Are Olives a Fruit or a Vegetable? Find Out Now

You may be surprised to discover that olives are certainly a fruit! A long-time common misconception is that olives are vegetables; along with peppers, tomatoes, cucumbers, or eggplants. Shortly, you will learn why olives are actually a fruit rather than a vegetable. 

Contrary to common belief, since olives are prepared or cooked as a vegetable, they must be a vegetable, right? Wrong. Even though they are usually prepared or cooked in a variety of ways, olives are actually fruits. This misconception has been a long-time opinion with olives and many other fruits like tomatoes, cucumbers, green beans, and peppers.  

Are Olives Fruits or Vegetables? 

Olives, commonly misconceived as vegetables, are, in fact, fruit! You may think an olive would be a vegetable, but you would be mistaken. You were today years old when you discovered that olives are indeed a fruit. You may be surprised to learn this new information, but you would not be alone! 

In no time, you will be able to learn every single thing you need to know about olives, so don’t worry! There is no doubt that most people would agree with you that olives are a vegetable. But they would be wrong; olives are a fruit. 

Why Is an Olive Considered a Fruit?   

Since olives come from a flower on the olive tree, they are technically considered a fruit. Fruit comes from a mature ovary of a plant. The ovary is found in the plant’s flower, making it a fruit. What makes a fruit is that it comes from a flower and contains seeds. 

Olives come from a flower on the olive tree plant and contain a seed, making them a fruit. Commonly misconceived as a vegetable, they are indeed a fruit! Since they are prepared and cooked as vegetables, you might think they would be vegetables. You would be wrong in your thinking. 

Although the thought of preparing, cooking, frying, or even microwaving a fruit sounds weird, you may not realize how many fruits used as vegetables are truthfully fruit. Believe it or not! 

Other Fruits That You Might Think Are Vegetables 

You may be thinking since an olive has a seed, comes from a flower on a plant, and is a fruit. What about all the other “vegetables” that have seeds and come from a flower? That’s just the thing; they are not vegetables! Numerous fruits are actually vegetables out there, and most people would assume they are a vegetable from how you cook the fruit. Still, they would be wrong in that thinking. 

Below are a few fruits you may think are vegetables: 

  • All types of peppers. 
  • Tomatoes. 
  • Pumpkin. 
  • Squash. 
  • Cucumbers. 
  • Avocado. 
  • Green beans. 
  • Okra. 
  • Eggplant. 

You may think any of these are vegetables because they have always been cooked, most commonly like a vegetable. The thought of cooking a fruit is a weird thought to fathom. However, vegetables are plants that do not have seeds, such as tubers, leaves, and stems. 

Related Questions

Are olives healthy fat?

You may wonder if any fat could be healthy; there is such a thing as healthy fats! “Healthy” fats are unsaturated fats, including polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. In fact, olives are a great source of healthy fats and come packed with nutrients such as iron and copper. 

Olives contain roughly 11 to 15% fat, 74% of that is oleic acid, a monounsaturated fatty acid linked to many health benefits such as reduced heart disease and decreased inflammation. Eating olives every day can be very beneficial to your health! 

How many olives a day are good for you?

In addition to the fact that olives are a healthy food, eating them every day can also provide several health benefits. Olives contain lots of healthy fats along with antioxidants, polyphenols, vitamins, and minerals and can reduce your risk for several health conditions, such as: 

  • Stroke. 
  • Diabetes type 1 and 2. 
  • Cancer. 
  • Heart disease. 
  • Atherosclerosis.
  • Arthritis. 

If you are an average-sized adult, you should consume around 2 to 3 ounces or 15 to 23 smallish to medium-sized olives per day. Consuming roughly 15 to 23 olives per day can significantly impact your immediate and long-term health. 

Why are black olives always in a can?

Long ago, in roughly the year 1890, a widowed woman by the name of Freda Ehmann received a recipe for artificially ripening olives involving a lye solution, sort of like pickling. She decided to reinvent her back porch into a canning station for her black olives. 

Freda Ehmann’s black olive took off, and everyone in the neighborhood of Oroville, California, in the Sacramento Valley, positively loved her recipe! She had started something huge, which is still huge today! Pretty soon after her launch, black olive industries were popping up everywhere. 

Freda Ehmann had packaged her black olives in jars. Shortly later, in 1919, botulism, more commonly known as food poisoning, became traced back to the black olive jars, making every black olive industry switch to cans. Green olives never had an issue with the glass jar, which is why to this day, all green olives come sold in a jar, and almost all black olives come packaged in cans. 

Summing It Up 

In summary, olives are undoubtedly a fruit, not a vegetable, contrary to common belief. Fruit contain seeds from an ovary in a plant’s flower, and vegetables do not. Olives contain a seed and come from a flower of the olive tree, making them a fruit rather than a vegetable. Olives can be a great added fruit to your everyday diet for a few supplementary health benefits.