Blossoming Health with Nanny Bee
By Linda Pecone
As do many other greens, collard greens health benefits includes detoxifying the body, supplying needed nutrients, preventing cancer, strengthening bone, supporting digestion, preventing anemia, lowering cholesterol level and supporting hair growth. Collard greens also help slow down aging process, manage diabetes and improve mood.
Collard greens is a large leafy vegetable from the family of cabbage and broccoli. Some historians refer to collard greens as the dinosaurs of vegetables because of their size. Records show that Greeks and Romans cultivated many different species of collard greens. Many of the recipes for collard greens are connected to African American history.
Collard greens are a staple in the southern diet. Many Southern Carolinans consider them to be the official state vegetable. There are many festivals held in Atlanta and Savannah that celebrate this vegetable.
These very nutritious vegetables are cultivated in the cooler months of the year and can resist frost unlike cabbage and other members of its species. It is an excellent plant to be grown in your backyard or front garden. Collard greens rank as one of the most nutritious foods in the world, much like kale they are considered to be superfood. They are high in vitamins K, folate, and vitamin C. Collard greens are also very high in fiber.
I love to serve collard greens to my family. This is one of our favorite recipes.
Coconut Milk Braised
2 tbsp coconut oil
1 large onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1” knob fresh ginger, peeled and minced
1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
1 tsp turmeric (adds some extra inflammatory protection)
2 tsp Jamaican curry powder
2 lbs whole collard green leaves, stems removed and leaves thinly sliced
14 oz can full fat coconut milk
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 lime (optional)
Preheat your oven to 350° F.
In a large pot, a dutch pot is best, but if you don’t have one use a pot that can be placed in the oven, melt the coconut oil over medium heat. Cook the onions just until softened, seasoning with a pinch of salt.
Stir in the garlic and ginger, pepper flakes and curry powder. Cook for another minute until fragrant, then pour in the coconut milk.
Stir until all lumps are dissolved and allow the mixture to come up to a gentle boil. Reduce heat and add the collard greens by the handful. You may need to stop and let them wilt a bit before adding the rest to the pot.
Once all the greens are in, cover the pot for a few minutes so they can wilt down completely. Give the greens a good stir to get coated in coconut milk. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then cover again and transfer the pot to the oven for 1 hour.
When you open the pot you’ll see that the very top layer has roasted and turned a little crispy!
But stir it up, and it gives way to a creamy, dreamy pile of coconut milk braised greens. The greens don’t get saucy like traditional methods, but they’ll melt in your mouth. If you do want a little more of a broth, you can add chicken or veggie stock to the pot before roasting.
Finish with a squeeze of lime, and serve hot! These freeze really well so it’s a good one to try for meal prep.
Linda Pecone, along with her husband, is a long time resident of Lyons Colorado. She has a degree in nutrition, and is a certified herbalist. She enjoys creating healthful recipes for families and pets. She is also the owner of The Lyons Little Yellow Wellness House on Second Avenue.