How Well Do You Know Your Fruits and Vegetables?

By: Monica Lee

Whether you call it a tomato or tomatoe, is it a fruit or vegetable?

The tomato is definitely a fruit. True fruits are developed from the ovary in the base of the flower and contain soft seeds that can be eaten.

What about a delicious blueberry?

Blueberries are edible blue or blackish berries with tiny seeds. In this quiz, we are extending the definition of berry to include fruit as most people think of berries as fruit.

Raspberries have seeds, so are they a fruit or vegetable?

Raspberries aren't really berries in the botanical sense. They are derived from a single flower with more than one ovary, making them an aggregate fruit. Confusing, isn't it?

What about the strawberries with all those seeds on the outside?

A strawberry is a fruit and not a "berry" as the name implies. It's a sweet, soft, red fruit with a seed-studded surface. They are good antioxidants and provide manganese and potassium.

How about a chili pepper. What is it?

A chili pepper is a fruit that can help keep your ticker in shape. Chili peppers can reduce the damaging effects of bad cholesterol and capsaicin may fight inflammation, which is a risk factor for heart disease.

An avocado, what do you think it is?

Fruits don’t have to be sweet, which is why an avocado can fall into the fruit category . That means guacamole could be called a fruit salad!

What about the carrot? What is it?

Carrots are among the sweetest “vegetables.” A vegetable is a culinary term -- it is not a scientific term and is somewhat subjective. It means a plant or part of a plant used as food.

A potato -- is it a fruit or vegetable?

It's not green, but it sure is a vegetable. It is also loaded with vitamins C and B6, manganese, phosphorus, niacin and pantothenic acid. What would life be like without potato chips or french fries?

Sweet, juicy watermelon is a what?

When you take a bite of this fruit, it seems to contain just sweet water. However, it is chock full of thiamine, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin B-6, folate, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, zinc, copper, manganese, selenium, choline, lycopene, and betaine!

A cucumber should be easy, right? What is it?

It's green, it's in salads, and it's ... a fruit. Mind-blowing, isn't it? A cucumber develops from the flower of the cucumber plant and contains seeds.

Everyone knows an eggplant is a ______.

An eggplant is a fruit and specifically, a berry. A berry is a fleshy fruit that has multiple seeds on the inside, embedded in its flesh.

There are little soft seeds in the middle of a banana, so that makes it a what?

Bananas are berries, which are the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or other plant. They contain seeds and can be eaten as food.

OK, so if bananas and an eggplants are fruits, what is a squash?

This fruit isn't sweet, but has all the scientific requirements to be categorized as a fruit. It is also high in fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, riboflavin, vitamin B6, folate, magnesium, potassium and manganese.

If a chili pepper is a fruit, what is a bell pepper?

Have you ever tried to eat a bell pepper like an apple? It works, but take the core out first. So a bell pepper is indeed a fruit. I bet you're wondering if there are ANY vegetables that are truly vegetables.

How about the onion? Fruit or vegetable?

Vegetables are usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten. In this case, the onion is a bulb and is very much a vegetable.

Broccoli -- it's green, but so was the cucumber. Fruit or vegetable?

In this case it IS a vegetable and is categorized as a flower of the plant. Broccoli is high in protein. A one cup serving can provide 2.6 grams of protein, a perfect food for vegetarians.

What is lettuce, a fruit or vegetable?

Categorized as the leaf portion of the plant that is eaten, lettuce is a low-calorie vegetable which has high amounts of water. It does not have a lot of nutritional value.

What are your thoughts on celery, a fruit or vegetable?

Categorized as the stem portion of the plant that is eaten, celery is mainly water, but it is also a good source of dietary fiber. It contains other vitamins and minerals, including vitamin K, folate, vitamin A, potassium, and vitamin C.

Would you call a parsnip a fruit or a vegetable?

Categorized as the tuberous portion of the plant that is eaten, parsnips are a vegetable closely related to the carrot and are a good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese.

What do you know about cabbage? A fruit or vegetable?

Cabbage is often lumped into the same category as lettuce because of their similar appearance. However, it is actually a part of the cruciferous vegetable family which includes kale and broccoli as well as other vegetables.

