Collard Greens are frequently found in Southern Cooking, as well as in Brazil & Portugal
Did you know that one cup of cooked collard greens will provide you with almost as much calcium as a cup of milk? Milk products are often considered the best source of calcium, so you may be surprised to find that while one cup of 2% milk provides 29% of the daily value (297 mg) for calcium, one cup of cooked collard greens contains almost as much: 23% of the daily value (226 mg)! And the collard greens have half the calories of the milk (50 calories compared to 121) with virtually no fat.
Calcium is known primarily for its role in maintaining the strength and density of bones, but recent studies have shown that it is also important in helping to protect colon cells from cancer-causing chemicals, preventing migraine headaches, and reducing PMS symptoms during the second half of the menstrual cycle.
Since the body tightly controls the amount of calcium in the blood so that sufficient calcium is always available, when dietary intake it too low, calcium is pulled out of the bones to maintain normal blood concentrations. This is why low dietary calcium can, over many years, lead to osteoporosis. So, next time you are wondering how to boost your calcium intake, don't just think milk, think collard greens!
Let collard greens sit for 10 minutes after cutting to increase nutritional value
The latest scientific studies show that cutting collard greens enhances the activation of an enzyme called myrosinase that slowly converts some of the glucosinolate phytonutrients into their active health-promoting forms that have been shown to contain cancer preventive properties. So to get the most health benefits from collard greens, let them sit for 10 minutes after cutting before eating or cooking (heat will inactivate the enzyme.)
Helthy HINT: Add Lemon Juice! Additionally, since myrosinase cannot function properly without ascorbic acid (vitamin C), I like to sprinkle collard greens with a little lemon juice (an excellent source of this vitamin) after cutting to further increase the enzyme's activity.
Soul Food! Southerners love their greens. Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day to ensure wealth in the coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money.
Try the traditional pork-seasoned dish of turnip greens, kale, collards, or mustard greens served up with freshly baked corn bread to dip into the "pot-likker, or the vegeterian versions below:
How to Clean the Leaves:
The least enjoyable part of preparing fresh greens is getting all the grit off the leaves, and these days you might find pre-washed greens. The easiest way to clean them is in the sink or a very large pot filled with cold water. After cutting the stems and heavy ribs out, place the leaves in the cold water. Let them soak for a few minutes then swish around to loosen grit and sand; drain. Repeat the process two or three times, depending on how gritty the leaves are
Try these unique Collard Green Recipes
- 1 1/2 to 2 pounds collard greens or turnip greens, boiled or steamed until tender
- 3 to 4 tablespoons vegetable oil
- 2 to 3 tablespoons minced garlic (about 4 large cloves)
- salt and black pepper, to taste
- hot pepper sauce
Drain greens well.
In a large skillet or Dutch oven over medium heat, cook garlic in the vegetable oil until it just begins to brown. Add the drained greens; season to taste with salt and pepper then add a few dashes of your favorite hot sauce.
Serves 4 to 6.
Collard greens turned out to be excellent for wraps and there are so many possibilities for fillings. Try tinga de pollo (shredded chicken cooked in red salsa) and quinoa. To make tinga de pollo you need shredded chicken, Roma tomatoes, onion, garlic, salt, chipotle adobado peppers and vegetable oil. Saute the chicken and the cooked quinoa in the vegetable oil. Blend the rest of the ingredients with just a little bit of water, the salsa has to be thick. Add the salsa to the chicken and cook for 10 minutes.
Prepare the leaves by cutting the thick part of the stalks and dropping them in boiling water until they got soft and changed color to a intense green, then drain. Place filling on the leaves and wrapped them up like burritos. You can bake them for 10 minutes with some olive oil and Parmesan cheese.
Collard Green Sunflower Seed Wrap
2 cups raw sunflower seeds
6 oz. black or kalamata olives
5-8 garlic cloves chopped
1-2 T. onion powder
1-2 limes squeezed
High quality sea salt to taste
In a food processor pulse seeds ‘til semi grainy and set aside in a bowl. Meanwhile, put chopped garlic, salt and olives in food processor using the S-blade and mix ‘til well blended. Combine olive mixture and remaining ingredients to seed mixture and enough oil so the seed mixture is oily – similar to ground beef. Add juice of lime and mix.
Essential Optional Garnishes
Red onions chopped
Red bell pepper
To Create A Wrap:
Wash then dry greens. Oil greens lightly with olive oil. Spread seed mixture on greens and top with veggies and spices and roll like a cigar.
Optional Herbs & Spices
Thai Curry Brown Jasmine Rice Salad
2 c. cooked Brown Jasmine Rice
2 c. Red Cabbage Shredded
2 c. Red Leaf Lettuce
3-4 Collard Greens Chiffonade
1 Lg. Carrot Grated
2 Med. Tomatoes Thinly Sliced
1 Med. Cucumber Julienne
1½ c. Bean Sprouts
¼ c. Red Onion Thinly Sliced Moon Shaped
¼ c. Green Onions, Cut Diagonally
1 Bunch Fresh Basil Chopped
1/2 Bunch Cilantro Chopped
1 T. Coconut Oil
1 Pear or Mango Diced
Cracked White Pepper to Taste
Thai Curry Dressing
½ c. Olive Oil
3 T. Apple Cider Vinegar or Lime Juice
3 T. Pure Thai Honey (if available)
3 T. Thai Curry Powder
1/3 C. Unfiltered Apple Juice
2-3 Garlic Cloves Chopped
1/2 t. Mineral Salt
My dressing has multiple uses: vegetable, poultry and fowl dipping sauce. Delicious!!!
Blend together dressing ingredients on high speed ‘til smooth. Set aside.
Massage cabbage and collard greens with coconut oil for 30 seconds (liquefy coconut oil by placing jar in hot water). Add rice, remaining vegetables, cracked pepper, and toss with Thai curry dressing. Garnish with diced pears or mangos. For a more saucy salad increase the curry dressing ingredients by one half.
Corinthia & Lori’s Spicy Greens
1 bunch red chard
1 bunch collard greens
1 lg. red bell pepper, julienne
2 cups sliced (diagonal) okra
1 med onion sliced in half moons
1 head garlic (thinly slice)
1-2 jalapeno peppers chopped
Braggs Amino Acids to taste
Chipotle powder to taste
½ c. Sesame oil to start
Tightly roll up greens and chiffonade (thinly sliced). Cut remaining vegetables. Sauté garlic, onions and jalapeno peppers in sesame oil ‘til soft and slightly browned. Add bell peppers, stir ‘til med. soft. Add okra and stir in greens. Cover and continue cook to for about a minute. Do not let okra turn “slimy” heat and let steam until greens are wilted -- though maintaining their rich and vibrant green color. If greens are not soft enough continue to cook on very low heat to your desire. Season to taste with Braggs Amino Acids, and chipotle powder. The greens should be well coated with sesame oil. Add more sesame oil as needed.
Culinary and Medicinal Juice use
Brazil and Portugal
In Portuguese and Brazilian cuisine, collard greens (or couve) are common accompaniments of fish and meat dishes. They are a standard side dish for feijoada, a popular pork and beans-style stew. The leaves are sliced into strips, 1 to 3 mm wide (sometimes by the grocer or market vendor, with a special hand-cranked slicer) and sauteed with oil or butter, flavored with garlic onion and salt. Sometimes, it is also eaten fresh.
Thinly sliced collard greens are also the main ingredient of a popular soup, caldo verde ("green broth").
The juice pressed from fresh leaves and leaf stalks, taken regularly, is popularly believed to be a remedy for gout, bronchitis, and blood circulation problems