If you have ever cooked collard greens before, and are not quite sure about what to do with them, you can prepare them by first removing the stems and the thick central veins in each leaf. Next cut the leaves into pieces, strips or ribbons. Some people soak the leaves in warm water with salt added, for about ten minutes before preparing them, but this is optional. However, the soaking and the salt ensure they are clean.
You can saute the greens in olive oil or bacon fat, for about 5 minutes with garlic and chopped spicy red pepper. Stir so that the leaves are coated with the oil. When the leaves are still a vivid green and wilted, add a teaspoon of red wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar to the pan and toss them so that they are all evenly coated. Serve them hot or at room temperature, whichever you prefer.
It is possible to blanch the greens after first preparing them as outlined above. Chop the leaves coarsely and cook them in boiling water (salted), for about 10 minutes, when they should be dark and tender. Drain the collard greens in cold water and squeeze to remove excess water. Serve them alone or as an accompaniment to another dish.
The smartest way to cook collard greens is to fry them with garlic, mushrooms and small pieces of chopped red pepper or jalapenos. Add seasoned stock to the pan and cook until the leaves have wilted.
It’s possible to eat the leaves raw, although you might find them indigestible.You can juice them though. A cup of pure collard juice would require eight cups of greens to get an 8 ounce serving. It’s much easier and far less time-consuming to blend collard juice with apple juice and perhaps the beetroot juice. Collard juice can be quite bitter, so mixing it with other juices is best. For a sweet drink, blend the collard leaves with chopped mango and orange, or make a smoothie with banana the collard juice, berries that are in season (or frozen ones), ground flax seeds and almond butter. This is a particularly nutritious drink.
Collard greens are versatile and cheap, so are ideal for families and students living on a tight budget. They are packed full with vitamins and minerals and so are a healthy option. Why not pick up some greens next time you go shopping and experiment with them?