Quick Roasted Garlic Collard Greens
For Southerners, the holiday season doesn't seem complete without collard greens! Collards are generally part of big Sunday dinners, but they are especially one of the stars of a southern Thanksgiving meal. Bringing in the new year with collards and black eyed peas is also a southern tradition that is associated with ushering in greater prosperity in the new year. Now who doesn't want more of that in their life?!?
However, given the way my mom cooks collards, without using meat, the process takes over an hour or longer, as the collards simmer over the stove, and you layer in flavor as the greens cook down with herbs, spices and vinegar. I don't know about you, but I don't have hours to get food on the table. So, I developed these quick roasted garlic collards, as an easy side dish for any night of the week. All you need to do is thoroughly wash and de-stem your collards, slice them into thin 1/4" pieces, peel whole cloves of garlic, season and roast for 20 minutes! My family was skeptical about them, but I made a small batch this past Thanksgiving and they were completely devoured in minutes!! #missionaccomplished
Whether you're from the south or not, collards should be a part of your regular routine. For one, there's no doubt that eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables lowers our risk of chronic disease. Collards in particular are so packed with nutrients and a number of health benefits, even beyond other leafy greens! One cup of cooked collards provides more than an entire days worth of the recommended intake of vitamins A and K, and collards are one of the best non-dairy sources of calcium. In addition, boasting 5.3 grams of fiber per cup, cooked collards provide more fiber than any other dark leafy green. In fact, in a lab study comparing steamed collards with other steamed veggies (kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, spinach, green bell pepper, and cabbage), steamed collards had better ability to bind cholesterol in the digestive tract, causing it to be excreted from the body. Therefore, cooked collard greens have the ability to actually lower your cholesterol more than other leafy greens! Given my extreme nutrition nerd status, I think this is so cool! In addition, given the high antioxidant concentration of cruciferous vegetables, studies have suggested that regular consumption of these nutrient power houses has been associated with decreased cancer risk, specifically cancer of the upper digestive tract, colorectum, breast, and kidney.
In order to get the most nutritional value from collards, it's best to cook collards, for shorter periods of time, ideally 10 minutes or less. However, there's no point to eating veggies that don't taste good and I am confident you will devour these quick roasted garlic collards, just as my family did! And who knows, after enjoying these collards, you might just be curious enough to give other veggies you normally don't eat a try. See how I threw in that plug to get you to try new veggies. :)
The bonus is collards are generally available all year round and they last longer in the fridge than other leafy greens. I'll be featuring more quick ways to cook and eat collard green throughout the month of January, so stay tuned! If you make these, let me know what you think! Take a photo, post it to Instagram and tag #benutrition.
Quick Roasted Garlic Collard Greens
Prep time: 10 mins | Cook time: 20 mins | Total time: 30 mins
1 bunch collards
16 cloves garlic
1/4 teaspoon sea salt (I used applewood smoked sea salt, but any sea salt will do)
pinch of red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1.5 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
black pepper to taste
Preheat your oven to 400ºF.
Thoroughly wash the collards and remove the middle rib.
In small batches, stack the collards in a pile, roll up like a cigar, and cut into thin ribbonlike thin strips, about 1/4".
Peel the garlic and trim the ends. You need 4 cloves per 3 collard leaves, so for one bunch, which is generally about 16 leaves, you should about 16 cloves. If you have more leaves per bunch, add more garlic and feel free to add more garlic to your taste, in general. The more garlic the better in my opinion!
Divide the collards and the garlic cloves into two stacks and lay on a sheet of heavy duty aluminum foil large enough to hold the collards and fold to completely seal the collards inside (about 18x18-inch).
Season the collards with the spices, pepper and sea salt, then drizzle with olive oil. I used about 1.5 tablespoons, but be sure to use enough so that the collards are well coated with olive oil.
Use your hands our tongs to coat the collards with oils and seasonings.
Fold the foil over the collards so edges meet. Seal the edges, making tight 1/2-inch fold; fold again.
Roast for ~25 minutes.
NUTRITION INFO (PER SERVING):
122 calories (55 from fat), 125mg sodium, 6g fat, 15g carbohydrate, 5g dietary fiber, 5g protein