Squeezing enough vegetables into your diet can be difficult enough — and that’s before you start considering that some of those veggies are actually fruits.
Scientifically speaking, a fruit comes from a seed-bearing part of a plant that grows as the result of a fertilized flower. Another way to tell is that fruits usually have seeds on the inside.
Vegetables on the other hand, come from just about any other part of a plant.
Fruits and vegetables tend to get categorized in Western culture based off of how we use them — savory must mean it’s a vegetable, and sweet must mean it’s a fruit. But of course, in the botanical world, things are really more complicated than that.
Here are 10 vegetables that really should count as part of your daily fruit intake:
You’ve likely heard this one before, but many people still get this wrong thanks to its ubiquity on salads and as pasta sauce. But tomato seeds are on the inside, which is a good indicator tomatoes are actually fruits. As the favorite quote goes, “Knowledge is knowing tomatoes are a fruit. Wisdom is knowing not to put them in a fruit salad.”
Seeds inside are a dead giveaway that cucumbers are actually fruits. This one may come as a surprise because the high-water content means they don’t have much of a sweet flavor. None-the-less, file cucumbers under fruit.
Avocado has never been more popular, but it’s likely that most guacamole lovers have no idea it’s actually a fruit. It’s considered a healthy single-seed berry.
4. Bell pepper
Bell peppers are a go-to if you’re not into spice, or really loved stuffed peppers. They’re great in stir-fry or eaten in strips dipped in hummus. Whatever you do with them, know that they’re actually a fruit. The indicator? You guessed it! Seeds on the inside.
Eggplant seems like its firmly in the vegetable category. You’d never juice it, it’s not sweet, and it’s best in savory dishes. But, if you look closely, you’ll see tiny seeds on the inside. A sure sign, it’s a fruit.
Say it isn’t so! Our iconic fall vegetable is actually a fruit! Both pumpkin and squash are actually fruits. When you remember how many pumpkin pies you’ve eaten, you should be able to remember pumpkins are fruit.
Looks can be deceiving. They’re green (or yellow), but that doesn’t automatically indicate vegetable. Peas are actually a fruit.
Okra is packed with fiber, potassium, and vitamin C, making it one of the most nutritious fruits available.
You probably think of olives as a vegetable, but they’re really just like the other fruits on your charcuterie board. More specifically, olives are considered a stone fruit, like peaches, mangos, apricots, plums, and dates.
In the agricultural world, corn is treated like it’s a grain. In the kitchen, it’s treated like a vegetable. But botanically speaking, both of those are incorrect. Corn kernels are the seeds that corn plants use to reproduce.
Also see: How to perfectly grill kabobs.