View Full Version : Collard greens

May 6th, 2005, 05:01 PM
....er what are they, is it a US term?
what would we call them in the UK??
kale cabbage?
green cabbage?

i see it in loads of recipes.... :confused:

May 6th, 2005, 05:15 PM
Collard greens are popular in the Southern USA, especially amongst the African American community. I don't know for sure, but maybe the plant originates in Africa and was brought over with the slaves. It is not like kale or cabbage, but I suppose you could substitute any leafy greens for collards if you can't get them. I think spinach or dandelion greens, or even beet greens, are a closer substitute to collards than cabbage or kale. :)

Poison Ivy
May 6th, 2005, 05:33 PM
Well, google came up with these (http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&lr=&rls=GGLD,GGLD:2005-05,GGLD:en&oi=defmore&q=define:Collard+greens)
definitions, which generally seems to imply it's some variety of Kale :)

Kiva Dancer
May 6th, 2005, 06:00 PM
Collards is a hardy leaf so if you're thinking of substituting beet greens or spinach... DON'T!! The cooking time for these things are much lower than the cooking time for collards (collards take around 45 minutes to cook).

Here's (http://www.all-creatures.org/recipes/i-collardgreens.html) some information on collard greens as well as a picture and cooking information.

I don't know what produce is available in UK, so I'm unable to make good recommendations but maybe you could use kale or something like that? Something thick and hearty would be your better bet if you're making a collard greens recipe since most of their cooking times are for the tough leaves of the collard green and not for something delicate like spinach.

Sep 18th, 2006, 09:56 PM
I know this is a really old thread but i've always thought US collard greens were our equivalent of spring greens (UK) cos they look so alike - have i been getting it wrong all this time i wonder? :confused:

Sep 19th, 2006, 08:04 AM
wow this is an old thread, i forgot i started it! :o

by the look of the photo in kiva dancer's link it looks like pak or bok choi but is described at being 'tough' so i'm thinking green cabbage/kale for the texture and taste?

thanks chocs for bringing this thread to life again!:)

Sep 19th, 2006, 04:42 PM
I like collards, bok choy might be a good choice depending on their cooking time.

Sep 19th, 2006, 05:17 PM

They are classified in the same cultivar group as kale and spring greens, to which they are extremely similar genetically.

Sep 22nd, 2006, 07:19 AM
Collard Greens are exteremly bitter. They have a very strong taste. I have never had kale, is it good? I wouldn't know what to do with it. I like bok choy and spinach much better!

Sep 22nd, 2006, 02:51 PM
Kale is lovely. I usually soften it in some hot water for 5 mins then stir fry it, add some lemon juice and some toasted sesame seeds.

terrace max
Sep 22nd, 2006, 03:53 PM
Collards are close relatives of kale. They are both brassicas - as are cabbage/spring greens, pak choi, brussell sprouts, cauliflower, brocolli, calabrese et al.

Kale is of interest to vegans because, I read somewhere, its calcium is more accessible to us than through consuming other brassicas. I've got a dozen varieties growing in my allotment right now, but mainly because I love eating it. And it thrives all winter...

I find it takes more like 10 mins steaming to get tender, then I also stir fry it with soy sauce and garlic.

Sep 25th, 2006, 08:53 PM
Collard greens are one of the best sources of calcium. Most of the greens have good calcium levels, but collards and dandelions are just about the best for that mineral. Some other good sources are kale, mustard greens, and figs.

Greens that are high in oxalates actually bind up calcium in an undigestible form. These greens include spinach, beets, and possibly turnip greens. So, although those greens are healthy, they aren't the best sources of calcium. I've heard that cooking them or eating them with vinegar chemically alters the oxalates and makes the calcium available to digest. I'm not sure if that's true or not.


terrace max
Sep 26th, 2006, 10:26 AM
I knew I'd seen it somewhere...from the Vegan Soc. website - section on calcium:

The calcium in green vegetables which are not high in oxalate e.g. kale, is absorbed as well or better than the calcium from cow's milk.

Michael Benis
Sep 26th, 2006, 03:07 PM
Collard is often referred to as Swiss chard in the UK, as ooposed to say curly kale, which is more like spring greens. In Italy it's called bietola.

I love the stuff.



Sep 26th, 2006, 04:33 PM
Swiss chard is a different plant. It's much thinner and cooks faster than collard greens. Chard is also a plant that is high in oxalates, so although it's very good for you, it doesn't have absorbable calcium


Michael Benis
Sep 26th, 2006, 05:17 PM
Swiss chard is a different plant. It's much thinner and cooks faster than collard greens. Chard is also a plant that is high in oxalates, so although it's very good for you, it doesn't have absorbable calcium

Oh :( Thanks.... I would go liking some other green high in oxylates, wouldn't I? It's a miracle I'm still alive... :D

So are collard greens just spring greens and curly kale?

At least I'm really fond of them, too...



terrace max
Sep 26th, 2006, 08:05 PM
Swiss chard (sometimes called Spinach Beet) is a close relation of beetroot. Not a brassica. I grew something called Erbette this year - which is like a chard for posh people (like me :rolleyes: ). Very tender and yum it is...

Spring greens are brassicas. In fact, all they are is cabbages sown about now in the UK. Because of winter conditions they don't form a head as such - just a kind loose bundle of leaves which are harvested in March/April when there's little else on offer (the 'Hungry Gap').

Kale, therefore, is related to cabbage in that it's a brassica - but so are sprouts, kohl rabi and swede. Collard greens are a relative of cabbages but most closely resemble kale. In fact, they are an African kale, I suppose. Curly kale is a variety of kale, but there are flat leaved forms too...

Is that clear?...no?? didn't think so :o