Are you tired of your usual greens? Why don’t you give collard greens a try?
Look past your everyday kale, chard, and lettuce, and add some collard greens to your diet.
They taste equally fresh and are extremely healthy for your overall wellbeing.
We get it; collard greens might not be the first thing that pops in your mind when you head to the grocery store.
Perhaps you have never tried them.
Or maybe you have tried it at a restaurant, but you never knew what it was.
So, what do collard greens taste like? Do they have a bitter taste like most greens? Or are they any different? Let’s find out below.
What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens belong to the Brassica oleracea family, like many common veggies such as broccoli, mustards, and cabbage.
They’re most popularly used in Southern US cuisines but are found in recipes worldwide.
Collards are marked by their dark-green, large leaves that are usually cooked and eaten as vegetables.
Though they’re widely used in several parts of the world, collards are mainly eaten as veggies in South Africa, northern Spain, Uganda, Kashmir, American South, Brazil, Kenya, Balkans, Tanzania, Portugal, and Zimbabwe.
The primary varieties of collard greens are Ole Timey Blue, Champion, Vates, Morris Heading, and Georgia Southern.
If you’ve never seen collards before, they look more or less the same as spinach or swiss chard.
With large green leaves and tough stems, collards are easily one of the healthiest greens out there.
They’re rich in calcium, fiber, iron, and vitamins.
What Do Collard Greens Taste Like?
Flavor-wise, collard greens can be compared to kale.
However, they’re less bitter and milder on the taste buds.
The greens also have a strong acidic smell but are not overpowering.
The bitterness is more noticeable with raw collard greens.
If you’re not a fan of bitter greens, you can heat or sauté the leaves to bring down their bitterness while bringing out a mild earthy flavor.
Collard greens are available year-round.
However, the ones that are available in winter taste the best and freshest.
You can also find some juicy and high-quality collards during the spring season.
These greens are also known as colewart.
And in the UK, they’re often called spring greens, signifying the season it favors.
Like many other leafy greens, collard greens are very nutritious.
They are packed with vitamins K, C, B6, B2, and A.
Hence, they’re known to boost your blood and bone health.
In a single cup of raw collards, you’ll get to enjoy 1.4 grams of fiber and 2grams of carbs.
Besides, collards are low in fat and calories, thereby making them ideal for weight loss.
According to Healthline, these leafy greens are considered one of the healthiest green vegetables as they contain more calcium and iron than their counterparts.
How to Cook Collard Greens?
There are endless ways to cook and serve collard greens.
Thanks to their mild flavor, they go well with a lot of dishes such as salads, burgers, meat, and more.
Besides, you can enjoy these healthy greens in both raw and cooked forms.
When it comes to raw collards, they’re best eaten on wraps, sandwiches, or as an addition to salads.
They are crunchy and hence add a nice texture to your meals.
On the other hand, cooked collard greens are equally healthy and delicious.
Many people like cooking their collards instead of eating raw as the bitterness tends to fade away due to the heat.
The best way to cook collard greens is to steam, sauté, or simmer them.
You can also add a variety of herbs and seasoning to add more to its flavor.
Adding salt is also a great way of reducing its bitterness.
One of the best ingredients to pair with collards is garlic.
Just sauté some collards with garlic and olive oil, and voila.
Your perfect brunch meal is set.
You can also sprinkle some salt and pepper to spice things up.
The key to clean cooking lies in the preparation phase.
And when it comes to collards, preparation is super important unless you want to eat all those dirt and grime of its leaf veins.
For washing your collards, simply cut the roots off and submerge the greens in a big bowl of clean water.
Swirl the leaves several times and drain with a colander.
Repeat this process until the leaves are all clean.
Then, proceed with the cooking process.
The easiest way to take in your daily nutritional requirement is by adding greens to your diet.
And collard greens are a go-to option for this.
Apart from helping you lose weight, collards also help improve your heart condition and maintain optimal blood pressure and cholesterol levels.
They make the perfect addition to any non-veg or veg diet.
And for vegans, we don’t think you can find a healthier option than these leafy collard greens.