Have you ever cooked collard greens? If not, you're missing out! Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable that is high in fiber and vitamins C and K. They are an excellent source of nutrients, and they taste great too! If you know what I'm about, then this blog post won't be a surprise to you. I'll tell you how to cook collard greens in different ways so you can experience their delicious flavor for yourself. Enjoy!
What are collard greens and where do they come from?
Collard greens hold a special place in the minds and hearts of Southerners. A big pot of collard greens with smoked meat is a quintessential soul food menu item.
Collards though extremely leafy, actually belong to the cabbage family and share similarities to kale, broccoli, and brussels sprouts. Though they didn't originate in Africa, they did make it to the American South via Africans during colonial times and specifically as the result of the Transatlantic slave trade.
Ways of Cooking Collard Greens
Soulful pots of collard greens slowly stewed with smoked ham or bacon are a rich part of African foodways. But there are also other delicious and interesting ways to cook collard greens.
Here are a few ways I like to enjoy them:
Like most Southerners, I love a mess of classic Southern collard greens. But these require a lot of time so really are limited to Sunday dinners. However, in today's modern times there are ways to enjoy them during weeknights. This is where modern soul food becomes a thing and recipes like Instant Pot Collards with Smoked Brisket.
I'm also a big fan of Brazilian style Collard Greens couve mineira which feature collards cut into thin strips and quickly sauteed in smoked pork and garlic-infused fat. They're quick, easy, and extra delicious.
Collards don't have to be cooked with meat to be delicious. There are plenty of vegan or plant-based ways that are just as delicious. Curried Collards are amazing, Southern Vegan Greens will make you rethink adding meat, and my favorite Greens salad levels up what a salad could be.
There are also some very non-traditional uses of collard greens. I love a good collard greens pesto as well as a good Southern Chow Chow Relish with collards. If you don't know, chow chow is a common soul food condiment.
My favorite BBQ side, however, might be this Collard Greens Slaw! It's tangy, simple, and flavorful.
For other dope recipes that include collard greens try any of these:
- Soul Food Fried Rice
- Collard Greens Salad with Bacon Vinaigrette
- Collard Greens Chiffanade
- Wine Braised Collard Greens
- Gumbo Z'Herbes
- Chow Chow Relish
- Sausage Dog with Collard Greens Relish
For a full tutorial on how to cook traditional soul food or Southern Collard Greens try this Collard Greens 101 post.
The health benefits of eating collard greens
Collard greens are as healthy as the ever popular kale. They are a good source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and manganese. They also contain small amounts of other nutrients, including iron, folate, and magnesium.
Collards are a low-calorie food, with around 30 calories in a cup of cooked greens.
In addition to being a nutritious food, collard greens may also offer some health benefits. For example, they have been shown to lower cholesterol levels and protect against heart disease. Additionally, collard greens may help to reduce inflammation throughout the body and protect against certain types of cancer.