Almost all recipes that I make stem from local, seasonal food, thanks to my bi-weekly CSA delivery. This year, I am going to focus on sharing ingredients that are seasonal each month based on my delivery goodies. And all month, recipes will feature that ingredient along with other seasonal produce, proteins, and grains.
January’s seasonal food pick is collard greens. Collards are a traditional New Year’s food, sautéed and eaten with black-eyed peas for good luck in the new year. But these hearty greens are also a terrific winter vegetable, packed with nutrition, history, and a variety of uses.
Raw collard greens contain 48% DV vitamin A, 21% DV vitamin C, and 230% DV vitamin K into one 11 calorie single cup serving. Collards are also a great source of folate, calcium, manganese, riboflavin, and vitamin B6. Cooked collards pack in even more nutrition since they shrink down when heated. A single cup of plain, sautéed collard greens has 50 calories, 4 g protein, 5 g fiber, over 300% DV vitamin A, and over 1000% DV vitamin K.
Collard greens are a member of the Brassica family along with kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and even mustard. There are numerous varieties of the collard green plant that differ based on climate and the type and color leaves the plant produces. Plants in the Brassica family are known for their phyto-nutrients which have been studied to play a role in inhibiting cancer cell growth and protecting against free radicals, viruses, bacteria, and other immune protective benefits. There is also potential for collards to help with diabetes management since their high fiber content can aid in management of blood sugar and insulin levels.
Start your year off with one of these nutritious collard recipes:
USDA. Collards, raw. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2927?manu=&fgcd=
USDA. Collards, cooked, boiled, drained, without salt. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference. http://ndb.nal.usda.gov/ndb/foods/show/2928?fgcd=&manu=&lfacet=&format=&count=&max=35&offset=&sort=&qlookup=Collards
Murray M, Pizzorno J, Pizzorno L. The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods. New York, NY: Atria Books; 2005.
Vale AP, Santos J, Melia N, Peixoto V, Brito NV, Beatriz M, Oliveira PP. Phytochemical composition and antimicrobial properties of four varieties of Brassica oleracea sprouts. Food Control. 2015; 55:248-256