As fruit and vegetables come in wonderful colours, varieties, shapes and sizes they are organised into different categories. This helps growers, producers and shoppers alike to determine their preferences. Here, in Ireland we are very lucky to have fresh, home grown fruit and vegetables available to us all year long.
Take a look at our short video and learn about the different categories of fruit and vegetables.
Ever wonder why a fruit is a fruit or the age old question, is a tomato a fruit or a vegetable? Look out for our fun fact below to find out.
Fruits are differ from vegetables because fruits come from the flowers of a tree or plant. When you cut a fruit open, you will find seeds inside. Fruits can be eaten fresh or from cans. Some fruits can be frozen. Fruits help to build healthy blood cells. Vitamin C, an important vitamin that helps a body to heal from cuts and wounds, also helping us to grow healthy and strong. Vitamin C comes from many of the fruits we eat. Another important mineral in fruits is potassium. Potassium helps your heart to stay healthy and strong. Fruits come in different shapes and sizes and it is important to eat the skin of fruits like apples and pears to ensure we get lots of fibre in our diet.
Vegetables come in many types: seeds, roots, tubers, stems and leaves. Carrots and potatoes are vegetables that grow underneath the ground as part of the roots of the plant. Vegetables grow out of the ground, and can be found in a garden or on large farms. After harvest, some vegetables go to packaging plants where companies cook them and put them into cans, such as sweetcorn. Some companies freeze them to make them available in the supermarket and frozen vegetables are just as nutritious as the fresh versions. Frozen vegetables are particularly convenient as they keep longer when we cannot get to the shops as often. Vegetables give the body many vitamins, including vitamin A and folic acid. These help to keep the organs in your body healthy and working well.
Vegetables are classified according to which part of the plant is eaten. Some vegetables fit into more than one category when several different parts of the plant are edible, e.g. both the roots and leaves of beetroot can be eaten.
|Usually grow just below the surface of the ground and produce a fleshy, leafy shoot above ground. Bulbs usually consist of layers, or clustered segments.||fennel, garlic, leek, onion, shallot, spring onion|
|The edible flowers of certain vegetables.||cauliflower, broccoli, courgette|
|Fruits||Vegetable fruits are fleshy and contain seeds.||bitter melon, chilli, courgette, cucumber, aubergine, fuzzy melon, pumpkin, tomato|
|Fungi||When referring to vegetables, fungi are commonly known as mushrooms||button white, Swiss brown, cup (opened not flat), oyster, Portobello (brown flat or cup), truffle - black and white|
|Leaves||The edible leaves of plants.||Brussels sprout, cabbage, lettuce, spinach, watercress,|
|Roots||Usually a long or round-shaped taproot.||beetroot, carrot, celery root, parsnip, radish, swede, turnip|
|Seeds||(Legumes) apart from sweet corn, seeds grow in pods which are sometimes eaten along with the seed.||bean (green, French, butter, snake), broad bean, pea, sweet corn|
|Stems||The edible stalks of plants when the stalk is the main part of the vegetable.||asparagus, celery|
|Tubers||Vegetables which grow underground on the root of a plant.||earth gem, kumara, potato|