Collard (Brassica oleracea var acephala)
The collard plant (a type of Kale) is thought by botanists to have remained almost the same for about 2000 years. It is a loose-leaf non-heading wild cabbage that was the predecessors of today’s head cabbage. While the exact origin of wild cabbage is unknown, it is thought to be growing wild in Turkey and Greece long before recorded history.
Collards are loaded with beta-carotine (Vitamin A), Vitamin C, calcium and fibre so if you cook them without too much grease they are a great part of a healthy diet! Keep them well chilled to reduce bitterness. Some cooking tips:
- Cook in a small amount of water, or steam them, to preserve their vitamin C content
- Cook with the lid off to prevent the greens from turning a drab olive color
- strain the cooking liquid and use it as a nutritious base for soups or stews.
- combine greens with other vegetables and a whole grain for a healthful stir-fry dish
- add them to soups and stews