The ultimate trendy vegetable, kale has been a dominant force in the culinary world for over a decade. It’s easy to see why too; the curly green has a legendary nutritional profile and is equally delicious in entree salads or simmering soups!
- Favorite Varieties: Dinosaur, Curly
- Try Making: Hail kale quinoa salad
If there’s was one vegetable who could give kale a run for its money in the trendy department, it would be cauliflower. The classic vegetable is well suited to vegan and gluten-free options, bringing a flexible, nutritious bite that is adaptable to most cooking methods. Better yet, cauliflower comes in a range of colors, so you can add some aesthetic points to standard dishes without much effort.
- Favorite Varieties: Snowball, Purple Head
- Try Making: Chili lime salmon bowls with cauliflower rice
Zucchini succeeds because it’s flavorful, nutritious, and easy to work with all at once. The green squash can be used to create a gluten-free alternative to noodles, offer a fried snack that doesn’t weigh you down, and lighten up late summer salads. Luckily for you, it’s extremely healthy and affordable to boot.
- Favorite Varieties: Cocozelle, Fordhook
- Try Making: Zucchini noodles
Cucumber’s popularity with college students is directly tied to its appearance in cuisines around the world. The refreshing veggie often pops in Mexican, Chinese, and Greek cuisine, plus it’s an essential topping in the beloved Vietnamese banh mi sandwich.
- Favorite Varieties: Garden, Persian
- Try Making: Cucumber banh mi
Perhaps it’s due to beet’s surprising versatility or perhaps it’s due to Dwight Schrute from The Office, but whatever the reason, there’s no denying that beets have seen a recent surge in popularity. Although there are plenty of beet-specific dishes, we like exposing the red root veggie to college aged eaters by adding it to long running favorites like kale salads, gnocchi, and hummus!
- Favorite Varieties: Chioggia, Forono
- Try Making: Beet hummus
For our money, arugula is the next leafy green to take the world by storm. Make your university ground zero for the arugula revolution and use it for delicious salads, pizzas, or even as a pesto alternative. You can even use it to put a modern spin on Mexican food!
- Favorite Varieties: Dragon’s Tongue, Roquette
- Try Making: Arugula roasted corn bowls