Who loves collard greens?
Have you ever eaten collard greens? Be honest. Those of us out here in the Rocky Mountain West don’t make a habit of eating these hearty (hardy) plants, but you Southerners do, don’t you?
Okay, we’ll start from scratch. Although collard greens have the exact texture and feel of household rubber gloves, they’re actually quite tasty if you prepare them right. And they are SO healthy — they definitely deserve super food status.
Just look closely at these pictures I took of my Grant Family Farms organic collard greens. Look at the veins, the deep green color, and the firm, fresh leaves. You can literally see the vitality of the plant, the life-force. Not to mention all that fiber. Now, don’t you know this stuff has to be good for you?
Why collard greens are on my list of super foods:
• contain compounds that help the liver detoxify icky (scientific word) substances
• one of the highest sources of plant-based calcium (yeah! good for us dairy-free people)
• low in calories, high in nutrients
• excellent source of vitamins K, A, C
• excellent source of manganese and folate
• high in fiber
How to prepare and store collard greens:
• rinse well, but avoid soaking as some of the nutritional value will be lost
• I use stems and all; stack or roll-up leaves and cut in 1-inch slices
• the stems contain a LOT of fiber, so use the whole plant
• sauté in small amount of broth or olive oil for about 5 minutes
• store in plastic bag in refrigerator; they stay fresh about 5 or 6 days
Collard greens are part of a class of foods that contain goitrogens. Goitrogens are foods containing certain substances that can disrupt thyroid function in humans. Cruciferous veggies, which include collard greens, and soy-based foods are the main sources of goitrogens (see complete list below). Although there is some controversy about goitrogen foods and thyroid activity, there are also no definitive research studies indicating these foods should be avoided if you have a healthy functioning thyroid. Discuss any concerns you may have regarding this with your health care practitioner.
Goitrogen containing foods
broccoli, kale, Brussel sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, collard greens, turnips, rutabaga, kohlrabi
tofu, tempeh, soybeans
other goitrogenic foods
millet, radished, peanuts, spinach, strawberries, peaches
Collard greens and beans recipe
what you need
• one small onion, chopped
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 cup diced squash (I use zucchini or yellow squash, but it doesn’t matter)
• 3 cups or so of washed and sliced collard greens
• 1/2 (or a little more) cup of GF chicken or veggie broth
• 1 can cannellini beans, drained (15 ounce can, drained)
• 1 can diced tomatoes (reserve a little of the juice)
• sea salt and ground pepper to taste
what you do
Chop onion, garlic, and squash and set aside. Rinse and chop greens. Heat a few tablespoons of the broth over medium heat in a large sauté pan. Once broth is steamy, add onions, garlic, and squash and sauté for about 5 minutes. Add the rest of the broth, tomatoes (and a touch of the juice if you need more liquid) and the beans and simmer on medium-high (almost to a boil). Add collard greens and simmer for another 5 minutes. You want the liquid to reduce so it’s like a big warm bowl of salad, not a sloppy bowl of soup. This is one of my “launching pad” recipes, so there’s lots of room for changes.
Go forth and play with your food!
In good health,