Traditional recipes

8 Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits

8 Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits

You’ll be surprised to learn that these foods are technically fruits

Surprise! Your favorite vegetable might be a fruit!

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 for the 8 Foods You Didn't Know Were Fruits (Slideshow)

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.

This post was originally published on February 15, 2015.


4 Delicious Foods You Didn't Know Were Anti-Inflammatory

The best part? You're probably already eating some of these versatile ingredients daily.

Inflammation is a normal part of our body&aposs immune defenses. Acute inflammation, which might include a bruise or slight swelling that heals along with an injury, is actually a positive response. However, if that immune response becomes chronic, itꃊn lead to serious health issues such as heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory disease, arthritis, Alzheimer&aposs, and stroke.

People can help keep inflammation at bay by avoiding certain inflammatory triggering foods like processed meat, added sugar, and saturated fats. But we can also look at what we should be eating to minimize inflammation as well. Surprisingly, you may already have many of these foods in your diet𠅊nd if not, there are many easy ways to incorporate them.

We asked three registered dietitians�siree Nielson, RD, author of the anti-inflammatory cookbook Eat More Plants, Kelli McGrane, RD, nutrition expert for Lose It!, and Gena Hamshaw, RD, founder of The Full Helping—to share some of their favorite anti-inflammatory ingredients that may catch you by surprise.

Often overlooked for more vibrantly colored vegetables, mushrooms are surprisingly high in antioxidants. According to McGrane, mushrooms are also one of the best sources of selenium, an essential mineral with potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects. “Shiitake mushrooms, in particular, are also rich in several polysaccharides (the most abundant carbohydrate found in food) that have been linked with reducing inflammation and supporting immune function,” she says.

Onions are more than just a flavor-booster—they're also incredibly nutritious. You might be familiar with garlic as an anti-inflammatory ingredient, but onions offer equally powerful anti-inflammatory benefits. According to McGrane, onions are rich in several types of antioxidants that have been shown to have potent anti-inflammatory properties. “For example, quercetin is an antioxidant compound found in onions that has been linked with anti-inflammatory properties and benefits for heart health, including lowered blood pressure levels,” she says.

According to Hamshaw, soy foods, including tofu, are rich in plant compounds known as isoflavones. “These isoflavones have a known anti-inflammatory activity, which may explain why consumption of foods that are rich in soy has been associated with health benefits in epidemiological studies,” she says. Additionally, thanks to its well-balanced amino acid profile—along with its fiber, manganese, and other high mineral content—tofu is a great source of ‘complete’ plant protein. When cooking with tofu, Hamshaw recommends using organic extra firm and super firm varieties. “Both are highly versatile they can be marinated and baked, added to stir fries, or turned into a plant-based 'scramble,'" she says. “Nasoya’s Toss’ables and Superfood Skillets make it especially easy to harness the benefits of soy foods at home.”

Contrary to popular belief, carb-filled foods—especially whole grains—are very much on the anti-inflammatory list. “Whole grains have microbiome-boosting fiber, as well as a high concentration of immune-supportive minerals, such as zinc and selenium,” says Nielson. The high amount of fiber not only gives your stomach something to ferment, it also helps to keep you feeling full and satisfied as a bonus. “Sprouted grains, in particular, provide an extra anti-inflammatory boost over standard grain products because the sprouting process appears to increase antioxidants such as flavonoids—as much as 200 percent in one trial—and anti-inflammatory nutrients such as vitamin C and manganese, a mineral essential for energizing the body," Nielson says. "I love the Squirrelly Sprouted Wheat Bread from Silver Hill’s Bakery because it contains a third of your daily value for manganese, or their Mack’s Flax Sprouted loaf which has 10 grams of fiber for two slices.”


Southern and Central Africa were the first regions of the world to domesticate the growing of watermelon. Historians guess the fruit first appeared in Egypt in the 1500s. It was a popular fruit in dry lands because it served as a makeshift canteen.

Many coffee experts believe the dark, delicious coffee bean originated in East Africa, where it was first grown in the 14th century. Coffee didn’t make its way to Northern Africa until the 1600s. Legend has it a goat-herder noticed his flock becoming hyper after nibbling a plant, so he nibbled it himself—that was the coffee plant.


