What is the difference between a nut and a seed?

The seeds contain all the nutrients to nourish a new plant. Nuts are actually a type of seed that usually has a very hard shell. The other two types of seeds are legumes and cereals. To confuse things, a nut can also be a seed.

But a seed, by definition, is not a nut. A nut is often defined as a fruit with a hard shell. The distinction between the two is relatively simple to make. The seeds usually have a liquid (rather than a hard) coating.

Almonds are classified as nuts because their outer layer is made up of a hard shell that protects the inner core similar to a seed. The botanical definition of a nut in its simplest form is a seed contained in a hard shell that does not open naturally to release the seed when it ripens. The most common ones known to be toxic include walnuts, cashews, Brazil nuts, and acorns. Nuts and seeds are highly nutritious and full of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and more.

Many people are concerned about the safety of their food and make sure they don't eat nuts that have been exposed to pesticides or other chemicals. The difference between nuts and seeds is that a seed is a fertilized ovum of a plant with the potential to give rise to a new plant, while nuts are fruits that have a hard outer shell that does not crack naturally and have a seed inside. If you look closely, you can see the small indentations in the outer shell of the seed, where it makes its way across the surface to become a nut rather than any other type of fruit. Unlike these other types of nuts with a hard shell, almonds have a softer skin that doesn't need protection.

Dandelions have their seeds covered in fluff like an insect's exoskeleton and differ from most nuts because they don't have hard shells and are therefore more difficult to remove from their shells. The culinary definition of a nut is much simpler and incorporates a whole range of edible parts of the plant. A walnut seed is not a nut because it has a covering similar to that of the seed of an herbal plant called dandelion. The thorny boxes with four lobes protect one or two triangular nuts, which are an important source of food for mice, field mice, squirrels and birds.