Collard greens Facts
Collard greens are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea (Acephala
Group), the same species that produces
broccoli. The plant is grown for its large, dark-colored, edible leaves
and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the Southern
United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Bosnia and Herzegovina,
Spain and in Kashmir. They are classified in the same cultivar group as
kale and spring greens, to
which they are extremely similar genetically.
Widely considered to be healthy foods, collards are good sources of
vitamin C (only when eaten raw, because heat destroys vitamin C) and
soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer
properties, such as diindolylmethane and sulforaphane.
Roughly a quarter pound (approx. 100 g) of cooked collards contains
Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have recently
discovered that 3,3'-Diindolylmethane in Brassica vegetables such as
collard greens is a potent modulator of the innate immune response
system with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.
Collard greens are a staple vegetable of southern U.S. cuisine. They
are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as
kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in "mixed greens". They
are generally eaten year-round in the South. Typical seasonings when
cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks,
smoked turkey drumsticks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat),
diced onions, vinegar, salt, and black, white, or crushed red pepper.
Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day, along with
black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the
coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money.
Cornbread is used to soak up the "pot liquor", a nutrient-rich collard
broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make
collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings.
about Collard greens
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