The Return of the Veggie Bracket!

Last year in the fever of March Madness, we created our very own “Veggie Bracket.” One of our regular bloggers, Kenny, tried every vegetable on the bracket and went through the pain staking process of picking broccoli as his winner. Check out the final chapter of his saga here: The Veggie Bracket: The Final Four.

Well guess what? It’s back!

Veggie_Madness_Bracket

This year, we teamed up with our pals at Oregon State to bring “Veggie Madness” to the OSU campus. “Oregon State University’s Healthy Campus Initiative looks for entertaining and engaging ways to educate students and staff about living healthy, and Veggie Madness ties in great with two popular programs: National Nutrition Month and March Madness,” said Lisa Hoogesteger, director of Healthy Campus Initiatives for Oregon State University.

Here’s the best part, you can vote too! From March 3-5, you can weigh in by going here: Veggie Madness. Or, if you can make it to Corvallis, OR, you can vote on campus at the MU Quad on March 4-5. So you tell us what’s better, artichokes or asparagus, cucumbers or bell peppers, kale or broccoli. These are heavyweight battles, it’s going to get tense.

So get ready for some true March Madness. We hope to see you in Corvallis next week, and most importantly, good luck with your bracket.

The Veggie Bracket: The Final Four

Veggie Bracket_final fourBy now, your NCAA bracket has probably gone down in flames. If it hasn’t, you either have super powers or you secretly filled out 11 brackets to cover just about every scenario (even with your 11th bracket, there’s no way you picked Wichita State in the Final Four). But even though you failed to predict college hoops, at least you can fall back on your veggie bracket.

After some tireless taste testing, I churned this beast down to a final four. Here’s the dramatic conclusion to my veggie bracket:

Romaine Lettuce vs. Carrots: This one came down to taste vs. convenience. You can eat carrots anywhere, and when you’re always busy (or lazy), that goes a long way. But romaine lettuce is just too delicious. There are few veggies that can match the crisp, refreshing taste of romaine lettuce, and that’s what this bracket is all about. Romaine wins in a tight one.

Broccoli vs. Peas: Peas have the snap factor, and that’s tough to beat. Plus, like carrots, peas are a great “on the run” veggie. But broccoli dominates in terms of health benefits. And, as long as it isn’t overcooked (mushy broccoli is worse than beets, and beets are the worst thing I’ve ever eaten), broccoli makes any meal better. I have to go with broccoli.

The Championship: Broccoli vs. Romaine Lettuce- Broccoli’s just so darn consistent. When you eat broccoli, you always know what you’re getting. When romaine is good, it’s fantastic. But it has some freshness variables that make it more of a wildcard. To be a true veggie champ, you need to bring heat every time, and broccoli steps up every time. So with that in mind, broccoli is my champ.

Broccoli_and_cross_section_edit

To download your own veggie bracket just click here: Veggie Bracket (blank). It’s a really fun way to eat lots of vegetables. This was way fun, and I absolutely recommend giving it a whirl!

Check out the previous Veggie Bracket posts here: Part 1, Part 2.

Related Post: The Fruit and Vegetable Serving Size Guide

March Madness: The Veggie Bracket (part 2)

Since I’m a pathetic vegetable eater, I decided to bring a little fun to the process. So last week, I rolled out my Veggie Bracket (part 1). With the “Color Me Bad” and “Get Your Leaf On” regions complete, here’s how things look so far:

Veggie Bracket_side one

Time to dive into the next region; “It’s Not Easy Being Green.”

Broccoli vs. Green Beans: Thanks to the fact that green beans smell like a burning dumpster, this was a pretty easy call. Broccoli is also considered a super food, so it ranks higher on taste, nutritional value, and perhaps most importantly, smell. Broccoli wins in a landslide.

Asparagus vs. Cucumber: This was neck and neck. Both are crisp, refreshing, and have that “snap” factor that I love. I’ve always been a fan of cucumbers on sandwiches, but a cucumber on its own doesn’t match the flavor of asparagus. Tough call, but asparagus takes the battle.

Broccoli vs. Asparagus: The “It’s not Easy Being Green” region is by far the most competitive region in my bracket, and it showed with this bout. Both are delicious, easy to prepare, and loaded with nutrition. But according to most nutritionists, broccoli is the healthier of the two. Since flavor and texture are a wash, broccoli takes the region.

Veggie Bracket_Not easy being green

Last region, a bunch of vegetables that don’t belong in any category, the “Veggie Nomad” region. 

Cauliflower vs. Squash: Pretty lame battle here. Cauliflower is essentially broccoli’s loser cousin, and squash tastes like nothing. I’ll be honest, I hated both, but since cauliflower is part of the cruciferous vegetable family (aka, super veggies), I knew it was better for me. Cauliflower wins by healthy default.

Peas vs. Corn: Is corn even a vegetable? I grew up thinking it was, but I also thought Jurassic Park was a documentary, so my childhood judgement was a little flawed. Luckily, it’s a moot point, because I opted for sugar snap peas, which are absolutely delicious. This fight was over before it started, peas for sure.

Cauliflower vs. Peas: Lets see, I can choose cauliflower which tastes like a wooden piece of broccoli, or peas, which are scrumptious…hmm, I think I’ll take the peas. It’s embarrassing that cauliflower was even in this match-up. Peas wins the “Veggie Nomad” region.

Veggie Bracket_Veggie Nomads

That leaves me with a final four of carrots, romaine lettuce, broccoli, and peas. It’s safe to say that these were the #1 seeds of the bracket. In keeping with the March Madness theme, I’ll post the champ later this week! In the meantime, feel free to weigh in if you think I’ve lost my mind with my picks! And of course, check out the first post and download your own veggie bracket.

Related Post: Veggie Bracket: The Final Countdown