Preparation, uses, and tips
Clean collard leaves thoroughly before cooking by dunking each leaf into a bowl of fresh
water several times. Then rinse under running water. The stalks are generally too tough to
eat, so leaves should be stripped from the stalks and torn into small pieces before cooking.
Steaming is not the best way to cook collards because it gives them a somewhat tough
Serve collards with beans—especially
black-eyed peas for a very traditional southern meal—or add them to soups and stews.
Good seasonings for collards include garlic,
fresh ginger, dill, parsley, hot sauce, cinnamon, hot peppers, vinegar, and curry.
To boil or simmer
Traditionally, collards are cooked with bacon or salt pork, although health-conscious cooks
have developed many new recipes that are lower in saturated fat. Collards are often simmered
for several hours, which produces a very tender vegetable. For faster preparation, they can be
boiled in water or broth for 15 to 30 minutes, which yields a slightly firmer texture.
Simmer collards first in a small amount of water for 10 minutes. Then drain them and
sauté in olive oil with herbs or
spices until tender, about 10 minutes. In parts of Africa, collards are often cooked with
hot peppers and other spices.
Place the collards, with just the water clinging to the leaves, in a covered dish. Cook on
high until tender, about 7 to 10 minutes. Stir after about 4 minutes. Let stand, covered, for
about 2 minutes before serving.
Collards are available fresh or frozen.
Collards (chopped, raw), 1 cup (186g)
Total Fat: 0.15g
*Foods that are an “excellent source” of a particular
nutrient provide 20% or more of the Recommended Daily Value. Foods that are a “good
source” of a particular nutrient provide between 10 and 20% of the Recommended Daily