is it considered a fruit? Because tomatoes form as a result of a flower. Flowers are reproductive organs of a plant, made up of the stigma, the style, and the ovary, which may contain one or more ovules. The stigma captures pollen, which travels down the style to fertilize the ovary. The result of this fertilization is the fruit, and the ovules become seeds within the tomato!
  • Avocados – not your typical sweet fruit, but they meet the botanical definition. Avocado flowers are clumped together and feature a cool-looking layered design. When you cross your fingers for a smaller seed and more fleshy-green-goodness, you are basically defining the avocado as a fruit by noting its structure.
  • Cucumbers – grow from little yellow flowers and contain seeds.
  • Zucchini –grow from white or yellow flowers and contain seeds like the similar-looking cucumbers.
  • Peppers – from mild to “I think I’m hallucinating” spicy, peppers are fruits that grow from flowers and contain seeds. Flowers are typically white, but they could be yellow, orange, red, or even violet depending on the variety.
  • Pumpkins and their squash cousins – just because they grow along the ground does not mean pumpkins are not fruits. If you’ve carved a pumpkin, you know they carry tons of seeds. They originate from a brilliant yellowish-orange flower.
  • Eggplant – from small, beautiful purple flowers with yellow stigma grows the mighty eggplant, which is full of tiny, numerous seeds.
  • Olive – produced when their clumpy white and yellow flowers are pollinated. The perfect fruit for a martini.
  • Okra – is produced from relatively large flowers with rose-like petals and a dark violet center. There is a beautiful pink flowered variety as well.

Honorable mentions:

  • “Nuts” – tree nuts and even legumes like peanuts barely make the list because they are more precisely defined as seeds produced in their respective fruits, but could be included as part of the fruit when making a very selective argument.
  • Broccoli – you are technically eating immature flowers, so it’s not quite at the same stage as the fruits named above. The argument could be made that broccoli should be included in the list, albeit a pedantic and most likely fruitless one (see what I did there?).

These are definitely just vegetables (plant products that do not come from the plant’s pollinated flowers):

  • All types of lettuce and spinach – just leaves and stems of the plant.
  • Cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower – broccoli and cauliflower were cultivated by humans in the early 6th century, so you could call them GMOs.
  • Root veggies like potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, and carrots – carrots have flowers, but the part we eat grows in the ground as a root.
  • Edible plant stems like celery and asparagus – both produce flowers, but we just eat the stems.
  • Onions, garlic, shallot – all produce flowers, some brilliantly large, but we just eat the bulbs. Scallions, or green onions, have a small bulb that we eat along with its leaves.

Bonus: List of fruit seeds that we call nuts:

Just to clear up any family arguments. We call these nuts culinarily-speaking, but they’re actually seeds of the fruit of their respective plants. Maybe we should have started naming these things consistently a long time ago, but we’re too far down the road at this point.

  • Almonds, PecansWalnuts, Pine nuts, Cashews, PistachiosBrazil nuts  – edible seeds from the fruits of their respective trees.
  • Peanuts, chickpeas, peas, lentils, soybeans – edible seeds of a legume, which grow in pods.

Definition of a fruit, botanically-speaking

A fruit is defined botanically-speaking as described above – the seed-laden outgrowth of a plant created by a fertilized flower. Tomatoes, peaches, cucumbers, and apples are all results of the fertilization (pollination) of their respective plant’s flowers. Ovules within the flower’s ovaries become the seeds within the fruit.

Definition of a vegetable, botanically-speaking

There isn’t one. Vegetable is an imprecise and unscientific word. Vegetable is a culinary term, used to describe parts of a plant used in savory cooking.

Definition of a fruit, culinarily-speaking:

A plant part that is sweet or sour tasting, and edible when raw.

Definition of a vegetable, culinarily-speaking:

Plant products that are less sweet-tasting and used in more savory cooking. Tomatoes typically fall into the vegetable category when speaking culinarily. The next time someone corrects your categorization of tomatoes, just tell them you were speaking culinarily, not botanically…. obviously.

What makes a “superfood” so super?

What qualifies as a superfood?

First of all, “superfood” is a marketing term. Basically, any food with multiple health benefits in relation to nutrient density could be considered a superfood. It is not a scientific term, so what qualifies as a superfood is up to the proponent to prove their claim.

Continue reading “What makes a “superfood” so super?”