8 Foods You Didn't Know Are Radioactive

Support the independent voice of Houston and help keep the future of Houston Press free.

"Tonight, find out why you could be putting your whole family at risk by serving foods high in radioactivity. That's right, radioactivity. Find out more about this shocking, potentially lethal news here on KEOW tonight at 10 o'clock."

Let's just go ahead and beat the 10 o'clock news to the punch -- frankly, I'm surprised it hasn't been done yet somewhere (or maybe it has?) -- and get to the meat of the matter: Yes, that banana you're eating is radioactive.

Bananas are just one of many foods that we eat on a daily basis which, thanks to ingredients like potassium and radium, produce naturally-occurring and measurable amounts of radiation. In fact, that banana is so good at producing a constant, easily measurable amount of radiation that it's used as a convenient yardstick for measuring radioactivity, which is normally measured in extremely small units called "picocuries." (Yes, after Marie Curie.)

An average banana contains about 520 picocuries, due to the high amount of potassium present in the fruit. All potassium also contains the naturally occurring radionuclide potassium-40. Since many people don't have any concept of how large or small a picocurie is, the "banana equivalent dose" is often used to explain how radioactive a given object is.

For example, the average person's exposure to radioactive isotopes in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island disaster -- within a 10 mile radius from the site -- was 8 millirems, a little less than the average chest X-ray. If you ate a banana every day for a year, your exposure to radioactive potassium-40 would be about 3.6 millirems. So the banana equivalent dose (BED) for the average Three Mile Island survivor was 2.22 BED. Taking circumstances into consideration, that would be the equivalent of eating 810 bananas in one day. (No, this is not a suggested hazing ritual, college kids.)

The fact of the matter is that naturally present radiation is everywhere, even in our own bodies. The average human is comprised, at least in part, of radionuclides like carbon-14 and uranium. So any fuss over foods that contain naturally occurring levels of radiation is just silly. But that doesn't mean it isn't interesting. Below are eight foods that are radioactive. Combine them all in one power-packed meal to gain superpowers! (Superpowers not guaranteed.)

1. Bananas: As mentioned above, bananas contain about 3,520 picocuries of radiation per kilogram (pCi/kg). They are one of the more radioactive foods we eat on a daily basis.

2. Potatoes: Your average white potato contains 3,400 pCi/kg.

3. Carrots: Carrots and potatoes together will net you 6,800 pCi/kg, as carrots carry an equivalent amount of radioactive potassium to potatoes.

4. Lima Beans: Lima beans, like kidney beans, contain 4,640 pCi/kg due to high levels of potassium (as well as a little bit of radium for good measure). Kids, this likely won't be a valid argument against eating them, however.

5. Red Meat: Again, potassium is the culprit here. That steak will get you about 3,000 pCi/kg.

6. Low-sodium Salt: Because it's made with potassium chloride instead of straight sodium, low-sodium salt also contains roughly 3,000 pCi/kg.

7. Beer: Yes, beer. Stay strong, though, as beer only contains a trifling amount -- only 390 pCi/kg -- that's about 10 times less that of a banana.

8. Brazil Nuts: At more than 6,600 pCi/kg, Brazil nuts are the most radioactive food the average person consumes due to their high levels of radium present in the tree's root system, as well as high levels of potassium. Not to fear, though: The human body retains almost none of the radiation consumed while eating Brazil nuts. Paradoxically, these radioactive nuts are thought to help prevent breast and prostate cancer thanks to their high levels of selenium.

Keep the Houston Press Free. Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Houston with no paywalls.


15 Foods You Didn’t Know Come in Cans

Canned food is a surprisingly big topic of conversation right now. As we socially distance and shelter in place to weather the COVID-19 pandemic, we’re all stocking up on shelf-stable foods, canned goods among them. Bean sales are through the roof, and canned tuna is having a moment.

But there are only so many times you can crack open a can of chickpeas or tomatoes before you start to get sick of ’em. If that’s you right now, then I heartily recommend exploring the wild world of food that comes in cans, beyond the standard fare.

Here is a sampling of the remarkably wide array of tasty, nutritious, surprisingly practical—and dare we say, exciting—products you can add to your canned-food rotation.

