Can French fries really be a fruit dish? What about guacamole? Pickles? If you were convinced potatoes, avocados, and cucumbers were veggies, don't sweat it. Conventional wisdom is often inaccurate. Remember when Arnold was considered an "actor"? Anyway, whether you call your produce fruits or vegetables, there are always more important labels to consider: whole and unprocessed, organic, local, and nutritious. Not to mention, delicious.
Finally, since more than a few of the covert fruits on the list below fall under the category of "nightshade," it's important to mention a group of substances found in these foods--alkaloids--which are believed to impact nerve-muscle function, digestive function, and joint function in some people. The folks at WHFoods suggest that any individual with existing joint or nervous system problems try a temporary 2-3 week elimination of nightshade foods to determine if these foods could be contributing to your health issues. In addition, even those without existing health problems should take the following precautions when handling potatoes:
- Store potatoes for 1-3 weeks in a dark cupboard, preferably in a cool and dry part of the house.
- Wash all potatoes before cooking so you'll be better able to spot the green areas that usually correspond to an increased alkaloid content.
- Thoroughly cut out all green areas, especially green areas on the peel, before cooking and cook the rest for safe eating. If you're sensitive to nightshades in the first place, it's best to discard the whole potato. After cooking, if the potato tastes bitter, do not eat it.
- Do not purchased potatoes that have been waxed, or apply wax to potatoes yourself. Waxes do not help reduce greening and can increase potato decay by cutting down on gas exchange in and out of the potato.
Whether you call them fruits or veggies, pronounce it po-tay-toe or po-tah-toe, it's time to unravel the mysteries of...8 Sneaky Fruits Expose Their True Identity and Their Green Credentials.