Is cucumber a fruit? I guess everyone have asked that recently. There are plenty of plants that consider being vegetables but indeed fruits. The most famous examples are tomatoes, pumpkins, and peppers. Then, how about cucumbers?
Is a cucumber a fruit? It has a contentious status since this plant does not have a fruity flavor of sweetness. The plantation contains seeds that are used for reproduction, so the variety belongs to a part of plant growth.
However, is cucumber a fruit? Although the scientific answer is yes, most people treat this plant as a vegetable. It is due to the flavor and texture relate to vegetational uses in savory meals, crunchy snacks, and salad.
Then, is a cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? Learn more about it in this article to clear up the misunderstanding issue. Also, you will get detailed information about this edible plant with the nutritional benefits and tasty recipes.
What are Cucumbers?
Is cucumber a fruit It is a commonly demanded issue that makes people confused. Accordingly, this is a product of the Cucumis sativus vine. The plants come in two types, the small varieties as pickles and the slicing ones for fresh consumption.
This gourd belongs to the Cucurbitaceae family like other botanical fruits that include squashes, pumpkins, and melons. It natively comes from some areas of Southeast Asia.
Each variety has a different color and size. Generally, the plant has an elongated and cylindrical form with a vibrant green hue. In the center part, there are many small cucumber seeds.
Why is cucumber a fruit that can be grown from the flowers? It is because they save the seeds that can grow to new plants. Also, the ripened ovary of the blossom will be fruiting. Therefore, it becomes a seed-bearing part that grows from the flowering vines.
On the other hand, its appearance and texture resemble a vegetational plant. It contains low sugar and sometimes tastes quite bitter. When you bring the botanical fruit to the kitchen, use this ingredient as a vegetable to make tasty dishes, pickles, and salads.
Plant Definitions: Is Cucumber a Fruit or a Vegetable?
The question, is cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? Some criteria relate to different definitions when it comes to this gourd family plant. The technical meaning has a causal connection between scientific and culinary uses.
When people ask, “Is cucumber a fruit?” The scientists answer with yes. The fruity part of a blossoming vine helps the plant to develop new generations.
Thus, science has proven that cucumbers are fruits which depending on their biological purpose. They feature a large round part of pistil with thick flesh that brings seeds for the next cultivation. The reproductive product also comes from that basal portion.
On the contrary, other edible sections of the vine that become the vegetables are roots, tubers, bulbs, branches, and leaves. However, this variety does not develop from one of these growing parts.
The real examples are turnips, lettuces, onions, potatoes, and asparagus. Meanwhile, vegetables that are indeed fruits include cucumbers as well as beans, okras, and pumpkins.
Is cucumber a fruit? You will get a different answer when this plant comes to the kitchen. The pepo tends to be a vegetable due to its sugar substance and sweetness.
Cucumbers do not have sour or sweet flavors as what fruits feature. Besides, they cannot be included in sweeter foods like pies, jams, and desserts. Their taste closely relates to vegetables that are hard and bitter, so being cooked as soups and spicy dishes will be more delicious.
Even though cucumbers can be included in sweet drinks like smoothies, they consider vegetables because of having less sugar. Therefore, this natural ingredient will be tastier while cooking salty recipes.
Difference between Fruit and Vegetable
Why is cucumber a fruit? It technically means a seedy structure that sets from the Cucumis sativus plant. Other examples are peas, eggplants, olives, avocados, and corn. If you interested on when to harvest corn, we have an article for that.
In contrast to the botanical meaning, when someone asks, “Is cucumber a fruit?” the general expression of the people defines this variety as a vegetable. However, it includes every part of the plant like leaves and stems.
The leafy greens like spinach and kale, beets, and sweet potatoes from the roots, broccoli, and celery with branches are the examples. Since cucumbers are tastier for savory foods instead of sweet desserts, most chefs define them as vegetables.
While using in the kitchen, cucumbers that feature light taste and tough flesh can be cooked in stir-fries or stews instead of eating raw. Consume the slicing variety as side dishes and snacks, whereas the pickling type is perfect for crunchy pickles.
Varieties of Cucumbers
Regardless of the fact is cucumber a fruit or not, there are lots of varieties that are enjoyable for crisp salads and other tasty ideas on how to cook the plant. They are Armenian, English, Lemon, Persian, and Kirby. Those types come in various sizes and shapes.
Armenian cucumbers have a long and thin shape with varied light and dark shades of green or yellowish-green. They are slicing types that become perfect for eating raw.
This variety comes with thin skin, soft flesh, and seeds. Therefore, it is not suitable for pickling. Thus, why is cucumber a fruit that can be consumed freshly? You can enjoy eating raw without peeling.
The Armenian cucumber has a scientific name of Cucumis melo that indeed belongs to a variety of muskmelon. It is the longest variety that can reach about 91.4 centimeters. However, the best flavor to eat is at a length of 35.6 cm.
English or seedless cucumbers feature a long and thin form with a dark green hue. They often packed with plastic wrap, but sometimes being unwrapped.
The hot-house cucumber has a mild flavorless taste. Also, this type comes in a thin skin and fewer seeds. It belongs to slicing variety instead of pickling. Likewise, its features are similar to the Armenian cucumbers.
The originality of lemon cucumbers has a tennis ball size. Its unusual shape resembles a lemon, so it features a round shape and yellow color, without having any citrus flavour. Its taste is similar to other varieties with a mild sweet flavor.
