Collard Greens - Natural Protection For You

Emelia Clement  |  5/15/2014 1:43:15 AM

Collards, or collard greens, are very popular in the Southern region of the U.S. They belong to the cabbage family and are an excellent source of vitamin A which is needed for a healthy immune system. Two cups of chopped collard greens provide 100% of the daily vitamin A requirement.

Collards Are:

1.  Rich in vitamins C and K and folate
2.  A good source of calcium and fiber
3.  Fat-free and low in calories
4.  Low in sodium
5.  Rich in antioxidants and can reduce the risk of cancer and have the ability to reduce cholesterol

Selection and Storage

Select a bunch with dark green leaves that have no yellowing. For storage, bag unwashed collards with moist paper towels and store up to about 5 days in the refrigerator for freshness.

Preparation and Cooking

Wash thoroughly before use. Rinsing at least twice in cold water is recommended to ensure all the dirt and grit is removed. Collards are traditionally cooked with bacon fat or ham hocks, which add too much salt and fat. For a healthier and flavorful version, substitute the pork with smoked turkey. Chili vinegar or the vinegar from pickled peppers enhances the bitter flavor of cooked collards. Onions, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, and crushed red pepper are also used to season collards.

More Ways to Enjoy Collards

1.  Add them to any kind of pasta about 5 minutes before pasta is done and season to taste.
2.  Mix collard greens with chicken broth, garlic and seasoning, and simmer until ready to serve. This makes a quick side dish.
3.  Use collard greens in place of lettuce in salads, tacos, wraps and sandwiches.
4.  Add them to any stir fry and season with garlic, sun-dried tomatoes and crushed red peppers.
5.  Cook collard greens with okra by adding olive oil, peppers, onion and lemon.
6.  Add cut collard greens and sliced low-fat turkey to almost cooked potatoes until cooked.

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