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Collard Green Goodness!

It’s fall and that means collard greens have finally come back into their own after a long hot season of bitterness.  If you’re living in the south and buying local you really don’t get fired up about any hearty green until that first cold snap.  You’ve probably heard this, but the cold snap helps to bring out the sugars in all greens and makes them more palatable, to most.  I say most, but there are plenty of people that say to me on a pretty regular basis, “I don’t like collard greens, they’re just too bitter.”

I love collards any way I can get them and I want you to love them too!  So, I’m here to share a wonderful collard green “de-bittering” trick to encourage y’all to eat these greens because they are loaded with goodness.  There are many health benefits to eating collards but one that sticks out for me is that there is equal the amount of calcium in one cup of collards as there is in one cup of milk.  How about that?

Parboiling is the partial boiling of food, in this case collards, and getting them ready for their second cooking.  But my goal here is to boil off a lot of the bitterness so they’ll be more palatable for folks.  This is a great trick because you truly are leaving the bitter water behind.  Adding salt adds a little to the flavor but it’s mostly to bring/keep the beautiful green color.

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Parboiling the collards!

My next post will give you a simple recipe for a second cooking…Asian Collard Greens, so stay tuned.  But, in the meantime you can saute’ the greens with some garlic, onions, bell peppers, radishes (like you see below) or throw some into soups & stews, whatever you like but don’t forget the good fat.  The fat will help your body convert the vitamins in the greens to the most usable form…vitamin A & K, in particular.  Plus the fat will help to mellow more of the bitterness.

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Collards with Watermelon Radishes from Rocky Glade Farm…cooked in butter!

Here are the simple steps to de-bittering collards: (…in this case, five large bunches of collards because I like to stockpile my greens…)

  1. Fill 4-6 quart pot 2/3’s full with water and bring to a full boil.
  2. Meanwhile chop greens into 1-2  inch pieces with or without the stalk.
  3. Fill your clean sink or big bowl with water and wash collards well.
  4. Let sit in water for a few minutes then lift out into clean bowl.
  5. Add one tablespoon of salt to boiling water…it will bubble up a bit.
  6. Add your chopped/cleaned collards and stir until all have started to wilt.
  7. Boil for 8-10 minutes, stirring frequently until just cooked.
  8. Lift out with a “spider” or pour into a colander to drain.
  9. Spread collards out to cool on a baking pan.
  10. Either use right away or cool and store in fridge for second cooking.
  11. Or once completely cooled store in containers and freeze them for later!

This may seem like a lot of work to eat some collards but it sounds way more laborious than it is.  Plus, this is why I parboil a big batch so that I’ll have plenty in the fridge and freezer…cause we eat them nearly every day!  Just try it because it really is worth it!

So write me and let me know your favorite way to cook collard greens or how it goes when you buy a bunch and parboil them!

Happy Greens Eating Everyone!

Chop the collards!

Chop the collards!

Wash the collards!

Wash the collards!

Lift the collards out of the water...leaving the dirt behind!

Lift the collards out of the water…leaving the dirt behind!

Now they're all nice and clean and ready for parboiling!

Now they’re all nice and clean and ready for parboiling!

Water is boiling...time to add the salt!

Water is boiling…time to add the salt!

Stir collards with spider or any old spoon will do!

Stir collards with spider or any old spoon will do!

Taste them to see if they're done!

Taste them to see if they’re done!

Spread collards out in a single layer on a baking pan to cool!

Spread collards out in a single layer on a baking pan to cool!

Once cooled package them up and store in fridge for next cooking, or freeze for later!

Once cooled package them up and store in fridge for next cooking, or freeze for later!