Learn About Collard Greens

Author: Chef Sydney

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What are Collard Greens?

Collard greens are a leafy vegetable from the cabbage family.  They have large, broad, thick leaves with veins running through them.  The leaves branch off of a tough, thick stem.  Quality collard greens feel firm and crunchy with deep green leaves.

What Do Collard Greens Taste Like?

Raw collard greens taste bitter.  When cooked, collard greens taste milder.  They also take on the flavor of the foods cooked with them.

Fresh collard green leaves ready for cooking.

How Do You Eat Collard Greens?

While you can eat collard greens raw, most people eat them cooked.  Make sure to thoroughly wash the leaves before using them.  Remove and discard the stems before cooking collard greens.  Because the leaves are thick, make sure to cook collard greens for long enough to soften them.  Common cooking methods for collard greens include steaming, sauteing, and simmering.  Many people prepare collard greens with side meat, ham hocks, or other meats to create a rich flavor.  Use collard greens in place of other cooked leafy vegetables, such as kale or spinach.  If you want to eat collard greens raw, mix them with other leafy vegetables.

Where Can You Buy Collard Greens?

Look for collard greens in the refrigerated area of the produce section of the grocery store.  Find them near other leafy vegetables such as cabbage and lettuce.  Farmer’s markets and local produce stores also carry fresh collard greens year-round.  Find frozen collard greens in the frozen vegetable aisle of the grocery store.

How Do You Store Collard Greens?

Store collard greens in a sealed plastic bag in the crisper drawer of the refrigerator.

Fun Fact About Collard Greens

No one knows exactly where collard greens come from.

Did You Know?

Collard greens come from a large plant family!  They are related to kale, cabbage, broccoli, and Brussels sprouts.

Recipes Using Collard Greens

Easy Cooked Collard Greens

Making delicious collard greens requires a bit of time but little effort. Place prepared collard greens, smoked ham hock, water, salt, and pepper in a large stock pot. Simmer for approximately 3 hours and serve.

Easy Chicken Wrap

Use fresh collard greens as a wrap for a tasty meal. Layer diced avocado, red onions, cherry tomatoes, feta, and seasoned chicken in a collard green leaf. Tuck in the end and roll the wrap until secured. Serve with ranch dressing or your dipping sauce of choice.

Minestrone Soup

Make a hearty soup for everyone to enjoy. Grab a stock pot to easily compile ingredients. Add cannellini beans, onions, celery, canned tomatoes, collard greens, carrots, vegetable stock, orzo pasta, salt, pepper, and Italian seasoning mix. Bring mixture to a boil and allow to simmer until the soup thickens and the vegetables are fork tender.

Refreshing Smoothie

Mask the flavor of collard greens by adding them to a smoothie. Add collard greens, strawberries, a banana, blackberries, milk, vanilla yogurt, maple syrup, and ice to a blender. Blend until smooth and pour into glasses.

Rice with Collard Greens

Prepare brown rice in vegetable broth. While the rice cooks, add water, salt, and collard greens to a skillet. Allow collard greens to cook for about 15 minutes. Use a colander to drain the water from the collard greens. Stir the collard greens into the rice with red pepper flakes and garlic powder.


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