Don’t Forget the Collard Greens!

I grew up on the Tennessee – Georgia line eating all kinds of what we generically referred to as “greens.” In my family, greens could be collards, kale, mustard, poke weed, and even cabbage. My mother prepared each of these exactly the same way, she boiled them! Depending on the type of greens the seasoning may vary but the process was basically the same.

I always loved eating greens and now I love cooking them, especially collard greens. Below you will find two of my favorite recipes for collard greens. Both of these dishes are delicious. One of the recipes is healthy and the other recipe is, well, just delicious!

collard greens and ham hocksDelicious Collard Greens

What you will need

2 lbs. organic collard greens

½ lb. smoked ham or ham hocks

2 tablespoons of butter

2 tablespoons Savannah Bee Acacia honey

1 tablespoon of minced garlic (or 2 teaspoons garlic powder)

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon salt

2 cups chicken broth

What You Do

Wash the greens thoroughly. Remove the center stem from each collard leaf. Chop the greens into squares about 1 in. x 1 in.

Add all ingredients into a large cooking pot over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat once the broth begins to boil. Stir the greens as they become limp to insure even cooking. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about an hour. You may need to add water to the greens as they cook. If the greens dry out on the stove they will burn very quickly! Remove from heat and serve. These greens should be as soft as butter and very flavorful. Add more salt and black pepper to taste.

 

healthy collardsHealthy and Delicious Collard Greens

What You Will Need

2 lbs. of organic collard greens

2 tablespoons of Savannah Bee Acacia honey

1 tablespoon of organic coconut oil (substitute extra virgin olive oil if desired)

1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper

2 cups of water

What You Do

Wash the greens thoroughly. Remove the center stem from each collard leaf. Chop the greens into squares about 1 in. x 1 in.

Add all ingredients into a large cooking pot over medium/high heat. Reduce the heat just before the water begins to boil. Stir the greens as they become limp to insure even cooking. Cover the pot and simmer over low heat for about 15 minutes. You may need to add water to the greens as they cook. If the greens dry out on the stove they will burn very quickly! Remove from heat and serve. These greens should have retained some of their natural fibrous resistance and will be a bit more chewy than the first preparation method. However, the blanching and low simmering will preserve some of the greens natural vitamins and enzymes that are otherwise “cooked out” by boiling and slow cooking. Serve these greens hot and drizzle with fresh lemon juice.

 

Tips

  • I like to use organic collard greens. Greens of all types have high surface area. As a result it can be difficult to remove pesticides and chemical fertilizer residue from non-organic greens.
  • Collard greens can be very dirty and sometimes even muddy. Wash the greens thoroughly. Nothing can ruin a nice pot of greens faster than the crunchy grit of a mineral soil!
  • Make sure to remove the center stem from each leaf. The center stem is very fibrous.
  • Many “southern” recipes for greens call for sugar. I have found that honey adds a much more complex sweetness and is so much healthier than processed white sugar.
  • Eating collard greens on New Year’s Day will bring you prosperity throughout the year!
  • Collards can be steamed in a steamer basket and served with fresh lemon juice for the uber-healthy version.

Submitted By: Brantley Crowder

 

 

 

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