This week’s fun food facts are on collard greens.  Why collard greens?  Because collard greens are often neglected in the human diet.  They are a nutritious component to salads, dishes, and even smoothies.  I enjoy them in my salads and add them to my protein shake after a hard workout.

I’m missing the color green.  The cold weather leaves snow on the ground, ice on the roads, and the once bright green lawns a dull, lifeless green.  Does anyone feel the same way?  So I wanted to add more color to my blog, and talk a little about collard greens.

Collard greens are typically from Southern U.S., but are added to many cuisines around the world.  They are good additions to soups, stews, salads, and sandwiches.  This vegetable is a type of non-heading cabbage.  This means that their leaves spread outward instead of bundling into a head.

Types of collard greens include the Georgia Southern, Yellow Cabbage Collard, and Morris Heading.  The Georgia Southern has been around since the late 19th century.  It is also known as the Creole Collard and Southern Collard since it grows well in both cold and warm climates.  The Yellow Cabbage Collard is known for its stem and ribs’ pale yellow hue.  Their green leaves have a silkier texture similar to spinach.  The Morriss Heading from in a small head.  It looks similar to deep green cabbage.

Fun Facts:

  • All deep green, leafy vegetables are nutritious.  In fact, a single cup of chopped collards contain more than the recommended daily amount of vitamin A, which is essential for healthy vision.
  • Genetically, collard greens and kale are almost identical.  The only difference is that the appearance of collard greens are flat, while kale leaves are frilly.
  • Collard greens have a few nicknames.  They are also known as colewort, borekale, tree cabbage, and non-heading cabbage.
  • For an interesting recipe, try stemming collards and using them to wrap up savory fillings just like grape leaves.

Southern Cooking

Since collard greens are from southern U.S., they are considered a staple in many kitchens.  They are traditionally combined with salt pork.  Salt pork is not common throughout the U.S. though.  So paprika or cayenne can be used as substitutes.  After combining with these ingredients, collards can be stewed until the leaves are tender.

How To De-Stem Collard Greens

Similar to kale and chard, collard greens have a thick stem that runs vertically up the leaf’s center.  To de-stem collards, grasp the base of the stem between your thumb and forefinger.  Then, use the other hand to drag up the length of the stem to pull off the leaf.

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