Preserving Collard Greens

Yesterday evening, my husband came home loaded down with mixed greens which our neighbor had blessed him with on his way up the driveway:

collard greens

Turnip greens. Mustard greens. Collard greens.

I’m not a huge fan of greens. I’d never even heard of “greens” before moving to the south! But Jerry likes them. And they are really good for you.

So, today I’ll be putting up this big box of greens which is currently overcrowding my countertop. I’d hate to let it go to waste!

I’m a little nervous about canning them. Not sure what canned greens will taste like. But heck, I’ll give it a try! I’m also gonna try dehydrating them as well.

I found a really good article on how to preserve collard greens (and all other types of greens) by either freezing them, canning them, or drying them: Three Ways To Preserve Greens. I figured I’d just point you their way for now, until I’ve tried it myself!

If all else fails, the chickens will love whatever we don’t eat.

Do you like collard greens, or other mixed greens? I’d love to know how you guys preserve them!

14 thoughts on “Preserving Collard Greens”

  1. I have a ton of collard greens and want to cook them with smoked pork hocks. Has anyone canned them after they are cooked? I have a pressure canner, so no problem there.
    Thanks for any info.

  2. My mom and I were introduced to lightly steamed greens and we love them! She grew up with the southern way, but we take usually collard greens (loaded with calcium!) or kale and cut them in small strips (cut out the big stem in the middle), and put them in a tiny bit of water in a pan or steamer basket & steam them just til they turn bright green–about 2-5 min. only. Then we put our favorite salad dressing on them after they cool. They’re really good this way; different, but great! 🙂

      • You cut out the stems because they are quite tough and sinewy. I can only surmise, if you wanted to use every part of the plants (leaf), you could boil the stems by themselves and puree them (and I mean puree the h&ll out of them) and feed them to your dog or put some in your smoothie. But they work really well in your compost bin as well. Good luck. 🙂

  3. I preserve my fresh basil, parsley, oregano by them blending then in my food pro adding a little H20. I then freeze in ice cube trays. after they are frozen, pop them out and bag. These store in the freezer and keep that beautiful green/fresh appearance. I then use them for soups, sauces as needed. Take some basil cubes out, defrost and make a fresh batch of pesto…anytime. Also…I do make pesto and freeze.

  4. Raw or cooked is up to you. The “live food” movement prefers everything raw but I have found some greens like mustard greens taste better to me if blanched first. Test and see. I do this with all greens, even a variety of lettuce types.

  5. We always do so well with greens (growing all kinds) that I had to learn how to eat them. I never had “slimey greens” (in the crock, we sub with turkey sausage ;)) before moving south either. I like them, everyone else…not so much.
    I canned a lot of them this year getting some great recipes and ideas from The Bayou Gardener…
    (He has a bunch of you tube videos.)
    I mixed some with onions and carrots in a vinegar base that I enjoyed as well.
    We eat what we grow so the children will begin the season not liking these things but by the end of a season they are eating it all. It is funny when we go somewhere and my bunch of toddlers are all requesting salad. 🙂
    We also dry them and I freeze large zip locks of them too. I use the dried like Deb said, sprinkled on things and the crispy kale is delicious. We also do green smoothies, adding raw kale to almost any fruit.
    Another favorite is using the frozen greens , chopped, on homemade white pizza.

  6. I thought I would comment that I DO NOT HAVE KIDS. So the slime factor of cooked down greens is certainly something to consider if you do have children. I like the idea of putting them in bread, have to try that one!

  7. I’ve been drying greens (esp. spinach) a lot lately and mixing them into our bread…my kids never even know they are there! And since they LOVE bread and not greens so much, I don’t feel as guilty letting them eat the bread…I’ve also been grinding up all sorts of dried veggies and putting them into the bread. It works great!

  8. I’m not a big fan of greens boiled down with a ham hock (slimey!) I dehydrate greens, then crunch them up in everything from rice and noodle side dishes to mac and cheese, quiche – just use your imagination. Kids who may not like big masses of (slimey!) greens on their plate, might not mind some green flecks in something they otherwise enjoy.

  9. Greens, turnip, especially, are good cooked all day on low with a piece of salt pork, side meat, or just ham or bacon. We cook a huge ..huge pot of greens every Saturday and eat on them all week for a green vegetable. My grandmother would freeze them in water in freezer containers and eat on them all winter long. I have seen recipes that use turkey necks for flavoring that is lower in fat as well. Just never tried it.

    If you have any Kale mixed in there, dip or spray olive oil on them and place on cookie sheet and bake them, make Kale chips with them, good eating!

  10. Stuff them in the blender, add a touch of water as needed to thin just enough to blend. Pour them either into ice cube trays, baggies, or containers. I find one cup portions the best.
    These make GREAT green smoothies when added to a berry or melon. My fav is honeydew and greens.


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