When thinking about green fruits, popular fruits such as apples, grapes, and pears are among the first to come to mind. However, there are many more that are just as enjoyable to eat throughout the year as a snack or as an ingredient in your favorite recipe. In this list of green fruits, I share 30 delicious and nutritious pieces of produce that you can eat raw, cook, and incorporate into your savory dishes, baked goods, and desserts– including fruits that you have probably mistaken for a vegetable!
- The Best Green Fruits
- 1. Granny Smith Apples
- 2. Thompson Seedless Grapes
- 3. Green Pears
- 4. Green Star Fruit
- 5. Sour Green Plums
- 6. Limes
- 7. Cucumbers
- 8. Sweet Green Orange
- 9. Ugli Fruit
- 10. Custard Apples
- 11. Honeydew Melon
- 12. Mexican Sour Cucumber
- 13. Kiwi Fruit
- 14. Avocados
- 15. Breadfruit
- 16. Pawpaw
- 17. Gooseberries
- 18. Plantains
- 19. Green Mangoes
- 20. Feijoa
- 21. Chayote
- 22. Guava
- 23. Horned Melon
- 24. Noni
- 25. Jackfruit
- 26. Durian Fruit
- 27. Soursop
- 28. Greengage Plums
- 29. Green Pepper
- 30. Zucchini
- Green Fruits FAQs
- Related Green Fruits Recipes
The Best Green Fruits
1. Granny Smith Apples
Also known as the green apple or sour apple, Granny Smith apples are some of the most well-known and delicious on the green fruits list. They are waxy with a bright green color and crisp and tart in flavor. Unlike other apple varieties, green apples have a firm texture and will not get mushy in the oven. For this reason, they are popular in baked recipes such as my easy apple hand pies and puff pastry apple turnovers. Green apples are also great snacks you can eat whole or cut into slices.
2. Thompson Seedless Grapes
More commonly known as green grapes, Thompson seedless grapes are another popular sweet green fruit and the most widespread grape variety. Green grapes are small and shiny, round- or oval-shaped fruits that grow in bunches on vines. They have bright green skin and soft, light green flesh with a sweet and sometimes sour flavor. Grapes are delicious snacks that are always available in your local grocery store. You can eat right off the vine as a snack or use them in parfaits, fruit salads, and jams.
3. Green Pears
Green pears are one of the most popular varieties of pears that you can mostly find during the cooler months of the year. These light green fruits have a unique shape that resembles an upside-down light bulb and soft, tender, sweet, and juicy flesh. Green pears are excellent snacks that you can peel and slice or eat with the skin on. They are also great when peeled, deseeded, and used in baked recipes such as my pear walnut galette.
4. Green Star Fruit
Star fruit is a tropical fruit that, as you may have guessed, has the shape of a star when sliced. When ripe, starfruits turn yellow with light green patches. However, they are completely edible and still delicious when eaten while green. To eat them raw, you must first remove the seeds. In addition to being a sweet green snack, you can also use them in smoothies, salads, pies, puddings, and to enhance savory dishes. You can also use them as a garnish for your favorite fruity cocktail!
5. Sour Green Plums
Sometimes confused for green apples, sour green plums have a small shape, smooth green skin, light green flesh, and a white pit at the center. They have an extremely tart flavor that is too sour to eat raw. Instead, they are best used in cooking to enhance the flavor of various dishes, sauces, and relishes.
Limes are a common green citrus fruit that you will find in nearly every local grocery store. Although similar in shape to lemons, limes are slightly smaller, sweeter, and have a deep green skin color. Limes have a versatile sweet and sour flavor and are most popular in savory Mexican and Indian dishes. You can also use them in cocktails, baked goods, and desserts such as pies, ice creams, tarts, and cakes.
While many may think of cucumbers as vegetables, they are actually fruits! Believe it or not, they are considered to be a type of berry called a "pepo." These refreshing green fruits have a long, cylindrical shape with deep green skin and light green flesh. They are full of edible seeds with a crisp texture and mild flavor. Cucumbers are often eaten raw as a healthy snack or added to salads. However, they are also popular additions to cocktails and flavored water.
