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You Should Eat Collard Greens (Do You Want Some of Mine?)

A friend once gave me a garden ornament, a cross with "Bless This Garden" embossed upon it. For a long time the ornament was nestled into foliage in the front garden, but Lou recently moved it to the vegetable plot. It is between two raised beds, and the cross gives the area the disturbing look of a graveyard.


I have decided the cross can stay. My veggies need all the blessings they can get.

Currently we are growing collard greens. Lots of collard greens.

If you don't like collard greens, you should eat them anyway. They are high in many vitamins, including Vitamins A, C, K, and E. They are an excellent source of fiber, folate and omega 3 fatty acids. They lower cholesterol, help to prevent cancer and heart disease and reduce inflammation in the body. 

Fresh, young leaves are best. Rinse well under cold water. There are many recipes, but collards should never be overcooked because this can give a bitter taste. We prepare ours this way:

Add to a large pot of collards a tablespoon of olive oil, a tablespoon of red wine vinegar, a bit of salt to taste, and - the magic ingredient - a tablespoon of sugar. (If one is feeling decadent, skip the salt but add a chunk of pre-cooked ham to the pot.) Cover and cook in an inch or so of water, until the leaves are wilted. Delicious!

So you see I am a fan of collards. But there are just the two of us. Last year Lou planted eight collard plants, and he thought that was not sufficient.

"Do you think twelve plants will be enough?" he asked me this year.

Collards are the type of plants that you cut the leaves and new ones regrow. "Oh, I'm sure twelve plants will be more than enough."

He came home with twenty-four.

The plants are flourishing. We are eating our first harvest this evening. Lou is in the kitchen preparing them, and they smell wonderful. I have told my friends to line up, as we should have plenty to share.


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Reader Comments (11)

The bags you get from Whole Foods (I can't afford to shop there but my sister brought me something in one) now claim Collards are the new Kale. I dunno. I liked the Red Russian Kale I grew last year but not the collards. Yet, I LOVE cabbage. Go figure.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLinda Jones

Your collards look beautiful! I cooked some today (store bought) . . . and could eat greens just about every day - collards, turnips, kale, mustards. Throw in some black-eye'd peas and cornbread . . . and that's a perfect dinner! Not sure why I've never tried growing them, but this post certainly makes me want to try.

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered Commentereli

Wow, you should do a commercial for the Collard Greens Association. ;-) We've had them a few times, and had some in one of our CSA share boxes this summer. They were tasty in stir-fry. I'm not sure I'd want to eat them more than once a week, but they were tasty. If I lived closer to you, I would stop over. ;-)

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterBeth @ PlantPostings

I seldom hear about or see collard greens here, although kale is certainly all the rage. The harvest reminds me of the classic problem with zucchini - one of those plants is generally more than enough for a family plus lots of zucchini bread to give as gifts for Thanksgiving (and Christmas if frozen!). Can collard greens be used in baking? ;)

October 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterKris P

Blessing indeed :) and you just sold Collard greens to us!

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMark and Gaz

Oh, Yes! I would say that Kale is the new Collards. Black Kale is lovely growing; eating ... nah.

Collard leaves sliced and allowed to rest a few minutes then stir-fried are right tasty.

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNell Jean

Not something I'm familiar with, I suspect I do know it under a different name. Lots of greens can be like this - just too many, but think they would make great compost too, it you don't use them all!

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterChristina

Thanks for the recipe, Deb!

I'll have to give it a try :)

October 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAaron

It looks an obliging and generous crop. I wonder, what it might be called if sold out of America?

October 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDiana Studer

Love collards but didn't get them planted this year so I would love some of yours.

October 27, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDonna@Gardens Eye View

The garden sign is very seasonal! lol

DH loves collard greens but I have to admit I don't like them. He grew up eating them though and I didn't. I wish I did like them, since they're such a healthy food. I put raw spinach on my salads instead.

October 29, 2014 | Unregistered Commentersweetbay

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