Friday, August 16, 2013

fruit or vegetable: nasturtium

Nasturtium, fruit or vegetable?
How do we know if the part of a plant we eat is a fruit or a vegetable?  With tree fruit it's easy to tell.  But with crops in the garden it's trickier.  

A fruit is the part of the plant that is a flower that then grows a seed, or seeds.  So cucumbers are fruit, as are pumpkins, squashes, olives, etc.  

Vegetables are parts of a plant that we eat that don't have seeds.  Some examples of vegetables are cabbages, carrots, (which is a root), chard, spinach, lettuce.

The nasturtium in the picture above shows the fruit and vegetable parts clearly.  We can eat the sweet flower as fruit or to decorate a salad or cake.  We can eat the leaves as a vegetable in a salad or to give a sandwich a nice, peppery taste.  The flower and leaf come from the same plant but they have very different tastes.  One is a fruit and the other is a vegetable.  

Have you tried a nasturtium leaf or flower?  (Make sure it hasn't been sprayed.) 

You can read more about foods in "Kids Who Grow Their Own Food, facts, notes and helpful hints"