8. Sweet Green Orange
As its name suggests, sweet green oranges have a green skin and an orange flesh. They are considered a hybrid between a mandarin and pomelo, with a sweet, citrusy, and acidic flavor similar to oranges and tangerines. You can use sweet green oranges just like you would a regular orange. You can slice and eat it raw, add it to sauces, or use it to garnish and flavor baked goods such as my chocolate orange bundt cake.
9. Ugli Fruit
Also known as the Jamaican tangelo, the ugli fruit is a cross between an orange and a grapefruit. It has thick skin that ranges in color from lime-green to light orange-yellow (as shown above) and a juicy, citrusy, yellow-orange flesh. Its flavor is sweeter than a grapefruit, yet more tart than an orange, and can be eaten raw like most other citrus fruits. It is delicious as a snack or a dessert!
10. Custard Apples
Custard apples (a/k/a custard fruits) are unique green fruits that appear similar to a tiny pinecone. They have thick, bumpy, leathery skin that makes them seem not to be edible. However, when cut open, they have a creamy and delicious tropical-flavored flesh. You can enjoy them raw, in fruit salads, and in dairy treats such as milkshakes, ice cream, and yogurt drinks. However, the black seeds in the flesh are highly toxic, so you must remove them before eating the fruit.
11. Honeydew Melon
Honeydew melons are similar to cantaloupe, with a tough and scaly, pale green outer rind and a light-green, whitish flesh with yellow-brown seeds. When ripe, the flesh of melons is very sweet and soft. You can easily remove the seeds with a spoon before enjoying them as a snack or as an addition to salads and smoothies. You can also juice and puree them and freeze them into refreshing popsicle sticks!
12. Mexican Sour Cucumber
Unlike a regular cucumber, Mexican sour cucumbers (also known as cucamelon fruit) are extremely sweet with a flavor that resembles a cucumber crossed with a lemon. Their appearance favors a watermelon, although they are only the size of a grape. You can enjoy these unique and delicious green fruits as a snack, blended into salsa, or sliced and added to a salad.
13. Kiwi Fruit
Kiwis are delicious tropical fruits with a sweet-tart flavor that can be similar to pineapples, strawberries, and bananas, depending on how ripe it is. They have an oval shape and brown fuzzy skin with bright green flesh and tiny black seeds. You can eat kiwi raw or add it to salads, smoothies, and mixed tropical drinks.
Much to the surprise of many, avocados are fruits and not vegetables! These popular fruits have a tough outer skin that is bright green when unripe and dark green when ripe. Its flesh can range from firm and lighter yellow when unripe to creamy and light green when ripe. Avocados are most delicious when sliced into salads, mashed into guacamole, or spread on toast. You must remove the large pit in the center before consumption, but it is best kept intact until use to prevent browning.
Breadfruits are tropical green fruits with bumpy skin that resembles bread and a starchy flavor similar to a potato. As it matures, its skin turns a greenish-yellow and brown color. You can cook and eat breadfruit raw, add it to savory dishes such as curries, stews, and chowders, or add it to desserts and sweet recipes such as pancakes, puddings, and flans.
Native to North America, the pawpaw (also called the pawpaw apple or custard banana) has a bright green outer skin with dark speckles and creamy, white, or bright yellow flesh with large dark seeds. Its tropical flavor makes it a delicious addition to sweet dishes and desserts such as puddings, ice creams, pies, and breads. You can use pawpaw as a substitute for bananas in recipes such as my banana mini muffins or caramelized banana tart. You can also eat it raw; however, the skin and seeds are toxic when chewed and must first be removed.
Like grapes, gooseberries are small and round with a light green, sometimes transparent skin. They have a soft flesh and are very tart in flavor. Although you can eat them raw, they are very sour and have several tiny seeds in the center. That said, it is best to cook them or use them in jams, tarts, sauces, and smoothies.
Also known as cooking bananas or green bananas, plantains have a shape similar to a typical yellow banana. Its color can range from green to yellow to black, depending on its level of ripeness. However, unlike regular bananas, they are hard and difficult to peel and have a milder flavor. For this reason, they are best when cooked in dishes and desserts versus eaten raw.
