I’ll be honest… I’ve never stated the word ‘collard’ in my life, to my family they are known as ‘collie’ greens! Growing up that is what my Granny cooked every holiday and sometimes during the week for us. I’ll never forget, every Thursday she would cook dinner for us, it was my favorite day of the week! Collard greens have made a comeback from being featured in health magazines and cookbooks to hip hop songs named after them from high profile artists such Schoolboy Q.
Kale and Collard greens are quite similar greens, but Kale had seemed to have taken the lead in the leafy green race up until recently. Kale would be considered Collards first cousin, Kale has many varieties of colors (purple, green, even blue) and provides a good helping of Lutein which is great for your eyes and eye health! In my opinion the taste is what separates the two cousins and by time you’re done reading this you will have a great new healthier recipe for ‘collie’ greens adapted from my Granny’s recipe!
Collard greens are large leafed and dark green, easy to prepare, and an exceptionally economical veggie. The nutrition values are very encouraging, a cup of cooked greens are only 62 calories, this veggie is even healthier when you cook it! It boasts 8 grams of dietary fiber (32% of your DV), 5 grams of protein (10% of your DV), 388% of your daily value of Vitamin A, and 58% of your daily value of Vitamin C. Who would have thought this traditionally southern and typically fattening dish could be so healthy when you leave the ham hocks out! Now that’s enough about facts, lets get to the recipe!
Rich, deep, and sultry are just a few words to describe the flavor of collard greens. There are 2 main ways to cook your greens, either in the crock pot or on the stove top in a LARGE pot. Because I work full time and have other commitments other than cooking all day (which I’d totally kill for) the crock pot is my favorite way to cook greens. Prep is very easy, you can either buy the huge leaves, wash them very good, roll them up like a cigar and slice them and disposing of the stalk OR just buy pre-sliced, pre-washed greens. Here’s how I make them in the crock pot:
2 bags of pre-sliced collard greens OR 3 bundles of collard greens rolled and sliced
1 smoked Turkey wing
½ sliced onion
3 garlic cloves
3-4 cups of water
Salt and pepper to taste
- Turn crock pot on high while your prepare ingredients.
- Place chopped onions (medium to bite size pieces, they’ll cook down), garlic and smoked Turkey wing in the crock pot.
- Put 1st bag of greens in crock pot and add 2 cups of water, you’ll literally have to smoosh (yes I used smoosh) the 2nd bag of greens into your crock pot. Don’t worry they will cook down after about 20 minutes or less.
- Pour another cup of water over greens once you have both bags in your crock pot, lower the crock pot temperature to low.
- Once all ingredients are combined and smooshed cover and cook on low for 6-8 hours.
- I don’t season my greens with salt until they have cooked down and I can effectively stir them.
- Wait for the greens to get a dark forest green color, you don’t want any light green greens.
- I only season with plain iodized or sea salt, not season salt
- NEVER EVA EVA EVA put vinegar in your greens!
- Collard greens freeze well, so if you have a lot left over go ahead and freeze a bag or 2.
- Hot sauce pairs nicely with greens; I prefer a mellow Louisiana hot sauce.
- Wine pairs nicely with greens…ok I just like wine!
Greens can be quite tricky, if you have any questions don’t hesitate to ask! If you’d like more healthy takes on great food check out my blog www.afewhungrygirls.com!
Ray Ball – Food Blogger, Healthy Lifestyles Cook, Social Media Strategist from Cincinnati, OH.
Ray Ball is co-founder of Tenacia Saturday’s a local wellness event used to gather donations or raise funds for local nonprofit groups! She also creates fun, easy, and healthy recipes to help people transition into a healthier lifestyle. Eating healthy doesn’t have to be boring or tasteless, she believes you just have to get creative and have some fun in the kitchen with new ingredients. Through her blog A Few Hungry Girls she has been able to work with small businesses to create social media strategies and campaigns to help grow their businesses! When Ray is not working in social media she is in the kitchen creating yummy recipes that she often shares with co-workers! Recipes from semi-homemade, meal preparation, healthy baking, and dietary lifestyle changes are her specialty! Ray also enjoys cooking healthy meals and creating meal plans for people to aid in their lifestyle changes! If she’s not in the kitchen you can be sure she is spending time with her dog Ocho watching Cooking Channel and HGTV!
Make sure to check out her blog www.afewhungrygirls.com for great recipes, health trends, and cool foodie gadgets!