Looking for a delicious and healthy new addition to your vegan meal plan? Try out some vegan collard greens recipes! Collard greens are a leafy green vegetable that is packed full of nutrition and flavor. When cooked properly, these greens can be a staple side dish that adds color and texture to any plate. Plus, they are very versatile and can be cooked in many different ways to suit any taste preference. In this article, we’ll provide you with some mouth-watering vegan collard greens recipes that are easy to make and will leave your taste buds satisfied.
What are Collard Greens?
Collard greens are a type of green leafy plant that has been part of the Southern cuisine for centuries. It is a close relative of kale and broccoli and is widely grown in the South Eastern region of the United States.
Collard greens are an excellent source of essential vitamins and minerals, like vitamins A, C, and K, calcium, and iron. They are low in calories and high in fiber. Collard greens make for a healthy addition to any meal, and you can prepare them in many different ways.
How to Select Collard Greens
When selecting collard greens, it is essential to look for fresh and crisp leaves. The leaves should be bright green, with no yellow or brown spots. Collard greens are generally available year-round, but they are at their best during the winter months, as the cold temperatures help to sweeten their flavor.
How to Store Collard Greens
The best way to store collard greens is to first remove any yellowed or wilted leaves, then wrap the fresh leaves in a damp paper towel and place them in a plastic bag or container. This method will help to keep the leaves fresh and crisp for up to five days.
How to Cook Collard Greens
- Wash the collard greens thoroughly under cold running water, and remove any tough stems and ribs.
- Cut the leaves into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
- In a large pot, fry onions until softened.
- Add vegetable broth or water to the pot and bring it to a boil.
- Once boiling, add the collard greens to the pot and stir to combine.
- Reduce the heat to low, cover the pot with a lid, and simmer for 20-30 minutes or until tender.
- Season with salt, black pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste and enjoy.
Why Choose Vegan Collard Greens Recipes?
Collard greens are a staple in Southern cuisine and are usually cooked with smoked meat or bacon fat. However, as more people are choosing to follow a vegan diet, it is important to find alternatives to traditional recipes. Vegan collard greens recipes are the perfect solution as they provide all the flavors and textures of the classic dish but without the use of animal products. Here are some reasons why you should choose vegan collard greens recipes next time you’re looking for a healthy and ethical meal.
Healthy and Nutritious
Collard greens are one of the healthiest vegetables you can eat. They are packed with vitamins, fiber, and minerals that are essential for good health. When cooked with animal products, such as bacon, the dish becomes high in fat, sodium, and cholesterol. On the other hand, vegan collard greens recipes are a nutritious alternative that are low in calories, fat, and sodium, making them a great addition to any healthy diet.
Easy to Prepare
Vegan collard greens recipes are easy to prepare and require only a few ingredients. The recipe usually involves sautéing onions and garlic, then adding vegetable broth, collard greens, and some seasoning. Some recipes also call for additional ingredients such as diced tomatoes, peppers or spices. Vegan collard greens can be cooked on the stovetop, in a slow cooker, or even in an Instant Pot, making them a versatile and convenient dish to prepare.
Choosing vegan collard greens recipes can have a positive impact on the environment. Animal agriculture is a major contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, deforestation, and water pollution. By choosing vegan dishes, you’re reducing the demand for animal products, which in turn reduces the negative environmental impacts of animal agriculture. Additionally, vegan collard greens recipes are made with fresh, whole food ingredients which further reduces your carbon footprint.
Ethical and Humane
One of the most important reasons to choose vegan collard greens recipes is for ethical and humane reasons. Many people choose to follow a vegan lifestyle because they believe it aligns with their values of treating animals with compassion and respect. Choosing vegan collard greens recipes means that you can enjoy a delicious and healthy dish without contributing to the exploitation and suffering of animals. You can also feel good about supporting smaller, independent farms that focus on sustainable and humane growing practices.
Top Vegan Collard Greens Recipes to Try
If you’re looking to add more leafy greens to your diet, vegan collard greens recipes are a great option. Collard greens are packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron. Plus, they’re versatile and can be cooked in a variety of ways to suit your tastes. Here are some of the best vegan collard greens recipes to try.
Classic Southern Style Collard Greens
Collard greens are a staple in Southern cuisine, and this vegan version is just as delicious as the original. To make this recipe, you’ll need:
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 bunch of collard greens, cleaned and chopped
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- Salt and pepper, to taste
To prepare this dish, start by sautéing the onion and garlic in olive oil until they’re tender. Then, add the collard greens and cook until they start to wilt. Next, add the vegetable broth and smoked paprika, cover the pot, and let everything simmer for about an hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve with your favorite vegan protein.
