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Kale and Collard  This thread currently has 2,842 views. Print Print Thread
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Laura P
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 5:31am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

Kyosha Nim
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These are two veggies I love but for the life of me can not get them cooked well enough for them to be digestable to me, any ideas????



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Schluggell
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 8:35am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Quoted from lkpetrolino
..cooked well enough for them to be digestable to me...


Digestible??? How do you mean?

Personally I like them raw better than cooked - fresh from the garden in late Fall is far better than any store-bought {intexture and taste}. At least Kale anyways is a source of fresh salad greens when there is snow on the ground.

Trimming off the stem/midrib can help.

Also besides cooking, try a sort of "Antipasti" with them by marinating beforehand - sort of a Vinaigrette-Slaw.


Herr Schlüggell -- Establish a Garden; Cultivate Community. "To see things in the seed, that is genius. He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much. The way to do is to be." -Lao Tzu
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Schluggell  -  Thursday, December 7, 2006, 8:38am
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Brighid45
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 11:40am Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Schluggell's suggestion of removing the ribs and stem is a good one, as they naturally tend to be tough. I would also suggest using the smaller more tender leaves.

I find collards are more digestible if you blanch the leaves first before cooking them. I dip the leaves in boiling water for about 10-20 seconds, then cook them as desired. Yes, you do lose some nutrients this way, but there's always a tradeoff. I'd rather lose a few vitamins than constantly battle heartburn or indigestion. Kale can also be treated this way.

I've also found that using some olive oil to saute the greens, or put in their cooking water, goes a long way toward making them easier to digest. A combination of olive oil and ghee works well too. You don't need much--just a tablespoon or so. When I make kale in the morning for breakfast, I saute the blanched dried greens for about 2 minutes in olive oil, stirring to make sure all the leaves are coated; then I cover the pan and let the greens steam and wilt for about 2 more minutes, maybe a little longer.

Hope this helps


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Whimsical
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 1:25pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

HUNTER Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto
Kyosha Nim
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I have a friend who blends up a banana and some kale every morning for breakfast - so maybe choose an A-compliant fruit (or fruits) and trying drinking them?  


MIFHI E-185
Naturopathic Doctor in Toronto, Ontario, Canada
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Schluggell
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Sounds almost Hawai'ian: A 'Kalanana' Smoothie Pleaz...a healthy change from Green Beer on St. Paddys to boot.


Herr Schlüggell -- Establish a Garden; Cultivate Community. "To see things in the seed, that is genius. He who obtains has little. He who scatters has much. The way to do is to be." -Lao Tzu
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Vicki
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 1:44pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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Long cooking times improve the body's access to calcium in greens?
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BuzyBee
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 1:45pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I love to eat them as well but struggle in cooking them to turn out the right way. The little bit I do know is that they require just a little bit of water, cook slow and long, and season as desired. Mine always turn out tough, chewy, and not done. But anywhere I go and there are cooked collards or kale I load my plate up and enjoy.

I think you should just keep trying different ways and don't give up. If one way fails or does not turn out the way you like it, try something different.
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apositive
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 2:15pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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While I do have very young kale leaves raw in salad, I agree with Vicki that longer cooking time helps make nutrients more accessible.  Elsewhere I have heard it recommended that kale and collards be cooked to the point that their green color becomes that dull color that would indicate, with many other vegetables, that they are overcooked - but not for these guys.


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Don
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 2:47pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I usually cook 3-4 quarts (finished amount) of collard greens every week. I love them and have a huge serving of them for breakfast basically everyday.

I agree 100% that by cooking collard greens longer they become much better tasting. In fact, after a long enough time so that when even the biggest pieces of the rib/stem are completely tender the collards will taste sweet.

I buy very large bunches of collard greens at a local HFS. I only buy bunched collard greens. I won't buy them chopped up and bagged or bundles of the leaves that have already been pulled off of the main stalk. I figure they will be fresher and more nutritious with the leaves still on the stalk, especially because I cook all of the ribs/stems all the way down to where they attach to the main stalk.

I do not add anything other than water to the pot. I used to, but have found they taste better when cooked totally plain. I do eat them with olive oil.


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BuzyBee
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 2:56pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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MoDon, how long do you cook them?. What is a long time, hour, couple of hours, etc.  I think this is my problem in cooking them.
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Don
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 3:23pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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The short answer is I really have no idea how long I cook my collard greens, but yes it could be a couple of hours or maybe longer.

Here is the long answer. I have an 8 quart pot. I put it on the stove when it is full of cut up collard greens and usually add about 1 1/2 cups of cups of water and turn the electric burner on to med-high. Then I go back to cutting up the rest of the collard greens. Usually the collards in the pot are cooked down enough for me to keep adding additional plates full of cut up collards as I progress until I am done cutting up the whole bundle. I really don't know how long this process takes, but if it was a really big bunch it can take awhile.

Once I have added all the collards to the pot I will turn the stove down to med-low until all the collards have cooked down and are dull green. I will then turn the stove down to somewhere between the lowest setting possible and one notch above that. I will then set the timer for 20 minutes at a time to remind me to go back and check the water level (I don't want to let them run dry!) and stir them. I will keep doing this for several times finally starting to check a bite of rib/stem for tenderness and taste each time.