PCOS Diet Tips & Tailoring Your Diet to Meet Your Nutritional Needs

We met with Krystal Hammett, owner of Alternative Wellness Solutions and certified nutritionist to discuss what it takes to make a healthy diet. Krystal has helped clients with a variety of health and nutritional issues improve their health and lifestyles. When it comes to food, Krystal helps her clients tailor their diet to meet their nutritional needs.

One of Krystal’s passions is treating those with PCOS, a hormone imbalance common to women of reproductive age. Learn more about PCOS below.

Krystal Hammett
Owner of Alternative Wellness Solutions
Certified Holistic Specialist Continue reading “PCOS Diet Tips & Tailoring Your Diet to Meet Your Nutritional Needs”

You Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet

Do you like to go all-in on a workout and then reward yourself with junk food that completely negates all of the time, sweat and effort you just put in? Well, when put that way, it sounds pretty silly. Unfortunately, people do it all the time. A common scenario goes like this: you start working out to lose some weight and get in shape, but lose interest in the exercise because you fail to see the results. How does this happen? Why is it so hard to shed pounds and get shredded? Most likely, there is something going on with your diet that is slowing down your progress. According to our guest, “nutrition is 85% of the battle.” When you combine exercise with the proper diet, then you start see the desired results. Continue reading “You Can’t Out-Train a Bad Diet”

Empty Calories – The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show

Barry and Moe are back to discuss “empty calories” in this minisode of The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show:

Continue reading “Empty Calories – The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show”

What’s the Skinny on Low-Carb Diets?

The low-carb diet encompasses several highly-marketed diets, most recently the Paleo and the Ketogenic diet. Each of these examples takes the same general idea of a low-carb diet and add a few unique stipulations, but the core idea is consistent: ditch the carbs and you will lose weight. Continue reading “What’s the Skinny on Low-Carb Diets?”

Intro to Macros – The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show

Healthy Gourmet owner Barry and friend Moe Schlachter, owner of Houston Family Nutrition and Registered and Licensed Dietitian (RD, LD), discuss and explain macronutrients in this introductory episode of The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show.

What is a macronutrient? How does your body use macros? Should you focus on one macro above the others? Listen to Barry and Moe answer these questions in a straightforward manner that anyone can understand.

Here is the first episode of The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show, An Intro to Macros:

 

 

In a world filled with opinions, theories, and frankly… a lot of nonsense, The Barry and Moe Nutrition Show is all about the facts behind nutrition, dieting, and exercise. Barry and Moe embark on a journey to help explain nutrition so we can make informed decisions to improve our health, and improve our lives.

Stay tuned for more episodes where Barry and Moe compare foods, compete in the kitchen, and discuss trending diets.

You can try Barry’s delicious and healthy recipes by ordering from the Healthy Gourmet menu.

Learn more from Moe by contacting his practice, Houston Family Nutrition (houstonfamilynutrition.com)

 

The Main Obstacle to Leading a Healthy Lifestyle? Time Management

We at Healthy Gourmet have talked with nutritionists, dietitians, clients, family and friends about leading a healthy lifestyle and the main obstacles that get in the way. The most common obstacle that everyone cites? Time management.

Somehow, the most important thing in maintaining a healthy body, a healthy nutritional diet, falls by the wayside in our busy days. The morning rush to get to work on time takes precedence over making sure you get a healthy breakfast (especially in Houston). From a nutritional perspective this is so backwards… wouldn’t we all have more productive work days if we took the time to eat a nutritious breakfast instead of a quick, sugary treat that leaves us in a slump an hour later? Continue reading “The Main Obstacle to Leading a Healthy Lifestyle? Time Management”

Get Off the “Fad Diet” Rollercoaster!

If you have tried to lose weight, you know the struggle. There are hundreds of diets that claim to be the quickest, healthiest, best way to burn fat and lose weight. We’ve heard the big names and heavily branded diets like Atkins, Southbeach, Keto, Paleo, and Raw food just to name a few. How can you decide which diet is best for you? Continue reading “Get Off the “Fad Diet” Rollercoaster!”

Building on Healthy Behaviors

Consistency is key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. As we can probably all attest, eating “really well” for 5 days in a row (while it is a great start!) does not mean you will have lost that post-vacation weight or solved your pre-existing health conditions. Continue reading “Building on Healthy Behaviors”