Trying to find something healthy to add to your diet? One of the best leafy green vegetables you can add to your diet are collard greens.
While they may leave much to be desired to be used for your salad recipes, these green leaves are so packed with nutrients you really need to add them to your diet any way you can.
Try out a collard green smoothie to rotate your greens and benefit from all its awesome nutrients. Find out what you can get from drinking a collard green smoothie and how you can make them!
What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are very similar to cabbages and kales, and also very close to spinach and bok choy when it comes to its highly nutritious contents.
Their leaves, however, are very similar to cabbages with the way they fold over each other in a rounded cluster forming a ball within itself.
While cabbages is a firm leaf ball, collard greens are not quite as stiff, also known as a rosette leaf formation.
If you are not very familiar with the appearance of collard greens, the closest you can compare them to are somewhere around the shape of napa cabbages but with softer leaves similar to bok choy, without the stems
You know what they say about how greener leaves contain more nutrients? Do not mistake this for the collard green tree as they are not the same thing at all.
Try planting some on your own for a good supply of this leafy vegetable for your household.
Growing Collard Greens in your Yard for your Healthy Smoothies
There is much to be said about growing your own greens for making your healthy smoothies.
Cooking tends to eliminate all those harmful chemicals that were used to treat plants but when you juice your vegetables, you get everything raw into your body.
Washing your vegetables will not always suffice and buying organic all the time can make a dent on your budget in the long run.
One good way to ensure both your well-being as well as the well-being of your purse is to grow your own collard greens in your yard, not to mention any other vegetable that takes your fancy!
Growing your own vegetables in your yard is very easy, not to mention therapeutic.
I personally find it so relaxing to tinker with my plants for about ten minutes a day, and yes, contrary to popular belief that gardening takes a lot of time, it doesn't really take that much time on a daily basis.
Though it may take time every now and then when you decide to re-pot and all that.
Once you grow your own collard greens, you will be more confident about juicing them because you will definitely know how it was grown and what was used to grow it.
Collard greens thrive in cool weather during germination so it is best to plant them around spring or summer.
They also like full sun but are not very selective with soil so you can easily grow them anywhere, but you should always allow for good drainage to avoid rotting.
You can get seeds from your local store or any nursery you have in the area.
I like using soil blocks or seed starter plugs for germinating seeds because they are so much easier to transfer to another pot, especially if I do not want to plant directly into the ground yet.
Note that your germinating seeds are not very strong as compared to other plants, so you don't want to seed too deep.
Cover seeds with only half an inch of soil to make it easy for your plants to sprout easily. Their roots will grow overtime.
You should see your little collard greens start grow within ten days and you should be able to harvest within 40 days.
Nutritious Benefits of Collard Greens
One of the best features of collard greens is in the fact that it does not have any cholesterol content while being very low on calories at the same time.
It is also very rich in insoluble fibers that plays greatly in lowering our cholesterol levels, while promoting healthy digestion at the same time.
This is especially good for those who has problems with constipation and would like to promote healthier bowel movement, which is very important if you do not want to run risks of colon cancer in the long run.
Collard greens are very rich in vitamin C which does not only help boost our immune system to fight off any flu or any other bacterial infections, but also serves as an anti-oxidant to flush out harmful chemicals from our body.
Collard greens are very abundant in terms of vitamin A and different forms of carotenoid that also serves as anti-oxidants and flavanoids.
While vitamin A helps to keep your cells healthy, carotenoid cleanses your body and flavonoids will prevent you from getting cancer.
These awesome collard greens are also very, very rich in vitamin K which generally takes care of our brain and our brain functions. They are also believed to help with cases of of alzheimer's, though studies are still ongoing regarding this.
Collard greens are very rich in di-indolyl-methane and sulforaphane.
These are phytonutrients which helps to eliminate the risks of cancer and also inhibits cancer cells from growing and forming.
They are found to have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory contents that makes them awesome to consume during infection.
Collard greens are also very rich in vitamin B's that helps boost your energy levels throughout the day, calcium for your teeth and bones and iron for your blood.
It still contains other minerals like copper, zinc, manganese and selenium just to mention a few.
Time to make some Collard Green Smoothies!
Apple Banana Collard Green Smoothie
The combination of apple and banana with your collard greens will cover the taste and make it so delicious even your kids will love it! Because of the anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory benefits of collard greens, you may also want to add this to your diet when you are feeling particularly under the weather and finding it hard to eat anything.
What you will need:
- 2 medium sized apples (cored but not peeled).
- 2 Large bananas
- 1 stalk of collard greens (retain stems)
- 1 cups of water (use fresh milk if you prefer a rounder taste)
- Wash your collard greens in a strainer, to remove all impurities and any fertilizer that might have been used if they are store bought. If you are not growing your own collard greens, try to find organically grown ones if possible. The health benefits will definitely compensate for the price difference.
- Wash but do not soak your collard greens, there are water soluble nutrients that are likely to get lost if you soak them.
- Place your collard greens in the juicer and force it down with the pusher.
- Place your apples in the blender, add water and blend for about two minutes on high.
- Peel your bananas and break into halves then toss in with the rest of your ingredients in the blender.
- Add collard green juice to the blender.
- Pulse for two beats then blend for one minute. Repeat pulse and blend to make sure everything is smooth.8. Serve immediately.
Banana Strawberry Collard Green Smoothie Recipe
I love strawberries and I really enjoy incorporating in practically any smoothie I make. Though they are not as versatile as bananas so I cannot really use them as much as I want to.
Using milk instead of water in this recipe will give you a sort of yogurt-like taste which will really cover up the taste of collard greens. Collard greens are light tasting enough but the less I can taste it, the more I can enjoy it.
What you will need:
- 1 cup of fresh strawberries
- 2 large bananas
- 1 cup of fresh milk
- 1 bundle of collard greens
- 2 tbsp. of flax seeds
- Wash collard greens and strawberries thoroughly.
- Place your collard greens in the juicer and force it down with the feeder.
- In the blender, combine strawberries, milk and bananas.
- Blend until everything is smooth. Do not forget to pulse to make sure you did not miss bits.
- Add collard green juice to the blender.
- Blend until everything is mixed thoroughly.
- Pour into a glass, garnish with flax seeds on top.
- This smoothie is best served when chilled.
Collard greens are so nutritious that incorporating them in your diet, whether in salad, dish or smoothie form, is definitely a great step for you. Try to substitute for recipes using spinach or cabbage just for variety and see how much you will enjoy them! Greens are so versatile you can experiment with them as