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.

Click Here to see the Complete Slideshow for Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits

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.

  • 1 Eggplant
    Who doesn’t love this delicious fruit? Yes that’s right, the eggplant isn’t a vegetable either! Just think about its fleshy texture and seeded insides and you’ll understand why the common kitchen “vegetable” is actually a fruit! Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to see More Foods You Didn’t Know Were Fruits
  • 2 Squash
    Whether you are a fan of summer squash or winter squash, this favored food’s soft insides and many seeds classifies it as a fruit. This even includes pumpkins, of course! Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to see More Foods You Didn’t Know Were Fruits
  • 3 Peppers
    There is nothing quite like cutting into a fresh pepper. That sharp, savory smell hits you and you’re ready to put this fruit into every dish you have. Though they lack a fleshy inside, their core is full of seeds, making them a definite member of the fruit class. Photo Credit: Shutterstock
  • 4 Olives
    Grown from a flowery plant, these aromatic, flavorful garnishes are considered a single-seeded fruit, much like the peach is with its tough pit. Photo Credit: ShutterstockClick Here to see More Foods You Didn’t Know Were Fruits
  • 5 Tomato
    There is no denying that the tomato has been the core food of the fruit or vegetable debate for a long time. But the proof is in the pudding as they say when it comes to this food. Fitting the criteria of having a ton of seeds and a fleshy inside, tomatoes are in fact categorized as fruits! Photo Credit: Shutterstock

-- Lauren Gordon, The Daily Meal

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