Collard Greens

Collard greens

General Information

Collard greens were likely domesticated 5,000 years ago, and it is now grown throughout the world. They were developed from species that originated around the Mediterranean Sea. Collard greens are popular throughout East and southern Africa, but less common in Central Africa. Leaf cabbage is the most popular leafy vegetable in the highlands of Kenya and surrounding countries. Most Americans know collards as a side dish popular in the southern U.S.  The southern classic, collard greens have large dull leaves with a thick round stalk. The stem can be peeled and cooked separately or with the leaves.

Health Benefits

Like most cruciferous vegetables, collard greens are packed with nutrients. Collard greens contain high amounts of antioxidants, which eliminate free radicals that cause cancer. Collards are also an excellent source of vitamin A, a nutrient important to maintain night vision as well as prevent cataracts and macular degeneration. Additionally, collard greens provide a significant amount of vitamin K, which improves bone health and can decrease risk of bone fracture and osteoporosis.

Storing & Cooking Information

Handling:   When ready to use wash thoroughly. Greens tend to have dirt and grit clinging to the leaves. Swish through several changes of cold water. If the stems are thick, strip the leaves, chop the stems, and start cooking them a couple of minutes before the leaves. To easily cut the leaves, roll them up and cut across the role. 

Storing: These are sturdy greens that keep well, especially if you wrap them in plastic. They are unlikely to rot, but will begin to turn yellow after a few days; try to use them before that happens.

Freezing: Wash and remove any damaged pieces.  Drop into boiling water for four minutes, cool the collards immediately in ice water, drain thoroughly and place in freezer bags.  Remove air from the bag (to prevent freezer burn) and place in your freezer.

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