Editor’s Note: The products listed here were available at the links below as of publication. If something is sold out, look for an estimated restock date at the top of the Amazon product page. You can also check the seller’s store for similar products or google to find something similar.

One more thing: Buy only what you need. Per public health officials and retailers, panic-buying in large quantities is unnecessary and can contribute to shortages.

All products featured on SELF are independently selected by our editors. If you buy something through our retail links, we may earn an affiliate commission.


8 Foods That Are Surprisingly Bad for the Environment

Often when we’re sitting down to our meals, we don’t think about the impact that the foods we’re eating are having on our planet. The production cycles behind a lot of our foods have a large carbon footprint, or require a lot of water, or drive deforestation. So it’s really important to be aware of which foods are good or bad for the environment and to shop sustainably.

Not all food is bad for the environment, and you can take a look at foods that have a positive impact here. But here are some foods to watch out for as being surprisingly bad for our planet.

The environmental impact of bananas isn't so much in the production of the fruit, but more in the cost of exporting them to other countries across the world.

According to One Green Planet, bananas are among the most widely consumed foods in the world, and are the most popular fruit in the United States. The average American will eat about 100 bananas in a single year.

The world’s leading countries for banana exports include Ecuador, the Philippines, Costa Rica, Colombia, and Guatemala — which send a lot of bananas to Europe, where people have got used to being able to eat their favourite fruits even when they’re out of season.

But these bananas have travelled huge distances — to reach the UK, for example, the average banana travels 5,106 miles — and that journey contributes to CO2 levels in the atmosphere.

This one might hurt a few people. For all you fans of guacamole and avocado on toast it might be time to reconsider — because, you guessed it, avocado production is damaging the environment.

In Mexico, for example, a great deal of avocado production takes place in the mountains of Michoacán. But, according to the Associated Press news agency, the production and planting of avocado trees uses twice as much water as a fairly dense forest.

A researcher from Mexico’s National Institute for Forestry revealed that between 2001 and 2010, avocado production tripled in Michoacán — and that the rise in demand for avocados had caused the loss of about 1,700 acres a year.

Another issue with avocado production, according to Greenpeace Mexico, is the use of chemicals and high volumes of wood to pack and ship the fruits to other countries.

As much as people love almond milk as a healthier and, some say, better tasting substitute to regular milk, its production also has a significant environmental impact.

According to the Guardian, more than 80% of the world's almonds come from California — a region known for some of the worst droughts in US history.

Growing just one almond requires 1.1 gallons (5 litres) of water. To produce 100 ml of almost milk, it takes 100 litres of water.

We all know that sugar is bad for us. However, not only does sugar do harm to our bodies and our health but, according to a World Wild Fund (WWF) report, it also does harm to our planet.

The report, “Sugar and the Environment”, says that more than 145 million tonnes of sugar are produced in 121 countries each year.

But the production of this sugar destroys natural habitats, requires intensive use of water and the use of damaging agro-chemicals, and causes air pollution.

In the Indian state of Maharashtra, for example, sugarcane covers 3% of the land — but it corners 60% of the irrigation supply, and so causes substantial groundwater loss in the area.

Soy beans mainly grow in Latin America — but the rising demand is causing deforestation across the region.

Almost 4 million hectares of forest land are destroyed every year, according to the Telegraph, with victims including the Amazon, the Gran Chaco, and the Atlantic forests.

With soy increasingly being used in place of dairy products — which can also have a devastating impact — it goes to show that even with the best of intentions, when it comes to the global food industry there are few guarantees that we’ll get it right.

One staple food item you’re likely to find as a prominent part of dishes in a lot of countries across the world is rice.

While more than half of the world’s population depend on it as a food source, the production of rice accounts for as much as a third of the planet’s annual freshwater, according to a report from Oxfam. To produce a kilo of rice, for example, it takes 2,497 litres of water, according to the Guardian.

What’s more, research into a rapid global rise in methane emissions in 2016 surprisingly found that some of the increase can be pinned on the activities of microbes in wetlands and rice paddies.

Beef has become something of a villain when it comes to the negative impacts of our global food industry.

