Collard greens (Brassica oleracea acephalia) are a leafy green vegetable with sweet bitter taste. It’s considered for one of the healthiest food in the world. Certainly, the reason for this is the fact that collards are poor in calories, but rich in vitamins and minerals. This vegetable is on the top of the list of foods rich in vitamin A and calcium. Besides vitamin A, collard greens contain all B vitamins, vitamin E, and vitamin C. Collard greens are an excellent source of the antioxidants lutein and zeaxanthin. The minerals zinc and manganese are also found in this vegetable.
What are collard greens good for?
Because it’s a rich source of calcium it’s a good alternative for vegetarians and other people who have allergy from dairy products. So, collard greens are good for people who suffer from osteoporosis. This veggie is good for pregnant women because it’s rich in folic acid which is really important at the beginning of the pregnancy. The human body can’t produce folic acid but it’s particularly important for the central nervous system of the fetus. Then, they reduce the risk of heart diseases. This is because they are rich in vitamin B6 which reduces the level of the amino acid homocysteine. If the level of homocysteine in the blood is above the normal level the risk of heart disease is high.
The antioxidants Lutein and zeaxanthin contained in this vegetable are helpful for improving the eye health. Vitamin A is also beneficial for the eyes.
Best way to cook collard greens
If you want to prepare collard greens, the best way is to cook it on steam or in water. But don’t cook them too much because the vegetable will become bitter and all nutrients will vanish. When you are buying, choose collards with strong leafs. You shouldn’t buy collards with yellow or brown leafs because they aren’t good for consuming anymore. From collards only the leaves are edible. Below are presented some healthy dinner recipes with collard greens which are also good for vegetarians.
Vegetarian collard greens recipe
- Collard greens with beans.
Ingredients: collard greens, green beans, chickpeas, potato, and garlic. Adjust the amount according to the number of people.
Preparation: cook the collards with steam or in warm water until it gets soft. Then, boil the green beans, chickpeas, potato. When all is cooked remove the water and mix it together. At the end put some finely chopped garlic.
- Collard greens pottage
Ingredients: 10 to 20 collards leaves, potato, carrot, garlic, black pepper.
Preparation: Cook the collards leaves with steam or in warm water until they get soft. Then remove the water and add the sliced carrot. Add water and boil until the carrot become soft. Then add sliced potato, black pepper, and continue with cooking. When the potato is cooked mash it with a fork. After this put some mashed garlic.
- Collard greens cream soup
Ingredients: 15 collard green leaves, potato, celery, garlic, fresh parsley, and black pepper.
Preparation: Clean the collard greens and chop it into small pieces. In a pot put water and sliced collard greens. Cook until they turn bright green. Next, remove and drain the Collard greens and keep the cooking liquid. In another pot steam the potato, celery, and add garlic. Take 2 cups of the cooking liquid and pour into the pot with potato, celery, and garlic. Boil for another 5 minutes and add some fresh parsley, and black pepper. When all this is done mix the ingredients in a blender and your cream soup is prepared.