Are Vegetables are not real?

It is #TuesdayTips and I’ve really been wanting to cover this. So apparently this isn’t very new news, back in 2015, Botanists came out to explain that technically Vegetables are really fruits. There is a lot to this so let’s break this down further.

Vegetables are defined as the parts of the plant that we eat― the plant matter on our plates such as salad, braised greens, carrots or potatoes.

Fruits are defined as product of plant growth (such as grain, vegetables, or cotton), that usually as an edible reproductive body of a seed plant, especially one having a sweet pulp associated with the seed.

So why are we now realizing that vegetables are actually fruits. Well by definition of a fruit, it is a plant with edible seeds, that is what vegetables like vegetables.

Essential the definition is based off whether you garden or are a botanist, versus a chef.

By Botanical definitions is goes by that a fruit develops from the flower of a plant, while the other parts of the plant are categorized as vegetables. Fruits contain seeds, while vegetables can consist of roots, stems and leaves.

From a culinary standpoint: fruits and vegetables are classified based on taste. Fruits generally have a sweet or tart flavor and can be used in desserts, snacks or juices.Vegetables have a more mild or savory taste and are usually eaten as part of a side dish or main course.

So as we can see there definitely are vegetables, however it can be very confusing on what exactly is on which list. There are a few products that tend to get placed on the wrong list. So before we end our #TuesdayTips, let’s cover what is what.


  • Apples and pears
  • Citrus – oranges, grapefruits, mandarins and limes
  • Stone fruit – nectarines, apricots, peaches and plums
  • Tropical and exotic – bananas and mangoes
  • Berries – strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, kiwifruit and passionfruit
  • Melons – watermelons, rockmelons and honeydew melons
  • Tomatoes and avocados.


  • Leafy green – lettuce, spinach and silverbeet
  • Cruciferous – cabbage, cauliflower, Brussels sprouts and broccoli
  • Marrow – pumpkin, cucumber and zucchini
  • Root – potato, sweet potato and yam
  • Edible plant stem – celery and asparagus
  • Allium – onion, garlic and shallot.


And lastly, although we haven’t defined it, there is also Legumes, which are Vegetables. Legumes are vegetables grown in the ground but grown for their dried seeds.

  • Soy products – tofu (bean curd) and soybeans
  • Legume flours – chickpea flour (besan), lentil flour and soy flour
  • Dried beans and peas – haricot beans, red kidney beans, chickpeas and lentils
  • Fresh beans and peas – green peas, green beans, butter beans, broad beans and snow peas.

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