04/03/2014 12:03 pm ET Updated Jun 03, 2014

5 Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits

We often have a firm belief of what fruits and vegetables we enjoy. Out of these two essential parts of the diet, from a culinary standpoint, fruits often reign over vegetables. We can't say we blame people for thinking this way. After all, fruits are often refreshing and sweet (and can be put into desserts). We teach our children to eat their fruits as well as their "greens," drawing a definitive line between one and the other. But not all fruits can be lumped into this general description. They are not necessarily defined by color or flavor at all.

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Mayo Clinic botanists define fruit as: "the part of the plant that develops from a flower. It's also the section of the plant that contains the seeds. The other parts of plants are considered vegetables. These include the stems, leaves and roots -- and even the flower bud."

Going by this widely accepted definition, you may be surprised to discover that there are a few commonly thought of vegetables that are technically fruits. For instance, the delicious avocado and its large, pitted center are categorized as a fruit, which may not shock some as it is a fairly versatile ingredient that appears in both sweet and savory dishes. More surprising than that are the foods like squash and cucumbers which are also thought of as fruits due to the nature of the growth and composition.

So before you go teaching your little ones the difference between fruits and vegetables, you may want to brush up on your scientific definitions of what makes a fruit a fruit by perusing our slideshow.

5 Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits

-- Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal

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