Spicy Asian Fusion Collard Greens
If you’re in the mood for something with a little more kick, this recipe is for you. For this dish, you’ll need:
- 1 tbsp sesame oil
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced
- 1 bunch of collard greens, cleaned and chopped
- 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tbsp chili paste
- 1 tsp maple syrup
To make this recipe, heat the sesame oil in a pan and add the garlic and red bell pepper. Stir fry for a minute or two until they’re fragrant. Then, add the collard greens and cook until they start to wilt. In a small bowl, whisk together the tamari or soy sauce, chili paste, and maple syrup. Pour this mixture over the collard greens and stir until everything is coated. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes, then serve hot.
Collard Greens Stuffed with Quinoa and Mushrooms
This recipe is a bit more complex than the others, but it’s worth the effort. Here’s what you’ll need:
- 6 large collard green leaves, blanched
- 1 cup of quinoa, cooked
- 1 cup of mushrooms, chopped
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 cup of vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Begin by blanching the collard green leaves in boiling water for about 30 seconds. Drain and set aside. In a separate pan, sauté the mushrooms, onion, and garlic in olive oil until they’re tender. Add the cooked quinoa and vegetable broth to the pan and stir until everything is heated through. Season with salt and pepper to taste. To assemble the stuffed collard greens, place a spoonful of the quinoa mixture onto a collard green leaf and roll it up like a burrito. Repeat with the remaining leaves and filling. Serve hot.
How to Cook Collard Greens Perfectly
Cooking collard greens requires some special attention and techniques to achieve the perfect texture and flavor. Here are some tips to help you cook collard greens perfectly:
Prepping Collard Greens
The first step in cooking perfect collard greens is proper preparation. Collard greens need to be washed well, and the stems need to be removed before cooking. Once they are washed, remove the tough stems from the leaves. The quickest way to do this is to fold each leaf in half along the stem and pull the stem away.
Seasoning Collard Greens
Collard greens need to be seasoned well to bring out their flavor. A great way to do this is to add aromatics like garlic and onions to the pot. You can also add spices like red pepper flakes, smoked paprika, and bay leaves. Adding a pinch of sugar to the pot can help to balance the flavors.
Cooking Collard Greens
Collard greens take a bit of time to cook, as they are a tough green. The best way to cook them is low and slow. Add the collard greens to a large pot with plenty of liquid, such as vegetable broth, water, or a combination. Bring the liquid to a boil, then reduce the heat and let the collard greens simmer for at least 45 minutes to 1 hour, until they are tender.
Extra Detail: Vegan Collard Greens Recipes
Vegan collard greens recipes are a great way to enjoy this healthy and flavorful green. Here are four vegan collard greens recipes to try:
- Collard Greens and Black-Eyed Pea Soup: This hearty soup is full of flavor and nutrition. Saute onions, garlic, and celery in a large pot. Add vegetable broth, black-eyed peas, collard greens, and spices like thyme and smoked paprika. Simmer until the collard greens are tender, then serve hot with crusty bread.
- Collard Greens Quesadillas: These quesadillas are a fun and unique way to enjoy collard greens. Saute sliced collard greens and onions until tender. Spread refried black beans on a tortilla, then add the collard greens and top with vegan cheese. Fold the tortilla in half and cook in a skillet until crispy on both sides.
- Collard Greens and Sweet Potato Stew: This stew is a comforting and nourishing meal. Saute onions and garlic in a large pot, then add vegetable broth, cubed sweet potatoes, collard greens, and spices like cumin and coriander. Simmer until the sweet potatoes are tender, then serve hot with a sprinkle of chopped cilantro.
- Collard Greens Wraps: These wraps are a healthy and delicious way to enjoy collard greens. Blanch large collard green leaves in boiling water for 30 seconds, then transfer to a bowl of ice water. Pat dry. Fill each leaf with your favorite fillings, such as hummus, roasted vegetables, and avocado. Roll up tightly and enjoy!
Collard Greens Nutritional Benefits
Collard greens, known for their tough texture and slightly bitter taste, have remained a staple in Southern cooking for centuries. However, they have lately gained popularity among health enthusiasts who want to boost their nutrient intake while following a vegan diet. These greens are packed with essential vitamins and nutrients that can provide a range of health benefits, from improving digestion to reducing inflammation. Below are some of the nutritional benefits of collard greens:
Loaded with Vitamins and Minerals
Collard greens are rich in several minerals and vitamins, including calcium, potassium, and vitamins C and K. According to the USDA, one cup of cooked collard greens provides 268% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA) of vitamin A, as well as 50% of the RDA of vitamin C. These vitamins provide numerous benefits, including boosting the immune system, reducing inflammation, and aiding in bone formation.
