A–Z of fruit and vegetables
Here's our choice of fruit or veg for almost every letter of the alphabet. Can you come up with some more?
There are so many different types of vegetables and fruit! In fact, at least one for almost every letter of the alphabet.
Can you remember them all? Play the A–Z skipping challenge where you go through the alphabet naming one fruit or vegetable for every skip!
Explore our list of fruit and veg, plus learn fun facts about them.
Did you know there are thousands of different types of apples? Granny Smith, Royal Gala, Golden Delicious and Pink Lady are just a few that are grown around the world. They can be eaten lots of different ways. Did you know you can cook apples? Why not try dried apple rings as a healthy snack – remove the core, thinly slice the apple and bake the rings in the oven at a low heat for about an hour. Or try our baked apples recipe.
Butternut squash is a large and pear-shaped fruit with a golden-brown to yellow skin. Because it contains seeds, it is actually classed as a fruit rather than a vegetable. Once peeled and cooked, the flesh is soft and sweet. It can be roasted, pureed, mashed or used in soups or casseroles. It's a good source of beta-carotene, which is turned into vitamin A in the body. Beta-carotene gives the flesh its bright orange colour. Bulk up a spaghetti bolognese by adding some butternut squash.
Carrots are a root vegetable which means they grow underground. They can be used in all sorts of dishes – from casseroles to cakes. Raw carrots are great to crunch on as a snack and they make a healthy juice too. They contain lots of beta-carotene – this helps keep our eyes and skin healthy.
These fruit come from the date palm tree and grow abundantly in the Middle East. Dried dates make a super-sweet snack and are full of fibre. They can be chopped and sprinkled on cereal or baked into a muffin.
These little, dark-coloured berries grow on bushes all over the UK countryside during the summer. They are not good to eat raw but are berry nice cooked with other fruit in desserts, or they can be used to make jam. You can also make elderberry cordial.
This vegetable tastes a bit like liquorice! Fennel is a plant that grows in the ground. A bulb shape grows at the base of the plant, and this is the part that you eat. Raw fennel adds a super crunchy taste to salads. You can also slice it and cook it like onion or celery to use in casseroles. When cooked, it goes really well with fish. The feathery leaves and seeds add flavouring to cooking, just like herbs. Discover when fennel grows in our guide to what's in season.
French beans, runner beans, common beans, bobby beans, string beans, Thai beans, wax beans and haricots verts are all names for different types of green bean! Wax beans aren't even green – they can be yellow or purple! Green beans are picked when they are very young – they should be bright in colour and firm. If the pods are bendy, they won't taste sweet and crunchy! To eat the beans, the ends should be chopped off – this is called topping and tailing. They only need to be cooked in boiling water for a few minutes then they are ready to eat.
These little beans are white and grow all over the world. Baking them gives you baked beans – the beans are cooked in a tomato sauce! Try them on toast for breakfast. Beans are great for giving you energy. Instead of baked potatoes with your usual baked beans, try our recipe using kidney beans.
There are many, many kinds of lettuce to choose from. Iceberg lettuce has a cool, crisp taste. It adds lots of crunch to a sandwich! Iceberg lettuce leaves can make a good wrapper for other foods – try wrapping one around a piece of cheese or a boiled egg. Other types of lettuce can be curly, dark green or even red!
The knobbly Jerusalem artichoke isn't a type of artichoke and it does not come from Jerusalem! It tastes similar to an artichoke which is where it gets its name. It is related to the pretty sunflower. The bit of it we eat is an ugly little tuber (like a small thin potato). The yummy white flesh inside tastes amazing.
Hairy on the outside and soft in the middle, the kiwi is one of the few fruits that are green when ripe. One kiwi fruit contains all the vitamin C you need for the whole day. Vitamin C helps your body to heal cuts and bruises, and to fight colds. Check out what else your body needs to be healthy.
These are in the same family as onion and garlic – they are allium vegetables. Leeks need to be washed well to remove any dirt and grit between the white sections. You can boil or steam leeks to add to a recipe or stir fry them with other vegetables. They are in season in the UK during the winter months and are a good source of fibre. Our leek and sweet potato soup recipe is easy for you to cook.