Besides, this variety comes with less tender seeds and thin skin, so it is easy to eat without stripping off the outer layer. Enjoy this fruit for salads and pickles.
Persian cucumbers look like the English variants, but they are not wrapped with plastic. The sizes are varying from short to long and sometimes with a rough layer surface.
The Persian cucumbers have a small size of about 7 centimeters at maturity. Therefore, they get the name of green fingers. Their crunchy flesh, mild taste, and firm texture are great for adding to salads, slicing, and cooking in stir-fries.
Is cucumber a fruit or a vegetable? Regardless of the discordant issue, this plant, especially the Kirby variety, is crunchy to consume raw. Also, it provides a good flavor for making pickles, so the type has a name of pickling cucumbers.
The Kirby cucumber is short with an irregular shape. Some people misunderstand this type to be similar to West Indian Gherkins or Cucumis anguria. This small plant grows about 7.6 to 15.2 centimeters. Also, its skin always looks bumpy and has shades of yellow or dark greenish colors.
Compared to other cucumbers, Kirby has fewer seeds, so the flesh is very crispy. There are also crests, black and white markings on the surface layer. Other names of this variety are Sunny South, Black Diamond, and Dark Green Slicer.
Eureka cucumbers are versatile varieties that become perfect for both slicing and pickling. Also, they have dark green skin and white spines. These types are the most disease-resistant.
If you want to cultivate this plant, use a trellis to support the growing vines, they will set up the best straight fruits. Harvest them at a size of 5 or 12 centimeters long.
Sweet Success Cucumbers
Is cucumber a fruit or not? When it comes to the sweet success varieties, they provide great sweetness without any bitter taste like vegetables. The features are seedless, smooth, and thin layers. You do not need to strip the surface before eating. Use them in salads and cook in savory foods.
The young and small muncher cucumbers will be great for pickles, whereas the mature ones are ideal for slicing. The edible and thin plant tastes crunchy without any bitterness. Do not worry about feeling gassy after consuming this fruit since they almost have no cucurbitacin.
Diva cucumbers feature refreshing taste, seedless flesh with a crunchy texture, smooth and glossy dark green skin. Besides, this plant variety has snack-sized fruits at a length of 12.7 cm. It matures at a size of 35.6 centimeters long.
Is cucumber a fruit or a veggie? Some varieties can serve both. The Diva is ideal for cucumber sticks as crudites, some pieces of raw vegetables with a dipping sauce. This type is very famous as an award-winning variant.
Benefits of Cucumbers
Is cucumber a fruit? Instead of misunderstanding as a vegetable, the Cucumis sativus plant reproduces the pepo. It is rich in beneficial nutritions. Consisting of low calories, solvable fiber, and a large amount of water can help to reduce body weight.
Cucumber nutrition has lots of essential minerals and vitamins. Its nutrients include carb, protein, magnesium, potassium, manganese, vitamin C and K. Importantly, do not peel the skin while consuming the fruit to keep the sufficient amount of fiber and other substances.
Any types of vegetables and fruits, especially cucumbers, have essential antioxidants that can minimize the risks of autoimmune, heart, and cancer disease. Other properties that can protect people from free radicals are tannins and flavonoids.
Since cucumbers consist of 96 percent of water, they promote hydration. You can get enough sources of liquid from fruits and vegetables.
Furthermore, how is cucumber a fruit? Let us see from several varieties that have great sweetness. They provide freshness and add a delicate taste to sandwiches, salads, and other side dishes. These plants can alternatively replace high-calorie ingredients.
Moreover, whether you define cucumbers as fruits or vegetables, consuming foods with low calories and high water will help to lose weight. These essential contents are available in the gourd family plants.
Then, according to animal research, cucumbers become effective food to reduce blood sugar and prevent diabetes complications. However, it requires further study to know the effectiveness of the properties to people.
Is cucumber a fruit? For people in general, this question almost gives no impact on how they enjoy it. There are many varieties with different flavors to make some nutritious and delicious recipes. The plant is also beneficial for cosmetic use.
Cucumbers work great for homemade beauty applications. Placing two slices over the eyes for a couple of minutes can reduce tired-looking, puffy, and swelling conditions.
Moreover, use cucumbers to make homemade hair and face masks to give fresh aroma and moisture. Besides, they have a cooling effect when you apply some slices to the sunburned skin.
Tasty Recipes with cucumbers
Instead of focusing on why is cucumber a fruit, try to make new delicious foods with this natural ingredient. Cook with Asian-style flavor or combine it with herbs and cheese will be an easy addition to your dishes.
To get a refreshing dish on a hot summer day, try to make a grilled goat cheese sandwich with cucumbers. Use either sourdough or white bread, margarine, or butter, as you desire.
Firstly, spread some goat cheese on every side of the bread. Then, arrange some slices of cucumbers on the top. Next is grilling the sandwiches on a heated skillet, add pepper and salt if necessary. After that, flip to another side and wait until golden brown. Then, enjoy it!
Another recipe is cucumber infused-water to rehydrate you in the hot day. It is an option than just plain drinking water. Combine with lemon and mint for a fresh zing.
Additionally, add other fruit combinations to your cucumber water like watermelon, strawberry, apple, orange, and pomegranate. Mix them in the bottles for a single serving, pitchers to be kept in the fridge, or dispensers that are perfect for large groups.
In conclusion, is cucumber a fruit? The right answer is yes, even though it can be treated as a vegetable in the kitchen. After all, you can always take some beneficial use from this plant.