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Collards Are the New Kale

Kale is all the rage these days, but it isn’t the only healthy green out there. Have you heard the siren call of collards yet?

Collard Greens and Bacon English Muffins

Collard Greens and Bacon English Muffins

Kale is all the rage these days. That’s wonderful, of course, ‘cause it’s really good for you, but kale isn’t the only healthy green out there. Have you heard the siren call of collards yet?  

Growing up in Louisiana, collard greens were standard fare. We ate them in soups and stews, and we loved to cook them with onions, butter, salt and pepper – very much like Brazilian Style Collard Greens. Sometimes we would add a little vinegar or tomatoes and spices along with some bacon or a ham bone for flavor, similar to these Spicy Collard Greens. My mother would serve collard greens and cornbread for a light, delicious meal. 

Southern-Style Baked Eggs with Grits and Collard Greens

Collards are really versatile. For instance, did you know they make a wonderful sandwich wrap? The large flat leaves make them perfect! Simply steam the whole leaves until bright green and tender. Roll up your favorite sandwich fillings such as hummus, turkey, avocado, bean spreads, chicken, tuna or egg salad and even falafel with tahini sauce. So good! You can also use steamed collards in place of seaweed for sushi.If you plan to add collards to other dishes, you may want to cook them first. Simply steam or sauté collards in oil, broth or butter until bright green and tender. Once cooked, collards can be easily added to many recipes. I often cook a large batch and then refrigerate to be used as needed during the week. Here are some delicious ideas:

Collard greens are often enjoyed throughout the fall and winter and they’re at their peak from January through April. When shopping, avoid yellow, damaged and torn leaves. Opt instead for crisp, dark-green, firm leaves. Remove the tough stems before cooking. Collards cook down in volume so be sure to prepare lots!Do you eat collard greens? Got a favorite recipe or a great idea? Let me know.  

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