Kickin’ Collard Greens

Table of Contents

Introduction:

Kickin’ Collard Greens are a delightful and flavorful side dish that hails from the Southern United States. These hearty, leafy greens are slow-cooked with a medley of seasonings, including smoky bacon, onions, and a touch of heat from red pepper flakes. Collard greens are not only delicious but also packed with essential nutrients, making them a staple in Southern cuisine. Whether you’re serving them as part of a traditional soul food meal or as a nutritious addition to your dinner table, Kickin’ Collard Greens are a true Southern classic.

Ingredients:

For the Collard Greens:

2 pounds collard greens (about 2 bunches)
4-6 slices of bacon, chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes (adjust to taste)
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
Salt and black pepper to taste

Instructions:

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1. Prepare the Collard Greens:

Start by washing the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the tough stems, and then stack the leaves and roll them up tightly. Slice the rolled leaves into thin strips. Set the sliced collard greens aside.

2. Cook the Bacon:

In a large, heavy-bottomed pot or Dutch oven, cook the chopped bacon over medium heat until it becomes crispy and the fat is rendered.

3. Sauté the Onions and Garlic:

Add the finely chopped onion to the pot with the bacon. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions become translucent. Stir in the minced garlic and cook for another minute.

4. Add Collard Greens:

Add the sliced collard greens to the pot, a few handfuls at a time, allowing them to wilt and fit into the pot as they cook down. Stir well to combine with the bacon, onions, and garlic.

5. Season and Simmer:

Sprinkle the red pepper flakes, salt, and black pepper over the collard greens. Pour in the chicken or vegetable broth, ensuring that the collards are almost covered. Stir to incorporate the seasonings.

6. Simmer and Cook:

Cover the pot and let the collard greens simmer over low to medium-low heat for about 45 minutes to 1 hour, or until they are tender. Stir occasionally and add more broth if needed to prevent sticking.

7. Serve:

Serve the Kickin’ Collard Greens hot as a side dish, complementing a wide range of main courses. They’re especially delicious with cornbread, black-eyed peas, or fried chicken.

Kickin’ Collard Greens offer a savory, slightly spicy, and nutritious addition to your meals. They’re not only a Southern tradition but also a tasty way to enjoy the health benefits of collard greens, which are rich in vitamins, minerals, and dietary fiber.

BENEFITS

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Kickin’ Collard Greens not only provide a burst of flavor but also offer several potential health benefits:

Nutrient-Rich: Collard greens are a nutritional powerhouse, packed with vitamins and minerals such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, and folate, which are essential for overall health and well-being.

Dietary Fiber: Collard greens are a great source of dietary fiber, which supports healthy digestion, aids in bowel regularity, and may help manage blood sugar levels.

Antioxidants: The red pepper flakes in this dish add a spicy kick and contain capsaicin, a compound with potential antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties.

Low in Calories: Collard greens are low in calories, making them a suitable choice for those looking to manage their calorie intake while still enjoying flavorful and filling meals.

Iron and Calcium: Collard greens are a source of iron and calcium, supporting vital functions like transporting oxygen in the blood and maintaining strong bones.

Vitamin K: Collard greens are particularly rich in vitamin K, which plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health.

Heart Health: The dietary fiber and antioxidants in collard greens may contribute to heart health by helping manage cholesterol levels and blood pressure.

Versatile Side Dish: Kickin’ Collard Greens can be paired with a variety of main dishes, adding a dose of nutrients and flavor to your meals.

While Kickin’ Collard Greens offer these potential benefits, it’s important to enjoy them in moderation as part of a balanced diet. Pair them with other nutritious foods to ensure a well-rounded meal plan.

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