Beef production needs about 28 times more land than the production of pork or chicken, and requires 11 times more water.

When you compare it to other food items such as rice, for example, and potatoes or wheat, beef needs 160 times more land, and releases 11 times more greenhouse gases.

You can read more about the negative impact of beef production here.

If beef was a hard one for meat lovers to digest, then coffee lovers are not going to like this bit.

Coffee is the second most traded commodity in the world and, for many of us, it’s one of life’s essentials.

For coffee, most of the environmental damage comes in finding space to grow the beans. Most commonly, coffee beans are produced in Latin America. Yet, with an increased demand, farmers have cleared 2.5 million acres of forest in Central America to make way for production.

A report by the WWF highlights the link between coffee productions and environmental damage — showing that 37 of the worst 50 countries for deforestation rates are also coffee producers.


17 Foods You Didn't Even Know You Could Freeze

As part of HuffPost’s “Reclaim” project, HuffPost Taste will focus the entire month of July on simple ways you can reduce food waste in your own home.

We've told you which foods should never be frozen -- and stand by those rules.

But the freezer remains a highly useful member of your kitchen appliance family, and should be treated as such. Since a full freezer is more economical to run, there's nothing stopping you from buying in bulk -- especially when there's a sale -- and properly storing for later use. Generally, that means using resealable bags or freezer-safe plastic containers labeled with the date of storage and separated out into realistic portions. Meats, dairy, and some vegetables should not be re-frozen if you've got leftovers.

Here's how to make the most out of whatever freezer space you've got. Believe it or not, you can store.

1. Fresh corn on the cob

Don't you wish for sweet and sun-kissed corn on the cob in the gray and gloomy days of winter? Fresh-picked corn from a farmer's market can last the better part of a year if you get it in the freezer right away -- husk and all. If you buy it from a traditional grocery store, however, you'll want to husk and blanch it before freezing, to stop enzymes that cause a loss of flavor and color.

2. Avocados for guacamole

We know how much y'all love your guacamole and are probably panicking at the thought of an avocadapocalypse. Breathe. While thawed avocados aren't so great for eating plain on, say, a salad, because the freezing process changes their consistency, they'll still make for a good dip! Wash and halve the fruits before peeling, then either freeze as halves or puree with an acid, like lime or lemon, and store in resealable bags for up to eight months.

How much hummus can you eat in four months? Probably a lot. And no one's judging you for that. So go out and buy a bunch of hummus. Scoop it into freezer-safe containers. Drizzle a thin layer of olive oil on it so it doesn't dry out and, when you want to dig in, thaw it in the fridge for a day before mixing it up really well.

4. Cloves of garlic

Chop them and stick them in the freezer. Or don't. Freeze it whole. Whatever, man. You can also preserve garlic in olive oil, but you've got to be careful, because the National Center for Home Food Preservation has suggested it may foster botulism when stored at room temperature. The mixture can be stored in the freezer safely for a few months, however.

A few bags of chips might get snapped up quickly at a barbecue or in a house where any number of teenage boys are present, but for others of us, a partially eaten bag of chips can go stale pretty fast. Good thing you can stick them in the freezer -- and they take only minutes to defrost.

6. Buttermilk for baking

Since they've yet to start selling buttermilk by the teeny-tiny portion you actually use, take comfort in the fact that you can freeze whatever you don't use for about three months. As with most dairy products, the consistency of buttermilk changes slightly after freezing, but it's still fine for use in recipes after thawing in the fridge. You can also freeze one-tablespoon amounts in an ice cube tray for easier measuring. Once frozen, transfer the buttermilk cubes to a resealable bag.

Like many foods, flour lasts longer in the freezer. Surprised? Maybe not. But have you been keeping flour in your pantry all this time? That's what we thought. Most bakers prefer to keep their flour frozen, as cold ingredients make for a flakier pastry crust.

8. Organic peanut butter

Most commercial peanut butters have at least a year-long shelf life, so freezing isn't that necessary. But maybe you rarely eat the stuff and it was on sale, so you bought a bunch. Good news -- HuffPost Taste discovered that frozen organic peanut butter left to thaw on a desk tasted perfectly fine.

