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Wednesday, July 1, 2009

July- Vegetable of the Month- Collards

Before this year I have never grown collards before, nor did I ever cook with them. I decided to grow them this year since I wanted more kinds of greens that would grow will during warmer weather. Collards are most often grown by southerners because of their talerance to the southern heat. My collards are still producing really well, and hopefully will continue to do so for awhile.

Our favorite way to use collards is to make collard rolls, which is just like cabbage rolls except with collards. Here is our recipe that we have been using but can be changed depending on what vegetables are in season.

Ingredients 20 collards leaves (reserve liquid from the slightly cooked leaves)
1-pound baby cut carrots (slightly cooked)
½ cup precooked rice according to package
3 Yukon golden potatoes (slightly cooked) Approximately
3 pounds ground meat (80% lean ground chuck beef) 2 cans 10-3/4 oz Campbell’s tomato soup 3 eggs
The following four ingredients are what I had available (in season) to add, you can add whatever you may have available that sounds good, instead of the following:
½ cup chopped broccoli raabs
1/8 cup chopped garlic scapes
1/8 cup chopped scallions
1/8 cup chopped beet leaves
1/8 cup BA Farm Seasoning Mix
1/3 cup breadcrumbs
1/3 cup ketchup
Cooking time in large crock pot – 6 hours on low
Prepare rice, carrots, and potatoes as above and set aside.
Trim off the thick back part of stem of the collards as you would the cabbage leaves to make cabbage rolls. Place the collard leaves in water and heat just a few minutes. Reserve 2 cups liquid from cooked leaves; to this mix add the 2 cans of tomato soup. Combine broccoli raab, garlic scapes, scallions, and beet leaves mix together and add 1/8 cup to the meat mixture, reserve remaining to be added in to liquid mixture in crock-pot at the end.
Place in large bowl ground meat and combine the following: eggs, BA Farms Seasoning Mix, breadcrumbs, ketchup and rice. Mix together. Add the above 1/8 cup (reserve) of broccoli raabs, garlic scapes, etc. and mix.
To form collard rolls place meat mixture on the large end of leaf and roll up set each roll aside until all leaves are used. If there is left over meat, roll as a meatball. Place some carrots & potatoes on the bottom of the crock-pot. Add some liquid mixture. Then place a layer of collard rolls. Keep alternating carrots, potatoes, and liquid mixture then the collard rolls until all are used up.
May also be cooked in oven at 375 degrees for 1-1/2 hours (approximately) until done.

Health Benefits:

The following site names and describes the different health benefits of collards, such as improving bone health, and can also aid in preventing certain diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Also mentions how collards can help to prevent some vision problems, and may also help to give you more energy. Of coarse like most vegetables and greens can help with weight loss.
How Stuff Works- Collards Health Benefits

NutritionData.come- Collards

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