COLLARD GREENS

Raw collard greens are dense, so they have a good chewing quality. They are refreshing and add a quality of vitality to the food they are wrapped around. 

collardsyumThey are only slightly bitter, not anywhere near as bitter as I had been warned in my early years of learning about them. Collards can be sautéed, stir fried, shredded and tossed with any number of dishes and snacks. My latest favorite is a modified BLAST (Bacon, Lettuce, Avocado, Spinach, Tomato) with a touch mayo all wrapped snuggly in a collard green. It’s messy but delicious!

My first introduction to collard greens was while living in Mississippi. Collard greens were a staple vegetable served sautéed or boiled, typically with the addition of ham, onions, and sometimes tomatoes.  For the most part they were good, having flavor mostly because of the ingredients added, rather than the greens themselves, but I was left thinking they were basically inedible unless cooked in this manner.  Until my stint learning to be a raw food chef, where we used collard greens in place of tortillas and bread to make wraps, burritos, and ‘sandwiches’. This is where I developed a love of the Collard Green.  They make a perfect wrap for anything edible, making it simple to lower your processed grain intake and bump up your veggie intake quickly and easily.

From a health perspective, Collard Greens are also a member of the Brassica family, giving them all the health benefits of cauliflower, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, etc... with the added bonus of being uniquely beneficial for cancer prevention. Collards have four specific glucosinolates not found in other cruciferous veggies that increase the bodies ability to detox and eliminate systemic oxidative stress.

Collards are also packed with vitamins A and K and other minerals that support brain function and nervous system balance. I highly recommend finding ways to slip them into your diet. The only caveat: if you have thyroid issues you will want to be sure cook them rather than eat them raw.