This month our Chefs@Home nutritional handout features fun facts about collard greens and a recipe for our kids to try at home, Vegetarian “Southern-Style” Collards. While most people consider collard greens to be a “southern” food, they are also a popular vegetable in other types of regional cooking. They can be combined with pasta for an Italian meal, included in a variety of Spanish soups, and have been used in African and Mexican sauce recipes.
Related to kale, cabbage, broccoli, and brussel sprouts, collard greens also offer some great nutritional benefits while being extremely low in calories. We wanted to share with you some interesting facts about this leafy vegetable, how to cook with it, and hopefully inspire you to include them in your diet.
Did you know?
- Collard greens can be purchased year round but they are tastier and more nutritious in the cold months, especially January through April.
- Collard greens are the oldest leafy green within the cabbage family dating back 2000 years, originally grown by the ancient Greeks and Romans.
- In 1975, Ayden, North Carolina named their town’s annual festival The Ayden Collard Festival. The festival still continues today over 45 years later!
- Collard greens were named the state vegetable of South Carolina in 2011.
- Collard greens have been associated with cancer prevention, detox support, anti-inflammatory properties, heart health, and digestive support.
How to store: As with most vegetables, collard greens should be stored in your refrigerator. If placed in a plastic bag, they can stay fresh for 3 to 5 days.
How to prepare: It’s important to rinse collard greens under cold water. Chop or cut the leaves and steams.
How to cook: Collard greens taste great steamed for five minutes or sautéed with some olive oil and seasoning. They can also be put into boiling pasta water or soups at the last minute. Chefs have cautioned to not overcook collard greens because that’s when their bitter taste becomes overbearing.
Recipes to try: There are so many options! Here are just a few that we sounded tasty and nutritious!
- Quick Collard Greens
- Collard Green Burrito
- Collard Greens & Butter Bean Stew
- Braised Greens & Cannellini Bean Panini
- Collard Greens Dip
We hope this has inspired you to try collard greens if you haven’t already. And, let us know if you try one of these recipes and enjoy it!