This article is part of the series "Tami's Kitchen" by Tamara Flanders
Collard Greens, a sure sign of summer! Loaded with nutrients, collards outrank broccoli, spinach, and mustard greens in their nutritional value. It is a cruciferous cancer-fighting vegetable that is low in calories, high in fiber, and rich in beta-carotene, vitamin C, calcium, and B vitamins.
Collards are a good green to eat lightly cooked. Raw they are quite a commitment as you will need to chew for a good amount of time. I also think they taste better when cooked down just a touch. I find that the best method of cooking collards is a quick water sauté. Instead of using oil, chop up your collards and put them in a saute pan with an inch of water and let them steam for a few minutes. When they are done they will be a nice bright green color with some umph still left in them. If they start losing their color and flop into a wrinkled ball at the bottom of the pan, you've gone too far. (When easy to make mistakes like that happen you can still use them, just puree them into a bean soup or tomato sauce and you'll still get some of the nutrients out of them!)
When you're buying your collards, look for smooth green leaves without yellow spots. Avoid those that look wilted or like they just traveled from faraway lands. Hit up your local farmers market and you should be seeing them soon!
To store your collards, put them unwashed in a clear plastic bag in the fridge. Store in your crisper section and use in 2-3 days.
Collards with fresh summer herbs
• 5c chopped collard greens
• 4 tbs water
• 1/2c shredded carrots
• 1/4c chopped onion
• 1/4c dried cranberries or raisins
• 1/4c sunflower seeds
• 1/2c water
• pinch of salt
• 2 tsp chopped fresh dill
• 1/4c minced fresh parsley
• 1 tbs lemon juice.
Wash collard greens and trip very bottom stalks. Chop leaves into strips. You can layer them on top of each other and roll them into a tube and then cut the tube in strips if you want to save some time.
Heat a large skillet with water at bottom. Place greens and vegetables in water and sauté, stirring/tossing often. Continue sauté until leaves are bright and losing their tough consistency, about 5-8 minutes.
Sprinkle with salt. Stir in dill and parsley and cook for one more minute. Remove from heat and season with lemon juice. Top with sunflower seeds and dried fruits.
Enjoy as is or served over whole grains.
Tamara Flanders is a Holistic Health Counselor and graduate of the Institute for Integrative Nutrition. Her health coaching practice, Your Body Awake, is located in Rexford, NY. Learn more at her website www.yourbodyawake.com