Collards are a staple in the South and have become quite popular in grocery stores and local farms here in Connecticut. When this cruciferous vegetable is prepared correctly they are not only an outstanding accompaniment to any meal, but are hugely beneficial to your health. Although collards can be braised, boiled, sautéed, the best way to maintain their amazing nutrients is to steam them until they are tender and bright green.
Collard Greens are low in calories and pack a 58% of the vitamin C, 44% of the folate, 41% of the manganese, and 27% of the calcium needed on a daily basis! They are also high in magnesium, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. More than any other vegetable, these greens can lower cholesterol. Medical reports have shown that collard greens contain 4 little-heard-of glucosinolates, supporting the body's ability to fight off inflammatory toxins, helping lower cancer risks. Collards offer more than most vegetables, but we still need to eat the rainbow. Every vegetable has it's own phytochemical(s) that make it special, but if collards are not in your diet a few times a week, they should be. Eating collards will help your skin and nails, sleep and mood, digestion, and will help lower your risks of cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
Do not wash. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, preferably in your vegetable crisper drawer for 3-5 days of so. If freezing, wash and cut, store in a freezer-safe container.
Separate the leaves from the bunch and wash them in a store bought produce wash or in a mixture of one part white vinegar to two parts water. You will have to hand wash each leaf individually, dipping each leaf in the mixture or spraying each leaf, and rubbing the surface of each leaf. Rinse thoroughly. Collard greens can have tough stems; cut away the tough part. You can choose whether or not you want to remove the thick center vein; I do not. To remove the vein, simply fold each leaf in half lengthwise and tear or cut out the vein. Stack several leaves on top of each other, roll the leaves together and slice into 1" pieces. Now you are ready for cooking!
Serving Suggestions copied directly from http://featherstonefarm.com/collards.html :
• Boiled or pan-steamed greens are tasty seasoned with onion, garlic, and chopped fresh herbs such as mint, dill, and basil.
• Sauté collards with tofu, garlic, and red pepper flecks for a quick, nutritious, vegetarian meal.
• Serve collards with beans -- especailly black-eyed peas. An avant-garde approach to spring rolls and sushi: cooked collard greens with black-eyed peas and brown rice.
• Add chopped collards to soups and stews.
• Greens go especially well with ham, bacon, and pork fatback. Sauté chopped greens with a little bacon fat or a hunk of salt pork, sugar, and pepper. Splash liberally with hot pepper vinegar just before serving.
• The liquid left after slow-cooking collards with pork is extremely nutritious and delicious, the famed "pot liquor." Drink this broth on its own as a savory soup, or use it as you would vegetable stock.
• Try a vegetarian stew of collard greens, cabbage, sweet bell peppers, garlic, onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and hot red peppers, seasoned with molasses, vinegar, and seasoned salt.
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Thank you for reading my blog.
-Dawn Swope CHHC, AADP