Did you know that there are many foods that are commonly classified as vegetables that are actually fruits? By definition, a fruit is 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, roots and flower buds.

The following are fruits using the botanical definition: avocado, beans, peapods, corn kernels, cucumbers, grains, nuts, olives, peppers, pumpkin, squash, zucchini, sunflower seeds, eggplants and tomatoes. Vegetables include celery (stem), lettuce (leaves), cauliflower and broccoli (flower buds), and beets, carrots and potatoes (roots).

7-Facts about these fruits, eggplant and tomato:

Eggplant (one cup, cubed):

  • 20 calories
  • 2.5 grams dietary fiber
  • native to India
  • the skin is full of fiber, potassium, magnesium and antioxidants – leave on the skin and choose organic when available
  • choose ones that are firm and somewhat heavy for their size
  • although the large dark purple eggplant is the most popular variety, they come in other shapes, sizes and colors
  • British English uses the French word aubergine

Tomato (2-3/5” diameter, 123 grams):

  • 22 calories
  • 1.5 grams dietary fiber
  • 20 percent daily value for vitamin A
  • 28 percent daily value for vitamin C
  • water content is 95 percent
  • contains the antioxidant lycopene, known to reduce the risk of prostate cancer
  • greenhouse grown varieties are becoming more popular and require less pesticides

Layne’s Easy Eggplant and Tomato Stew

“This is one of my favorite (easy) Mediterranean Diet recipes”

Choose organic ingredients when available:

  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 medium red onion
  • 16-ounces diced tomatoes
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

Dice eggplant and onion and set aside. Heat a large saucepan on medium heat, and add onion. Adjust heat as needed to “sweat” onion until translucent. Add diced tomatoes, eggplant and seasonings. Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cover and cook for 30 to 35 minutes or until the eggplant is tender. Serve plain or mixed with fresh ricotta cheese over pasta.

Serves 4

Nutrition Facts per serving: 60 calories, 0.5 grams fat, 83 mg sodium, 13.7 grams carbohydrates, 6 grams dietary fiber, 2.4 grams protein, 33 percent daily value vitamin C, 19 percent daily value vitamin A.

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