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Are pumpkins a vegetable or a fruit?

The Daily Meal logo The Daily Meal 10/1/2020 Bianca Sanchez
a pile of fruit: Pumpkins: fruit or vegetable? © Troy Sappington | Dreamstime.com Pumpkins: fruit or vegetable?

Pumpkins are a quintessential fall food that are fun to carve and good for your body. But what really is a pumpkin, a fruit or vegetable?

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Like other foods that are not what you think, pumpkins have got you fooled. These orange treats are fruits, not vegetables. See, vegetables are the edible portions of herbaceous plants. Fruits are the edible reproductive body of a seed plant. Fruits grow on a plant and help carry out its seeds.


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Like brain-boosting avocados and other fruits, pumpkins grow on a plant and contain its seeds. They are also known to have a sweet pulp.

In other shocking botany news, strawberries aren’t berries, but bananas, tomatoes, kiwis and pomegranates are. Peanuts are legumes, not nuts. And America’s favorite vegetable, broccoli, isn’t a vegetable at all but a flower.

Regardless of its label as a fruit or vegetable, pumpkin makes for some of the 101 best Thanksgiving recipes. Canned pumpkin alone can be used to prepare and bake everything from pumpkin pie to pumpkin bread. For all the pumpkin recipes you could ever need, consult our ultimate pumpkin recipe guide.

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