What nature creates is perfection, meant to nourish and heal. Take dark leafy greens, for example. Packed with vitamins and fiber, greens like collards deserve more than simply being relegated to a salad or smoothie.
Can we all just take a minute to appreciate the amazing things our Earth can do? I mean, vegetables really are so incredible. No, I haven’t gone off the deep end; in fact, I find myself saying this nearly every time I eat a fresh vegetable – especially if it’s come straight from the garden. Or fruit, even…. Basically anything that grows out of the ground. Too often we take for granted what’s provided to us straight from nature. It can be seen in the aisles and aisles of processed food in the grocery store, and sometimes in our own carts. We eschew what’s simple and natural in favor of… what isn’t. But ultimately, what nature creates is perfection, meant to nourish and heal. Take dark leafy greens, for example. Packed with vitamins and fiber, greens like collards deserve more than simply being relegated to a salad or smoothie. Why? Read on…
What are collard greens?
Collard greens are the giant, flat leaves of greens you see sold in big bunches at your local farmers’ market or grocery store. Often sauteed, collard greens are super hearty (making them a great choice for cold weather), and fall into the same family as kale, cauliflower, broccoli, brussels sprouts, and swiss chard (Brassica oleracea), a fact that’s easy to see when you look at the color and texture of the leaves.It’s very similar to that of kale and broccoli leaves. Collard greens grow nearly worldwide and the plants can get huge – up to two feet in height!
What are their benefits?
Collard greens are a cruciferous vegetable, which makes them stand out for their ability to produce glucosinolates. That is, compounds that contain sulfur. These compounds could support the body’s ability to detox. On top of this compound, collard greens also produce glutathione, a naturally-occurring peptide that could also aid in detoxification and may play a key role in longevity. Fewer toxins and longevity – sounds pretty good, right? Not only that, but collard greens are nutritionally similar to kale and packed with vitamins K, A, C and B6 – all key nutrients required by the body. Collard greens are also an excellent source of gut-loving soluble fiber!
How do you use collard greens?
I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Sure collard greens are great sauteed or added to soups or salads or blended into smoothies. Personally, my absolute favorite way to use them are as one-ingredient taco shell alternatives. Nature’s taco shell! Collard greens also make great wraps. To prepare them, simply remove the woody center vein, essentially cutting the leaf in half. Presto! You have two flexible, hearty wraps that hold up better than lettuce and boast deeper nutrition, too. Plus, they’re delicious. You can’t go wrong.
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