ingredient information
Collard Greens
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Collards are various loose-leafed cultivars of Brassica oleracea (Acephala Group), the same species that produces cabbage and broccoli. The plant is grown for its large, dark-colored, edible leaves and as a garden ornamental, mainly in Brazil, Portugal, the Southern United States, many parts of Africa, Montenegro, Spain and in Kashmir. They are classified in the same cultivar group as kale and spring greens, to which they are extremely similar genetically. The plant is also called couve in Brazil, couve-galega in Portugal, "kovi" or "kobi" in Cape Verde, (col) berza in Spanish-speaking countries and Raštan in Montenegro. In Kashmir it is called haak. The name collard is said to derive from Anglo-Saxon coleworts or colewyrts ("cabbage plants"). Collard greens are a staple vegetable of southern U.S. cuisine and soul food. They are often prepared with other similar green leaf vegetables, such as kale, turnip greens, spinach, and mustard greens in "mixed greens". They are generally eaten year-round in the South. Typical seasonings when cooking collards can consist of smoked and salted meats (ham hocks, pork neckbones, fatback or other fatty meat), diced onions, vinegar, salt, and pepper (black, white, or crushed red). Traditionally, collards are eaten on New Year's Day, along with black-eyed peas or field peas and cornbread, to ensure wealth in the coming year, as the leaves resemble folding money.[citation needed] Cornbread is used to soak up the "potlikker," a nutrient-rich collard broth. Collard greens may also be thinly sliced and fermented to make collard kraut, which is often cooked with flat dumplings. Widely considered to be healthy foods, collards are good sources of vitamin C and soluble fiber and contain multiple nutrients with potent anti-cancer properties, such as diindolylmethane and sulforaphane.[citation needed] Roughly a quarter pound (approx. 100 g) of cooked collards contains 46 calories. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley have recently discovered that 3,3'-Diindolylmethane in Brassica vegetables such as collard greens is a potent modulator of the innate immune response system with potent anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer activity.