A traditional Southern embellishment to soups, stews, and entrées, collard greens provide an impressive array of key vitamins and minerals, including vitamins A, K, C, the B-vitamin folate, iron, calcium, and manganese.
These nutrients play an important role in protecting our cells from damage and supporting the body’s natural processes for controlling inflammation.
IMPROVE YOUR HEALTH WITH COLLARD GREENS
Collard greens tend to be less expensive than other cruciferous vegetables so you can really get a nutritious bang for your buck. It’s best to buy organic greens to avoid contamination from insecticides, an issue with conventionally grown produce.
To receive the terrific benefits of this vegetable, include it in your diet several times a week-an optimal amount would be about 6-10 cups a week.
COOKING FOR HEALTH WITH COLLARD GREENS
Be careful not to overcook these greens or you’ll wind-up with a rotten egg odor, not to mention pungent-tasting collard greens.
For cooking, slice thin strips of the greens, rinse and drain; then proceed to steam or sauté. When adding chopped collard greens to a favorite vegetable or meat-based soup/stew, stir the steamed greens in during the final minutes of cooking.
You can also add collard greens to marinara sauce or to a vegetable lasagna recipe, in place of spinach.
For a flavorful side dish, sauté collard greens with yellow onions and fresh garlic (or shallots). For a zesty salsa, combine cooked collard greens with fresh tomatoes, onions, green peppers, and jalapenos.
SAUTEED COLLARDS AND SPINACH RECIPE
Shake up your usual selection of healthy green veggies by sauteeing collards and spinach.
The robust “bite” of sauteed collards is complemented by milder spinach. Sunflower oil adds a delicate nutty flavor that pairs nicely with the garlic and lemon in this recipe.
4 cups fresh washed collard greens (trim off the thick stems)
4 cups fresh washed spinach
1 tsp sunflower oil
6-8 cloves slices garlic
1/2 cup water
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
1/2 fresh lemon or lime
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive or flax oil
In a large pot or pan, heat the sunflower oil over medium heat for about 7 min.
Add sliced garlic and saute for 5 min stirring frequently.
Add the fresh collard greens, spinach and water; saute, stirring frequently, until wilted – about 10-15 min depending on desired tenderness.
Remove from heat and add salt, pepper, and olive (or flax) oil.
Squeeze the lemon/lime over the top of the greens and mix well.
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HealthyEating.SFGate.com “What are the health benefits of eating cooked collard greens?” Accessed 5 Feb 2017: http://healthyeating.sfgate.com/health-benefits-cooked-collard-greens-4026.html
WorldsHealthiestFoods.com “Collard Greens” Accessed 5 Feb 2017: http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138
Nutritionandyou.com “Collard Greens nutrition facts: Accessed 5 Feb 2017: http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/collard-greens.html