High in Fiber
Collard greens are a great source of dietary fiber, with one serving providing approximately 7% of the RDA. Fiber is essential for maintaining digestive health and reducing the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and stroke. Eating a fiber-rich diet can also help to regulate blood sugar levels and promote feelings of fullness, which can lead to weight loss.
Collard greens are also a rich source of antioxidants, which help to protect against cellular damage caused by free radicals. They contain several antioxidants, including carotenoids, flavonoids, and phenolic compounds. Carotenoids are associated with a reduced risk of cancer, cardiovascular disease, and eye diseases such as cataracts and macular degeneration.
Helps Reduce Inflammation
Collard greens have anti-inflammatory properties, which have been linked to a range of health benefits, including a reduced risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes, and cancer. They contain several phytonutrients that can help to reduce inflammation, including kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin.
May Lower Cholesterol Levels
Collard greens have been shown to have cholesterol-lowering properties, making them a heart-healthy addition to the diet. The high fiber content in collard greens can help to reduce cholesterol levels by binding to cholesterol in the digestive tract, preventing it from being absorbed into the bloodstream. Studies have shown that consuming a diet rich in collard greens can lead to a reduction in both total cholesterol and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels.
Frequently Asked Questions about Vegan Collard Greens Recipes
If you’re new to the world of vegan collard greens recipes, you might have some questions about how to prepare them, which ingredients to use, and how to store them correctly. Check out these frequently asked questions for answers and advice.
1. What can I use instead of ham hock to add flavor to my vegan collard greens?
Traditionally, collard greens are cooked with a ham hock to add smoky flavor and depth. However, as a vegan, you can still achieve that rich, savory taste with a few ingredient swaps. Try adding a splash of liquid smoke or a small amount of smoked salt for a similar effect. You could also substitute the ham hock with smoked tofu or tempeh, or simply season the greens with other herbs and spices like garlic, onion, and paprika.
2. How do I remove the bitter taste from collard greens?
Collard greens can have a slightly bitter taste, which some people find unpleasant. To reduce this bitterness, try blanching the greens in boiling water for a few minutes before cooking them. You can also add a pinch of baking soda to the water to help neutralize the bitterness. Additionally, removing the tougher stems from the leaves can also make the greens taste less bitter.
3. Can I freeze cooked collard greens?
Yes, you can definitely freeze cooked collard greens for later. First, let the greens cool completely, then transfer them to an airtight container or freezer bag. Be sure to label the container or bag with the date and contents, so you know what you’re storing. When you’re ready to reheat the greens, simply thaw them overnight in the fridge and warm them up on the stove or in the microwave.
4. How do I know when collard greens are done cooking?
Cooking time can vary depending on the size and tenderness of your collard greens, as well as your personal preference for texture. In general, collard greens should cook for at least 30-45 minutes to become tender and fully flavored. To check for doneness, fish out a small piece of greens with a slotted spoon and taste it. If the texture is to your liking and the flavor is good, your greens are probably done. You could also cut into a stem to check for tenderness.
5. Can I use canned collard greens instead of fresh?
While fresh collard greens are ideal for many recipes, canned collard greens can also be a convenient option. Just be sure to drain and rinse the greens thoroughly before using them, as they can be quite salty. You may also need to adjust the cooking time and seasoning levels to account for the pre-cooked nature of canned greens.
6. What are some ways to use vegan collard greens besides in the traditional Southern-style dish?
Vegan collard greens don’t have to be limited to one classic dish! There are many creative and delicious ways to use collard greens in your cooking. Here are five ideas to get you started:
- Pesto: Make a pesto sauce by blending cooked and cooled collard greens with garlic, nuts (such as almonds or cashews), olive oil, and lemon juice. Toss with pasta or use as a dip or spread.
- Wraps: Use large collard green leaves as a wrap for sandwich fillings, like hummus and veggies or tofu and avocado.
- Stir-fry: Saute collard greens with other veggies and protein (such as tofu or mushrooms) for a quick and healthy stir-fry. Add soy sauce, ginger, and chili flakes for flavor.
- Filling: Use cooked and seasoned collard greens as a filling for burritos, tacos, or enchiladas, along with beans and vegan cheese.
- Soup: Add chopped collard greens to your favorite soup recipes for added nutrition and flavor. Try a simple vegetable soup or a spicy African peanut soup with collard greens and sweet potatoes.
Thanks for Reading!
We hope you enjoyed this collection of delicious vegan collard greens recipes. Eating a plant-based diet can be a healthy and sustainable choice for both you and the planet. If you’re looking for more vegan food inspiration, be sure to check out our website for more recipe ideas and tips on living a compassionate lifestyle. See you again soon!