I am never in a rush to turn the stove off. I will sometimes leave them cooking until late in the evening finally turning them off so they will have a little time to cool somewhat before I put them in the refrigerator for the night. Even when I do turn the stove off I leave the pot on the burner so they will keep "cooking" for a while longer.


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BuzyBee
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Thanks for the info. I will practice with this until I get it right. Sooner or Later I will have home cooked collards that are cooked done and taste good.

I really do appreciate the step by step process. I like it when someone gives me instructions that are clear and easy to follow.
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Victoria
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 5:12pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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I think Don probably cooks his collards about 5 times longer than anyone else I know!  And that's probably why he is able to eat so much of them without problems.  In our present era, we are so accustomed to lightly steaming vegetables to be 'al dente'.  This may work with broccoli, but the big leaf greens are a different thing altogether.  But keep in mind that with all that cooking, there are a lot of the nutrients left in the cooking water.  It needs to be eaten also.

This is the way they were cooked in the Appalachian Mountains where I grew up.  A BIG pot of greens was put on the stove, and literally cooked for hours.  They always tasted good.  I think the only seasonings ever used were salt, oil, and sometimes a piece of pork fat!  



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Drea
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Collards are also good added to bean soups (the ones that need to be cooked for hours on the stove). The nutrients go into the soup and the leaves get fully cooked.


Let go of resistance; feel appreciation for what is, and eagerness for what is coming.
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Don
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Quoted from Victoria
But keep in mind that with all that cooking, there are a lot of the nutrients left in the cooking water.  It needs to be eaten also.

The the liquid at the bottom is commonly called potlicker and is delicious. I wouldn't waste a drop of it.  


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Colleen
Thursday, December 7, 2006, 5:22pm Report to Moderator Report to Moderator

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MoDon, how long do these collards then last in your frig?


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BuzyBee
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Victoria, your post just brought up a thought of mine. Does any use the stainless steel waterless cookware. I have read articles about how when you cook with this cookware system the nutrients stay in the food rather than cook out of the food. It is suppose to be a healthier way of cooking. Little pricey but has lifetime warrrenty so you should never have to buy but one set.
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Don
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After they have cooled, usually the next morning, I put the collards in 1 qt. plastic freezer boxes and put them in the freezer. I take them out as needed.

How often I need to cook up a batch, which is usually 3-4 quarts, depends on a variety of other things such as how many other types of greens I have during that time. I probably cook a batch 2-4 times a months.

I can't always get really good collard greens because the store I buy them at restocks produce Monday night and usually runs out of collard greens before the following week, sometimes as early as sometime Thursday. Therefore, I try to make sure I always have several qt. containers in the freezer so that I won't run out.


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BuzyBee
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Smart way of doing things. Sometimes when my mom cook collards she will freeze a container of them and bring them to me when she comes to visit. I get to enjoy them at my convience.
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Victoria
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BuzyBee,
Do you have a particular brand of cookware you are thinking about?  We have had threads in the past where we discussed cookware, so there are people around here with opinions about it!  



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yaman
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Quoted from BuzyBee
Victoria, your post just brought up a thought of mine. Does any use the stainless steel waterless cookware. I have read articles about how when you cook with this cookware system the nutrients stay in the food rather than cook out of the food. It is suppose to be a healthier way of cooking. Little pricey but has lifetime warrrenty so you should never have to buy but one set.


I have been using the same stainless waterless cookware for the last 20 years and they still look brand new. And yes, especially the vegetables taste great when cooked waterless.

Cheers,
Yaman


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BuzyBee
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Quoted Text
Do you have a particular brand of cookware you are thinking about?  We have had threads in the past where we discussed cookware, so there are people around here with opinions about it!  


Not really. Just getting suggestions. I guess I could hunt some threads down on this subject and find some info on a good set of cookware. I would like to invest in a nice set. I use stainless steel right now and I think the brand is Wolf Gang Puck?? But I would really like to have a set of the waterless cookware. I think this would be an upgrade.
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Victoria
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Do you guys really mean waterless?  If you're cooking leafy greens, or broccoli, for example, do you add no water at all?  

I have a nice set of stainless cookware, but I still have to add water.



Normal day, let me be aware of the treasure you are.
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BuzyBee
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Quoted Text
Do you guys really mean waterless?  If you're cooking leafy greens, or broccoli, for example, do you add no water at all?  

I have a nice set of stainless cookware, but I still have to add water.


Regular SS you will need to add water. It is special WaterLess Cookware that needs no water(maybe just tablespoon). You can google waterless cookware and get several different brands. I was reading about a Healthy Gourmet set that looked top of the line. Most are 18/10 SS which is the best.
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zola
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That's interesting that longer cooking for collards makes the calcium more accessible. When I was in North Carolina they told me to cook them over and hour! I was shocked. Back in the day the slaves used to eat them and it was a treat to get the 'liquor' in the bottom of the pot.


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