There are many varieties of melon – honeydew, cantaloupe and galia – to name a few. The flesh of these different melons, which is the bit we eat, comes in different colours. Cantaloupe is usually orange because it is high in beta-carotene, honeydew is usually pale-green to yellow and galia is usually a deeper green. Unlike what its name may suggest, the watermelon is not actually a melon, just a distant relative of the melon. Its flesh is usually pink as it is high in the antioxidant lycopene. Melons grow on a vine and have a strong outer skin to protect them, which we don't eat. Melon goes well chopped up in a fruit salad, adding lots of colour and flavour. It is very refreshing as a snack in the summer too!
Your brain looks like a giant walnut. To make it grow it needs protein, which is found in nuts! A nut is actually a fruit, or the seed of a fruit. There are lots of different kinds but they all have a hard, dry shell around a kernel (the part of the nut you eat). A Brazil nut tree can live for 500 years!
WARNING: Children under five years should not be given whole or chopped nuts due to the risk of choking. And don't eat nuts if you are allergic to them!
One of the most popular fruits in the world. They grow well in countries such as Spain and Italy, where for much of the year it's hot and sunny during the day and cooler at night. A glass of pure orange juice counts as one of your 5 A DAY. Try cutting an orange into quarters and freezing it to make a healthy, cool treat.
You may well recognise red, yellow, green and orange peppers, but did you know that some are even white or purple? If you're not fond of the way one colour tastes, try another. The green ones are less sweet – red peppers are actually ripened green peppers. They are delicious roasted!
This fruit comes from the same family as the pear, but it can't be eaten raw. Slices of quince go well with apple in desserts such as apple crumble. Quince smells of perfume when cooked, and some people use it as an air freshener for their home or car.
While some radishes are small and red, others are large, white and shaped like carrots. Some of the red ones have pretty names like Cherry Belle and Scarlet Globe. Radishes give salad a real ZING! They have a peppery taste and are really crunchy.
Anyone for tennis? Followed by strawberries of course. Around 25,000kg of strawberries are eaten at the famous Wimbledon tennis tournament each year. The strawberry is actually a member of the rose family! They are the only fruit to have their seeds on the outside – one strawberry can have as many as 200 seeds. Grow your own strawberries!
The long debate – is it a fruit or a vegetable? Answer – it’s definitely a fruit and that’s because it has seeds and grows from the flower of a plant. Take your pick from well-known cherry, beef or plum tomatoes, but keep a lookout for exciting Caspian Pink, Big Mama and Sunrise Bumble Bee varieties. Pop some small, sweet tomatoes in salads or lunchboxes as a tasty snack. Tomatoes are easy to grow in a pot in the garden or on a windowsill, too.
An ugli fruit is a cross between a grapefruit and a mandarin. It is about the size of a grapefruit but it tastes a bit sweeter and has a wrinkly skin that peels easily. This fruit comes from Jamaica and is also grown in the US. Despite its name, it's not that ugly although it can look strange because its yellowy-green skin is thick, rough and puffy, and sometimes a bit blotchy.
Plums come in all sorts of colours but Victoria plums are dark red. They are grown in England and are sweet when eaten raw or can be cooked in tarts and crumbles.
Watercress is grown in water! Give friends a top tip – it will last longer in the fridge if it's kept in a jar of water. It's tastiest in the three Ss: salads, sandwiches and soups. Try saying that quickly!
The skin of a yam is thick and rough like the bark of a tree! Yams are a bit like potatoes but their flesh can be white, yellow or even purple. They grow in hot countries in the Caribbean and Africa, where people mash them up and eat them in spicy stews and soups. Unbelievably, a yam can grow to be heavier than a human adult!
The American name for a courgette. Courgettes come from the squash family and grow into marrows if not picked early. They look quite like cucumbers, have very soft seeds and can be cooked with onions, tomatoes, aubergines and peppers to make ratatouille.