Collards are typically grown as an annual in our area, however; it is a biennial plant that produces yellow four-petaled flowers in loose clusters once in its second year. The fruits are dry capsules known as siliques. These plants are susceptible to cabbage loopers and aphids. Ladybugs are a gardener's best friend! They will munch on all of the aphids and help aid you in your efforts to reduce garden pests.
All green parts of the plant are edible and may be harvested at any time during the growing season. Collards are often planted in late summer to early Autumn for a winter harvest here in the south. I recently planted my collard green crop, the expected first harvest is November 10th!
This leafy green is a great source of nutritionally important minerals and vitamins A and C. In a study on indigenous vegetable intake in the S.E. United States, collards were determined to provide the 4th greatest amount of antioxidant capacity related to overall dietary intake among 12 nutrient-rich foods in the study (WH Foods). Including collards in a regular part of a well-balanced diet has long been known to have the capacity to lower blood cholesterol levels, including blood levels of LDL cholesterol. The cancer-preventive properties of collards may be largely related to specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable (Cartea 2007).
Collard greens are a staple in Southern cuisine, the hardy, leafy green is surprisingly versatile. I've used the leaves as wraps and I've added them to quiches as well! Check out the below recipe for my go-to holiday side dish.
Collard Green Goodness
I like to keep my recipes fairly simple and very flexible. To be honest, I hardly measure any ingredients. If you know my husband, Frank, you probably know that this drives him crazy...oh well! What can I say, I like to cook with my gut. So, with this in mind, I'd like you to take this recipe as more of a basic guide to help you create your own tasty Collard Creation.
2 lbs washed & chopped fresh collard greens
1 vegetable bouillon cube
1 yellow onion
3 garlic cloves, chopped
red chili flakes
salt & pepper to taste
Hot Pepper Sauce
Sauté onion & garlic with your bouillon cube
Add water as necessary to prevent your onion and garlic from sticking and burning to the pan because that is the worst!
After your onions and garlic are translucent -
Add the chopped Collards, paprika, red chili flakes, salt, and pepper (and any other spice of your desire)
Cover and cook for 30min, stirring every once in a while until the collards are tender
Serve hot with warm cornbread!
Hot Pepper Sauce is a fantastic addition to this recipe.
You have to top your cooked collards and cornbread with it, it'll make your soul happy!
Share your favorite collards recipe with us and if you try our recipe, please tag us in your creation!
Come visit and shop with us at the Lake Ella Growers Market, the Red Hills Online Market or simply send me a message to place an order, I am able to deliver 7 days a week!
Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Collard.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 25 Sept. 2019, https://www.britannica.com/plant/collard
Cartea, María Elena, and Pablo Velasco. “Glucosinolates in Brassica Foods: Bioavailability in Food and Significance for Human Health.” Phytochemistry Reviews, vol. 7, no. 2, 2007, pp. 213–229.
Collard Greens, http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=138.
“Tips On How To Grow Collard Greens.” Gardening Know How, 21 Mar. 2016, https://www.gardeningknowhow.com/edible/vegetables/greens/growing-collard-greens.htm.
Visual23. “Growing and Eating Collards.” Georgia Organics, https://georgiaorganics.org/for-gardeners/do-it-yourself/growing-and-eating-collards/.