When it comes to strawberries, what is the difference between a fruit and vegetable? The answer may surprise you. A fruit is classified as any type of plant that has seeds inside its ovaries; whereas vegetables are plants with edible parts like roots, stems, or leaves. Strawberry contains seeds in its ovaries, so it would be considered a berry (fruit) by definition. And this brings us to the core: is a strawberry a vegetable? The answer is no!
Strawberries are actually berries and not vegetables. Let’s explore what vegetables are, why strawberries are not vegetables, and if they fit in as nuts.
What are strawberries?
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Strawberries are a popular fruit, which is known for its sweet flavor. Strawberries also contain nutrients like vitamin C, folate, potassium, and fiber that can help keep your body strong. They come in different colors, such as red or white, depending on the ripeness and variety of the fruit.
The original name was strewberry, which describes how the berries are found growing in rows around the leaves as if they’re strewn. The name strawberry was adopted later on.
Strawberries originated from Europe but are now grown all over the world. Today, strawberries are produced commercially on farms in California or Florida that produce more than half of America’s supply of fresh strawberries each year.
Is a strawberry a vegetable?
Strawberry is an edible fruit and, contrary to popular belief, it is not a vegetable. The small fruit belongs to the family of Rosaceae, a subfamily of Rosoideae, genus Fragaria. This genus comprises fruits.
The main reason the strawberry isn’t a vegetable is that the strawberry fruits do not have any leaves to be consumed. A strawberry doesn’t quite fit the bill since vegetables are consumed as either roots, stems, or leaves.
What are strawberries made of?
Strawberries contain no fat and only about 4 calories per one medium size berry, so they make a great snack when you’re on the go. Strawberries are 7.7% carbohydrates, 4.9% sugar, and less than one percent (approx 0.3%) fat. They also contain a good amount of fiber that helps keep you full for more extended periods so you can avoid snacking on junk food in between meals. Also, strawberries are about 88-91% water.
Strawberry is a type of fruit that belongs to the rose family of plants. It consists of tiny ‘fruits’ known as achenes. These fruits each surround a seed inside. The fruit itself can be white or black, depending on the type of strawberry. These tiny berries are actually the fruits attached to the fleshy receptacle, which makes up the fruit unit.
What does it mean, a vegetable?
A vegetable is any type of plant that has edible roots, stems, or leaves. There are different vegetables like sweet potatoes with edible roots and tomatoes, which have edible fruits. So by definition strawberries would not be considered a vegetable since it has edible fruits.
What fruits are vegetables?
In culinary terms, the distinction between fruits and vegetables is that fruits are generally sweet and eaten raw, while vegetables are generally savory or cooked. However, many vegetables are also eaten raw, and some fruits are prepared as a dessert, such as banana split or pumpkin pie.
Some fruits which are consumed as vegetables include:
The fleshy and edible part of the plant is known as fruit. As such, tomatoes are considered fruits (botanically speaking) but serve as vegetables in cooking parlance. Tomatoes can be used to make several sauces like tomato sauce or ketchup, which we usually use on our sandwiches and burgers.
The eggplant is a type of fruit. Because it is consumed cooked or raw, has been considered a vegetable.
3. Bell pepper
A bell pepper looks like a thin cucumber that tastes sweet on eating but lacks any trace of cucumber’s water content. In fact, bell pepper is actually a fruit because it has seeds inside its fleshy pulp. It grows on the plant’s woody parts, i.e. branches.
Pumpkins are considered fruits, but they have been used widely in cooking since ancient times.
The avocado is a fruit that grows on trees. It is consumed raw when ripe, in smoothies and desserts, or even cooked into stews.
The cucumber is a fruit that grows on vines and contains seeds within the fleshy pulp of its skin. Cucumbers are used in salads, sandwiches, or even as salad toppings to add crunchiness.
Pomegranates are considered fruits, but they have been used widely in cooking since ancient times.
Okra is a fruit that grows on vines and has seeds inside its fleshy pulp. It is a very popular vegetable ingredient across India, China, the Caribbean Islands, and Southeast Asia, where it’s generally cooked with onion, garlic, or curry spices to give it a strong flavor.
9. Butternut squash
Like pumpkins, butternut squashes are fruits that grow on vines. They have a hard outer shell, and the fleshy pulp is eaten when cooked. Some use its seeds in baked goods like pies or muffins, while others make soups from it by simply chopping up the fruit into cubes and boiling them with water until tender before adding spices to the soup.
10. Delicata squash
Delicata squashes are fruits that grow on vines. They have a hard outer shell, and the fleshy pulp is eaten when cooked in soups or stews, much like butternut squash.
Why are strawberries not vegetables?
Strawberries are considered fruits because they have seeds inside their fleshy pulp. Thus, strawberries aren’t vegetables since it’s not part of the plant that is usually consumed. The fruit itself can be white or black depending on the type of strawberry, which develops from a flower with petals removed to reveal its bright red stamen and stigma. The seeds are found inside their fleshy pulp.
Is a strawberry a nut?
Strawberries are not nuts in any way. They are in the category of fruits with seeds inside their fleshy pulp, while nuts have shells and kernels found within their shell. Further, even though strawberries grow on vines like other berries, they don’t produce a hard outer berry or nut-like shell to protect them from environmental dangers during growth stages, unlike most nuts which have a hard outer shell.
In technical terms, strawberries would be regarded as nuts if you only considered the seed of strawberry, which is hard and very similar to the seed of walnut. However, this would be misleading because strawberries seeds are bot the focus here. We consume the fleshy part of the berries, and technically not the seeds of strawberries.
Are strawberries berries?
By definition, a berry is an indehiscent fruit (meaning they do not open to release the seeds after maturity), which is fleshy throughout and contains a single seed. Strawberries are not considered nuts because they contain seeds that grow inside their fleshy pulp and thus, meet the above mentioned criteria of a berry.
Further, strawberries grow on vines but do not produce a hard outer berry or nut-like shell to protect them from environmental dangers during growth stages, unlike most nuts that have a hard outer shell.
In technical terms, strawberries would be regarded as berries if you only considered the seeds. However, this would be wrong because strawberries plants are different from berries, and we consume the fleshy part of the fruit, not its seed.
Frequently asked questions
What is the difference between a fruit and a vegetable?
In botanical terms, a vegetable consists of consumable roots, stems, or leaves. On the other hand, fruit from when the ovary of a flower matures.
In culinary terms, a fruit is supposed to be sweet or tart in flavor, while vegetables have a savory flavor. Along this reasoning, fruits can be consumed raw in deserts and juices, while vegetables are usually cooked to make part of a bigger meal or eaten as the main course.
How do you store strawberries in the freezer?
Wash the strawberries gently. Leave them whole or cut them up into smaller pieces. Pack a dry, heavy-duty freezer bag tightly full of strawberries and zip it shut. Label the strawberries and lay the bag on its side in your freezer, where it won’t get crushed.
How do you store strawberries in the fridge?
Wash and dry your strawberries. Leave them whole or cut them up into smaller pieces. Place the strawberries in a sealed container on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. They should keep for about 1 week this way.
How long do you freeze strawberries?
Strawberries can stay in the freezer for as long as six months. Beyond that, they can be safe to consume, but the taste and texture will suffer.
Can you freeze strawberries if they are already frozen?
Yes, you can refreeze strawberries even if they have been previously frozen and thawed. They may lose some color and taste less sweet but should still be safe to consume.
At this point, the question of if strawberries are vegetables or fruit is crystal clear. Apart from not being vegetables, strawberries are also not nuts unless you pay attention to the seeds. As discussed, strawberries can also be preserved, so don’t let them go bad on the countertop.