Allowing these collards greens to cook for at least the recommended time is key. The leaves tend to be chewy if not cooked long enough. With this recipes, they will be nice and tender by the end.
Need a comforting side dish to go along side a protein or just to eat for lunch? This dish certainly does it. It is packed with health benefits and guilt-free. Well, there is a little sugar.
My family happily eats these down and there is not a lot of prep work! Easily make these ahead of time and pull them out to heat up shortly before the meal is ready. It can make cooking after a long day a whole lot easier.
This post is all about healthy collard greens and the benefits that go along with eating them.
Health Benefits of Collard Greens
Collard greens contain essential vitamins and minerals. They are rich in vitamins A, B, C, and K. They are also a good source of dietary fiber and iron. These greens have anti-inflammatory properties due to the vitamin k and the antioxidants found in the greens. These dark leafy vegetables also help to regulate blood sugar and blood flow in the body as well as support digestion.
Cooking the greens for an extended amount of time breaks the fiber in the greens down. This allows for an easier time digesting the greens. The taste becomes milder than when the leaves are eaten in a salad or slaw.
I modified this recipe to be lower in histamine than some collard green recipes. To lower the histamine level, I use uncured turkey bacon is used instead of regular cured bacon. I also added white vinegar and homemade chicken stock that is frozen right after making until ready to use.
The organic, uncured turkey bacon I use is from Greensbury – a high quality farm that using the best practices in raising their meats.
Feel free to add a red onion to this recipe to add more flavor. Red onion is high in quercetin, which helps with inflammation. However, I chose to leave it out because I was also modifying for a sulfation issue. Onions can be problematic for this.
Histamine blockers can be taken with your meal as well. This can help protect you from a histamine reaction or lower it. This is a high quality one that we take regularly!
PREP AND COOKING STEPS
You will want to add some oil to the pan prior to adding in the turkey bacon. Remember, it needs to be uncured and preferably organic. Turkey bacon has very little fat unlike regular bacon. The oil keeps it from sticking.
Cut the bacon into pieces using a pair of scissors or a knife and add it first to the pan. I hold the bacon over the pan and snip away using a pair of scissors. I find this to be the easiest for me.
You want to make sure you destem the leaves prior to cooking. The stalk of the leaf is tough. Simply fold the leaf in half and run the knife along the edge of the leaf and the stalk. Alternatively, you may run the knife down both sides of the stalk leaving just the leaf.
Once the stems have been removed, roll the leaves and slice them into approximately 1-1.5 inch strips.
The leaves are then ready to be added to the pan with the turkey bacon along with the water, sugar and salt. Stir so all the leaves are evenly coated.
You may choose to replace the one cup of water with more chicken broth. I make all the chicken broth I use from scratch to reduce histamine count. Adding water saves me on my chicken broth supply.
Bring the water to a slight boil and then lower the temperature.
Cook on low heat. Turn and stir the collard greens every so often. Cook the collard greens for 1 and 1/2 hours.
I hope you enjoy this comfort side dish as much as we do!
Healthy, Low-Histamine Collard Greens
- 4 bunches of collard greens (removed from stem)
- 5 strips uncured turkey bacon
- 2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup water
- 2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp olive oil, coconut oil or grapeseed oil
- ¼ cup coconut sugar or brown sugar
- Add oil to heavy bottomed pan
- Cut uncured turkey bacon into small pieces using scissors and add to heated oil
- Cook for approx. 3-5 min., or until a little crispy
- Add in collard greens, chicken broth, water, sugar and 1 tsp. salt
- Bring to a boil and then lower and simmer for 1 hour and 30 min. Check and stir occasionally to make sure there is enough liquid. Add more if needed.
- When wilted and tender, take off the heat and add more salt if needed.
- Add 1-2 tbsp. of white vinegar to dish, depending on preference.