How to cook vegan collard greens. This is also a blog post for folks just wondering in a general way how to cook collard greens, and now is the perfect time to be talking about them yummy greens.
Why? Because from January through April is when collard greens make their appearance. They are in season during these months. That being said, they are cheaper now than at other times of the year. Plus they are healthy. How healthy are collard greens? Check this out.
1 cup of raw collards which is about a half cup if you cook ’em has only 11 calories. That’s nothing. But they have much more than that to offer. That single 1 cup serving has 1 gram of fiber and 1 gram of protein. Collard greens also have a great almost perfect ration of 1:1 of omega 3s to omega 6s. They have a little more omega 3s at around 39mg to 30mg for omega 6s. All of this info is for that 1 cup raw serving.
That same single cup serving with ONLY 11 calories has 48% of your daily value requirements for vitamin A, 21% of vitamin C, 230% of vitamin K, 15% of folate, 5% of your calcium needed for a day and 5% of your required manganese.
That my friends is your might friend the collard greens. But not just collard greens. Collards being members of that uberstrong vegan family of veggies called Brassica is that same family colloquially known as the cabbage family. Collard counts amongst her siblings cabbage, broccoli, Brussels sprouts and her cousins kale and spring greens.
We should be eating this whole dadgum family every day. That is how you obtain and maintain pinnacle vegan health. Eat your greens. Your mom told you to and she wasn’t lying.
As many of you will know, collard greens are a staple in the Southern States but like much of southern cooking they ruin a good thing by jamming them poor greens in with the reds of ham hocks. Ham hocks are a euphemism for the lower part of what would be our shin and ankle or lower forearm and wrist.
It is said that the ham hocks and salt are put in, usually a good half hour before the greens to help take out the bitter flavour.
I’ve got a better idea. If you are buying mature collard greens use them best as thinly cut ribbons in soups. Recipe below. If you have fresh young leaves I recommend using them in a nice southern style stew recipe below or gently sauté them like fresh asparagus i.e. with a bit of margarine, garlic, lemon juice and a careless toss of salt.
When choosing collard greens look for deep green in colour with firm leaves that are not wilted. Smaller leaves are the younger ones and will have milder flavour than the older, bigger leaves.
Personally, I don’t find collard greens exceptionally bitter. In fact I find their flavour considerably milder than Brussels sprouts and kale and mustard greens.
A quick way to cook collard greens and a healthy way is to steam them for 5 minutes. Serve them with pine nuts, lemon juice, a pressed garlic clove and chopped black olives with a splash of olive oil. This makes a nice side dish or you can pile it on some rice.
Let’s cook some collard greens southern vegan style.
Beans + greens – reds = greater health
Makes 6 to 8 servings depending on if you serve it with rice (8 servings) or just as a big bowl of steaming yummy collard greens stew.
4 cups of black eyed peas – these should be cooked or canned not dry
1 cup water
0.5 cup tomato paste
1 sweet onion
1 bunch of collard greens chopped into ribbons with stems or without your choice
4 to 6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
2 tbsp liquid smoke
pepper to taste
Some folks cut the stem off of collard greens and dice the stem separately before cooking both stems and leaves together. I say why bother. Cut the greens into ribbons horizontally across the stems and be done with it.
In a large pot fry the onion in the oil until translucent. Now add the garlic and the collard greens and fry for a few more minutes until the collards become bright green.
Add in the water, the black eyed peas, the tomato paste and the liquid smoke and stir well. Let it cook and simmer for 30 minutes or so. Add extra water if needed.
Serve as is or over rice.
TIP: You can of course put any other veggies in their like carrots and celery. You can also use dry beans and then use 2 cups of dry beans and 4 cups of water.
You can also put collard greens in our homemade vegan tomato soup recipe from the other day.
Vegan Portuguese caldo verde (green broth)
This is a vegan version of the very popular Portuguese soup called caldo verde. It makes 6 to 8 hearty servings. Serve with cornbread or whole grain buns for mopping up the liquid.
4 cups of water with one vegetable bouillon cube
1 bunch of collard greens cut into ribbons
2 medium potatoes chopped into chunks
1 sweet onion diced
4 to 6 garlic cloves
2 tbsp oil
pepper and salt to taste
In a large pot fry up the onions in the oil over medium heat until onions are translucent. Then add in the collard greens and garlic and fry until collards are bright green. A few minutes.
Then throw in everything else and let simmer for 30 minutes or so. Serve with a hunk of bread and you’ve got a healthy meal with collard greens.