What's your take on cauliflower? Fruit or vegetable?

Here's an interesting fact; although both broccoli and cauliflower are cruciferous vegetables, broccoli opens outward to sprout bunches of green florets while cauliflower forms a compact head of undeveloped white flower buds.

Is cantaloupe a fruit or vegetable?

Cantaloupe is in the same family as squashes, pumpkins, gourds and cucumbers. It grows on a vine on the ground.

Honeydew is delicious, but is it a fruit or vegetable?

Honeydew and cantaloupe are related fruits. A melon is any of the various plants of the family Cucurbitaceae with sweet edible, fleshy fruit.

What about plums? Are they fruits or vegetables?

Plums are loaded with minerals and are a great source of potassium. They are also rich in antioxidants, protecting the body against cell-damaging free radicals.

Crunch on this. Is an apple a fruit or a vegetable?

This sweet, edible fruit is rich in antioxidants, flavanoids, and dietary fiber. It has a peel that is good for your skin as it contains B vitamins and vitamin C.

If you bake a cherry pie, what kind of pie are you baking?

The sweet cherry and the sour cherry are said to be of ancient origin, perhaps coming from Armenia or near the Black Sea and Caspian Sea. Either way, they taste great in pies.

Whether you like apricots dried or fresh, are they fruits or vegetables?

Apricots are a favorite in dried fruit mixes, as they are still soft, sweet and chewy after being dried. Like cherries, they are commonly referred to as stone fruits because their seeds are very large and hard.

The fuzz is the polarizing factor in a peach. But is it a fruit or vegetable?

Considered the favorite fruit of Chinese emperors, peaches were first mentioned in Chinese writings dating back to the 10th century. Without protective fuzz, nectarines tend to bruise and rot more easily than fuzzy peaches.

Are pears a fruit or vegetable?

If you love pears, you are not alone. In "The Odyssey," the Greek poet laureate, Homer, lauds pears as a “gift of the gods.”

Mango lovers: Are you eating a fruit or vegetable?

Mangoes are a juicy stone fruit and one of the most important and widely cultivated fruits in the tropical world. It has become a very popular flavor in the U.S.

If you're a nut for coconuts, are you eating a fruit or vegetable?

Botanically speaking, a coconut is a fibrous one-seeded drupe, also known as a dry drupe. However, when using loose definitions, the coconut can be called a fruit, and definitely not a vegetable.

It's sweet and juicy, but is a papaya a fruit or vegetable?

Although papaya may be a fruit you've tried recently, it was discovered and has been around since the time that Christopher Columbus discovered South America.

Is bok choy a fruit or vegetable?

Bok choy is an important Asian green and has been eaten for centuries in China, Korea and neighboring countries. It is related to cabbage and broccoli.

Green beans -- are they a fruit or vegetable?

The green bean has been cultivated in Mexico and Peru for thousands of years. Without it, we could never make a green bean casserole for Thanksgiving. Oh my!

It looks weird but tastes great. Is a kiwi a fruit or vegetable?

Introduced to the U.S. in 1904, kiwifruit are now cultivated worldwide. The green color of this fruit may have made you think it was a vegetable, but its sweet, juicy taste is a fruity sensation.

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About This Quiz

We all know the importance of eating your fruits and vegetables. The vitamins and minerals you ingest can help fight diseases like cancer, diabetes, and obesity. Interestingly enough, many of us call fruits (like cucumbers) vegetables and vice-versa. A definition or two can help.  Fruit is the sweet and fleshy product of a tree or plant, it contains seeds and is edible. Vegetables are usually grouped according to the portion of the plant that is eaten, such as leaves, stem, roots,  tubers, bulbs, and flowers. In other words, a vegetable doesn't have to include the seeds. 

And don't worry, we will call berries a "fruit," Even though they are not botanically defined as a fruit. Berries are known as “aggregate fruits,” since they are made up of lots of little fruits. But for purposes of this quiz, if you're deciding on a berry, consider it a fruit, not vegetable. 

Lastly, we do want to warn you that the answers may be a bit surprising. So don't feel bad if you need to go through a few wrong answers to start catching on and getting the answers correct. It a fun-filled salad of a quiz. Dig in now!

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