When we think of winter, often vegetables are overlooked. However, nutritionally, some of nature’s most powerful disease-fighters peek during this season. Collards and kale are part of the winter vegetable garden. They are from the cruciferous family of vegetables best known for cancer-fighting compounds; especially cancers of the bladder, breast, colon, ovary, and prostate. What many do not realize, however, is that these vegetables are also superb for lowering cholesterol by binding with bile salts in the digestive tract.
If that is not enough, these winter power-houses also support the body’s natural detoxification systems, have anti-inflammatory properties and act as anti-oxidants, preventing cellular damage and premature aging. They also give a boost to bones with high levels vitamins K and A as well as the mineral, calcium.
Collards and kale can be enjoyed in slaw or salads, but their nutritional value is enhanced with cooking. If you are looking for something green to add to this week’s shopping list, consider collards or kale. Either can simply be added to any vegetable or bean soup, or you might enjoy one of these tasty recipes.
Winter is here! Stay warm and stay well!
Sautéed Collard Greens with Raisins
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 1/4 pounds (about 2 bunches) collard greens, stalks removed, leaves thinly sliced crosswise
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 2 teaspoons white-wine vinegar
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread almonds on a rimmed baking sheet, and toast until golden, about 8 minutes. Set aside.
- In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high. Add collard greens and raisins; cook, tossing occasionally, until collards are tender, 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat, and stir in vinegar. Serve sprinkled with toasted almonds.
Quick Sprouts and Kale
- 1 pound brussels sprouts, shredded
- 1 pound lacinato kale, shredded
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 shallots, halved lengthwise and thinly sliced crosswise (1/2 cup)
- 1 1/2 teaspoons coarse salt
- 1/8 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons champagne vinegar
- Trim ends of brussels sprouts and shred in the bowl of a food processor.
- Trim kale, removing thick center stems, and shred.
- Heat oil in a large straight-sided saute pan over medium-high heat. When oil shimmers, add shallots and cook until shallots begin to soften and sweat, 1 minute.
- Add brussels sprouts, kale, salt, and red-pepper flakes to pan and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are wilted and tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in vinegar, remove from heat, and serve.