Collard Greens History
Collard greens are a part of the cabbage family. Cultivated for their long, thick and dark green leaves, collard greens have an abundance of nutritional value. Originally from the Mediterranean region, collards have spread to various corners of the world.
Collards were a part of the ancient Greek diet centuries ago and were grown along with kale. Even the Romans used to grow different kinds of collards about two millennia ago. This nutrients providing vegetable made its way to Britain and France sometime in the 4th century BC.
In the USA, collard greens were introduced by the arrival of the African immigrants who made it a part of the Southern style of cooking. A traditional food in Southern kitchens, it is commonly cooked by boiling or simmering with salt pork or ham hock in order to soften its hard leaves and remove the bitter taste, and served with a side dish of baked or fried corn bread. In this region, a large amount of greens served is called a ‘Mess o’ Greens’.
Collard Greens Nutrition Chart
Benefits of Collard Greens
The nutritious collard green leaves have great health benefits that include, among others, a good amount of soluble and insoluble dietary fiber, and they are low in calories and help control the LDL cholesterol levels.
Here is list of its other benefits:
- Rich in Health-Promoting Phytonutrients
- Optimize Your Cells’ Detoxification / Cleansing Ability
- Broad Antioxidant Protection
- Calcium-A Mineral for A Lot More than Strong Bones
- Optimizing Immune Function
- Promote Lung Health
- Cardiovascular Protection
- A Healthy Transition through Menopause
- Vitamin E-rich Leafy Greens Slow Loss of Mental Function
Read full benefits at: Whfoods.org
How to Cook Collards
It has been suggested that collard greens are best consumed when cooked due to their thick cell wall that locks in vital nutrients. However, I’ll share with you my (top secret) recipe with raw collard greens:
Raw Collard Green Sandwich with Hummus and Peanut Sauce
Ingredients (for 2):
- 2 large organic collard leaves
- Half organic avocado (cubed)
- Red pepper hummus
- Half cup of diced organic tomatoes
- Half cup of shredded organic carrots
- Quarter cup of raw organic cranberries
- Organic peanut sauce
Wrap It All Up
- Take one large collard leaf and spread it with a thin layer of hummus
- Add avocados
- Add tomatoes
- Add carrots
- Add cranberries
- Drizzle on peanut sauce
- Roll leaf up like a burrito and enjoy!
A Few Quick Serving Ideas:
- Drizzle cooked collard greens with olive oil and lemon juice.
- Serve steamed collard greens with black-eyed peas and brown rice for a Southern inspired meal.
- Use lightly steamed, cooled and chopped collard greens as a filling in your sushi vegetable rolls.
- Healthy sauté collard greens with tofu, garlic and crushed chili peppers for a meal that will definitely add spice to your life.
Stay tuned for our next Green Vegetable Series!
David Askaripour, a prominent blogger based in New York, writes on the subject of natural healing among other things. His work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, Television Talk Shows, books and local news channels.