Move over, kale! Collard greens, the new super food

Collard greens: better than kale? No way!

But it is true at least when it comes to a few different amounts of vitamins and minerals. Kale has gotten a lot of credit as a super food giant lately, but the humble collard green is actually a nutritional powerhouse, too!  Being more of a Southern staple food, collard greens have a very similar nutritional profile as kale. Check out the chart below for a nutrient-for-nutrient comparison of kale to collard greens. 

Just to point out a few areas that collard greens bring needed nutrition to your plate, check out the percentages of iron, vitamin B2, and protein as they compare to kale. Bringing home the trophy for collard greens though, where they beat the competition by a long shot, is in the amount of fiber and calcium they add to your diet

Perhaps now that you know the facts about collard greens, you are convinced you should add them to your diet. Still puzzled as to how to prepare collard greens, though? 

Here are a few tips to bring this new super food to your plate!

  • Blend them. Substitute raw washed collard greens in your favorite green smoothie recipe.
  • Sauté them with garlic and heart-healthy olive oil. Add a shake of hot pepper flakes for some zip.
  • Steam the greens and add them to your favorite pasta dish.
  • Eat the collard green leaves raw torn up in a salad, or even replace the bread in your sandwich and wrap it up in a big leaf for a healthy alternative.
  • Try this tasty recipe:

Raw Collard Greens Salad

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 4 cups raw collard greens, chopped
  • Juice of 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small apple, cored and chopped
  • 1 bunch green onions, chopped (green parts only)
  • About 1/2 a cup sliced almonds

Method

  • Roll up and cut up your collard greens into ribbons, then toss them into a large bowl with the lemon, salt, and olive oil. Use your hands to massage the greens until they’re nice and wilted.
  • Toss in the apple and onions. If you’re not planning to serve right away, stop here for now.
  • Just before serving, top each helping of greens with about 2 tablespoons of almonds.

Learn more

Want to know more, or understand why this matters? Want to know why our bodies need these nutrients? Get the basics on vitamins and minerals found in foods.