A Science Lesson (from a Teacher)

The fruit versus the vegetable–how do you know which is which?

It is my understanding that fruit is the protective covering of a seed(s), which contains the ovary(ies) of the plant.  A vegetable, on the other hand, is any other part of a plant not containing seeds such as the stem, leaf, roots, or flower petals/buds.  Accordingly, rhubarb, spinach, potatoes, and broccoli are vegetables; and zucchini and squash, tomatoes, bell peppers, and snap peas are technically fruits. 

Now I know we generally call many fruits a vegetable.  I guess people have their own opinions of what is classified as fruit and what is classified as a vegetable.  Generally, if it most often used in sweet dishes I refer to it as a fruit and more savory, then it’s considered a vegetable. 

Regardless, we need to eat more of both.  According to  USDA guidelines of 2005 (they will be updated this year), Americans should be consuming 5-13 servings or 2 1/2- 6 1/2 cups a day dependent upon individual caloric needs.  There are an abundance of ways to make fruits and vegetables more desirable, yet retain there health benefits without saturating them in creams and buttery sauces.  Roasted vegetables are a delicious addition to any meal.  And fresh fruit with peanut butter or atop some non-fat yogurt can be a satisfying sweet treat.

What are some ways that you “spruce up” your fruits and veggies?


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