19. Green Mangoes
Green mangos are a variety of mangoes with green skin and fibrous, pale yellow flesh. They are juicy with a sweet and sometimes slightly sour flavor. You can enjoy these green fruits on their own, slice and add them to salads, blend them into juices, or include them in desserts such as my mango vanilla tart.
Also known as the pineapple guava, feijoa is a small green fruit with a sweet and floral aroma and a flavor that tastes like a mix of strawberries, guava, and pineapple. It has a creamy white flesh that you can eat raw after you cut the fruit and scoop it out. You can also use feijoa as a substitute for apples or pears in some recipes.
With an appearance similar to a pear, chayote has bright green skin and light green to white flesh. However, it has a mild flavor more related to a squash. For this reason, it is more often used as a vegetable in recipes. You can season and eat chayote raw or roast and sautee it.
Guavas are a beautiful and flavorful tropical fruit with green skin and bright red or pink flesh. Its flavor is slightly sour and often described as a cross between a strawberry and a pear. You can eat guava raw with the skin or use it in smoothies, jams, jellies, or ice cream.
23. Horned Melon
Horned melons are also known as green kiwano melons and have green or yellow skin with horned spines. Their flavor is just as unique and interesting, like a cross between a kiwi, cucumber, and zucchini. As it ripens, its flavor becomes similar to a banana. Once you scoop its pulp, you can eat horned melon raw or cooked. It is an incredibly delicious addition to ice cream, yogurt, and smoothies.
Noni is another unique tropical fruit with a pale yellow-green color and oval shape with bumpy skin. Its aroma is quite pungent and can resemble mature cheese, and its flesh has a bitter flavor. Noni is best when juiced or cut into chunks and cooked.
Jackfruit is a huge and mildly sweet tropical fruit that can grow up to two feet long. They are mildly sweet with a flavor that resembles a combination of banana, mango, and apple when ripe. Its fibrous texture resembles pulled pork, making it easy to cook, braise, slow-cook, or fry. It is quite popular in vegan dishes. You can also eat it raw as a snack or use it in smoothies, yogurts, salsas, and dressings.
26. Durian Fruit
Durian is a spiky green fruit that looks like a smaller version of a jackfruit. However, durian fruit is mainly set apart by its distinct odor, often compared to garbage on rotten onions. The smell is so overpowering and overwhelming that many countries ban them. Its flavor, on the other hand, is quite different and resembles caramel and vanilla. Its soft and creamy cheesecake-like texture makes durian fruit a delicious addition to ice creams and savory dishes.
Popular in the Caribbean and Southeast Asia, soursop is a spiny green tropical fruit with pure white flesh, pineapple aroma, and a sweet flavor that tastes like strawberries and apples with a citrus undertone. While you can eat soursop raw, its black seeds are very toxic and need to be discarded. Soursop is also a delicious addition to fruit salad and smoothies.
28. Greengage Plums
Greengage plums are popular fall green fruits with a round shape, smooth skin, aromatic flesh, and strawberry-like flavor. They are best when eaten raw, although you can also use them in mousse, ice cream, pies, crumbles, jams, and jellies.
29. Green Pepper
If you have ever wondered, "Are green peppers fruits or vegetables?" You'd be surprised to know that they are, in fact, fruits! Green peppers are mid-to dark green fruits with a shiny green skin and a sweet flavor that makes them popular in cooked dishes such as soups, sauces, and savory dishes. You can also slice and eat them raw or use them as a salad topping.
Like cucumber and green pepper, zucchini is a green fruit that most think of as a vegetable. Its green skin and long, cylindrical shape can make it easily confused with a cucumber. However, its juicy and dense flesh makes it quite different. Many cook and use zucchini as a steamed, boiled, or grilled side dish or ingredient. It is common in savory dishes because they can easily absorb the flavors of what you cook it with. You can also use zucchini in some baked goods to add moisture. Try it in my delicious pumpkin bread!
Green Fruits FAQs
Green fruits get their color from chlorophyll, the same pigment that gives tree leaves their color. Many unripe fruits are green, and as the chlorophyll breaks down, it is replaced by orange carotenoids and red anthocyanins.
Green fruits and vegetables have several health benefits. They are packed with essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, potassium, folate, phytochemicals, and fiber. They can reduce cancer risk, increase eye health and vision, and strengthen bones and teeth.