What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are cultivars of Brassica oleracea that belong to the Acephala group. The plants have big, dark green leaves that are highly nutritious.
Read all the facts about this vegetable in the article.
This plant is known as couve in Brazil, couve–galega in Portugal, kovi or kobi in Spanish speaking countries, raštika in Bosnia and Herzegovina as well as in Croatia, raštan in Siberia and Montenegro, haak in Kashmir and Swahili in Kenya.
This vegetable is known as Saag in Hindi and Seemai Parattai Keerai in Tamil.
Read about its physical description and its taste.
Length: The plant grows up to 2 ft in length.
Color: The fresh leaves are dark bluish green colored.
Texture: It is broad and smooth textured.
Taste: This leafy vegetable has a mild and smoky flavor.
Origin of collard greens is in Asia Minor. This leafy vegetable grows in India, northern Spain, southern Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, parts of Africa, southern United States, Portugal and Brazil.
Know the nutrition content in every 100 gm of collard greens.
|Energy||151 kJ (36 kcal)|
|– Dietary fiber||2.8 g|
|– Sugars||0.57 g|
|– beta-carotene||6818 μg||63%|
|Vitamin A equiv.||575 μg||72%|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.047 mg||4%|
|– lutein and zeaxanthin||10898 μg|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.635 mg||4%|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.115 mg||10%|
|Vitamin B6||0.114 mg||9%|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.115 mg||2%|
|Vitamin C||26.4 mg||32%|
|Folate (vit. B9)||76 μg||19%|
|Vitamin K||623.2 μg||594%|
|Vitamin E||1.25 mg||8%|
These leaves are nutritious and thus are extremely beneficial for the health.
- This cultivar of vegetable is extremely low in calories and has zero cholesterol. Both the factors are good for keeping the body healthy and fit.
- The leaves of this vegetable have a high amount of insoluble and soluble dietary fibers. These fibers protect the body from hemorrhoids and colon cancer diseases. They also help to maintain the LDL cholesterol level and aid in constipation.
- It contains phyto-nutrients along with some anti-cancer properties like sulforaphane and di–indolyl–methane. These agents protect the body from ovarian, colon, cervical, breast and prostate cancers.
- The Di-indolyl-methane content of this leafy vegetable boosts up the body immunity.
- It has anti-bacterial and anti-virus properties.
- The folates present in this vegetable play an vital role in DNA synthesis.
- It is a rich source of vitamin C. This is a remarkably good anti-oxidant which protects the body against viral infections and free radical injuries.
- Vitamin A content of this leafy vegetable is essential for healthy eye sight and maintenance of mucus membranes.
- It is high in vitamin K content. This nutrient is beneficial in Alzheimer’s disease and also increases the bone mass.
- Nutrients of the B-complex groups contained in collard greens boost up the overall health and immunity to fight against diseases.
- Zinc, manganese, selenium, copper, calcium and iron strengthen the bones.
Collard greens have no known side-effects.
- People who are allergic to the group of Brassica oleracea vegetables should avoid consuming it.
- Over consumption of these leaves, can cause stomach problems.
- Goitrogens content of this vegetable can initiate swelling up the thyroid gland.
- Patients of oxalate kidney stones condition should try avoid this vegetable.
- People who are taking anticoagulants should eat this vegetable cautiously as the high vitamin K content can harm the consumer.
This vegetable is extremely nutritious and thus is, usually, recommended during pregnancy and lactation. Eating collard green prevents defects in the neural tube of a baby in the peri-conception period.
During this period, women go under many natural hormonal changes so expert advice should be consulted before consuming anything.
This nutritious vegetable finds its importance in culinary, medicinal as well as gardening purposes.
It can be eaten in many dishes as cooked, boiled, baked and even raw in salads.
It is often used as a traditional poultice to stop bleeding from an injury. Apart from this, there is little known about the medicinal uses of this green leafy vegetable
It is grown as ornamental plants in gardens for beautification.
How to cook Collard Greens?
Collard greens need to be thoroughly washed in running water. The leaves should be into ½ inch sized slices and the stems should be chopped into ¼ inch sized. This helps in fast and even cooking of both the leaves and the stem.
Then, the vegetable can be cooked, stir-fried, steamed, boiled and even baked in many dishes to be eaten.
This nutritious green vegetable is prepared in various recipes throughout the world.
- Collard green soup
- Stuffed collard greens
- Collard green salad
- Collard green wraps
- Fired collard greens
- Steamed collard greens
- Creamed collard greens
- Collard greens with bacon
- Collard green Indian recipes
- Sautéed collard green
- Vegan collard green
- Southern style collard green
- Slow cooker collard green recipes
- Collard green juice
- Collard green and black-eyed peas
- Spicy collard green
It is available in temperate winters. This cultivar is often grown artificially in other climatic conditions also. It can be bought from any local grocery or vegetable shop.
These leafy vegetables will stay fresh for about 5 days if refrigerated within an air-tight plastic bag.
Read some fun facts about this healthy and delicious green vegetable.
- In the USA, this vegetable is considered as a “soul food”.
- It is traditionally served with pork in Brazil during their festival called “feijoada completa”.
- It is often compared with kale on nutritional grounds.
- They are more than often called (wrongly assumed) as Kale in Kenya.
See the pictures of collard green leaves, below.
- by Sean Northampton
- 9th November 2016
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