9. Eggs without shells

Frozen eggs with shells will crack and possibly create a disgusting, eggy mess around all of your ice creams. Instead, crack them into a bowl and mix with a pinch of salt -- careful not to whip too much air into the mixture -- to prevent the yolks from clumping when thawed. Store a couple eggs' worth (or however many you may need at a time) in individual resealable bags for up to a year.

10. Cooked rice and pasta

Freezer meals are nothing new, but you may be surprised to learn that you can also save time by cooking large batches of plain pasta or rice at once and freezing it in individual portions for later use. When you're ready to eat, sprinkle with a bit of water and heat it up in the microwave.

11. Chicken broth

Chicken broth doesn't last very long in the fridge, but in the freezer it can last four to six months. Just don't store it in the can. Don't do it. Even opened cans may present a health hazard, so transfer anything you plan on freezing to an airtight, freezer-safe container.

As with avocados, a pesto habit can get expensive. Luckily you can keep store-bought or homemade varieties in the freezer for months at a time. Just make sure the container isn't too full or there won't be room for expansion.

13. Pasta sauce and tomato paste

Tomato paste is another one of those things that's just impossible to find in the correct portion size for you. So go ahead and freeze the rest. Again, just don't be that guy (or gal) who stores it in the can.

14. Herbs in olive oil

Putting herbs in the freezer isn't a great idea, since they'll come out limp and lacking flavor. Storing them in olive oil, however, is a different story. (Sure, you can buy them pre-made, but they don't take that long to make yourself.) Chop herbs and add to an ice tray, then cover them with olive oil, leaving a bit of room at the top for expansion. Once frozen, your herb cubes can be transferred to a resealable bag and dropped straight into soups and frying pans.

15. Tortillas

Like other dry goods, these can be frozen for months at a time. To revive them -- since they may dry out a bit -- just microwave in a damp paper towel.

16. Homemade cookie dough

Maybe you love fresh-baked cookies, yet are faced with the dilemma of whether to make an entire batch without enough other people around to gobble them up. We have your solution: Make a full batch of dough, then freeze it into individual globs on a baking sheet. Once they're frozen, transfer to a resealable bag and voilá! Bake as many or as few cookies at a time as you wish.

17. Chocolate

Chocolate is a finicky thing -- sticking it straight into the freezer from room temperature can cause it to become brittle and crumbly. And profoundly disappointing when you're craving chocolate, which is as underrated a tragedy as we've ever heard. The trick is to cool it down slowly. Refrigerate first, then transfer to the freezer for up to six months.


Vegan chocolate and biscuits

Need to indulge your sweet tooth? You don’t have to hunt down a vegan bakery as your local supermarket and newsagents will have plenty of options. Lindt Excellence with 70 percent, 85 percent and 90 percent dark chocolate is a great choice. Green & Blacks in flavours Dark Chocolate, Hazelnut & Currant, Ginger, Maya Gold, Espresso, Spiced Chilli, Lemon and Mint are also options.

If you need a biscuit to dunk in your tea (and who doesn’t?) try Lotus Original Caramelised Biscuits, Fox’s Ginger Crinkle Crunch Biscuits, Fox’s Dark Chocolate Chunkie Cookies, Fox’s Party Rings or Oreo cookies.


8 Foods You Didn't Know Were Radioactive

[T]he average person's exposure to radioactive isotopes in the aftermath of the Three Mile Island disaster -- within a 10 mile radius from the site -- was 8 millirems, a little less than the average chest X-ray. If you ate a banana every day for a year, your exposure to radioactive potassium-40 would be about 3.6 millirems. So the banana equivalent dose (BED) for the average Three Mile Island survivor was 2.22 BED. Taking circumstances into consideration, that would be the equivalent of eating 810 bananas in one day. (No, this is not a suggested hazing ritual, college kids.)

The fact of the matter is that naturally present radiation is everywhere, even in our own bodies. The average human is comprised, at least in part, of radionuclides like carbon-14 and uranium. So any fuss over foods that contain naturally occurring levels of radiation is just silly. But that doesn't mean it isn't interesting. Below are eight foods that are radioactive.


Watch the video: 10 Φάρσες που Οδήγησαν σε Θάνατο - Τα Καλύτερα Top10 (January 2022).