The leaves of the collard plant have been enjoyed as a food source for many years. Collard greens are high in vitamins A and C, dietary fiber, and minerals. The flavor of collards is slightly bitter and salty. They can be eaten cooked or raw, but are most often cooked.
Collard greens can be preserved by freezing, drying, or canning. When properly canned, they will last up to one year in a sealed jar.
Yesterday evening, my husband came home loaded down with mixed greens which our neighbor had blessed him with on his way up the driveway:
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!
Here are a few different ways you can preserve all of your collard greens. Note – these instructions apply to your other favorite types of greens, too, like kale and spinach!
Freezing Collard Greens
Collard greens are a nutritious and delicious addition to any meal. However, if you don’t eat them right away, they can quickly go bad. One way to extend their shelf life is to freeze them.
While some vegetables can be frozen without any pre-treatment, others require a little bit of work to ensure that they retain their flavor and texture. Collard greens fall into the latter category.
Freezing collard greens has its pros and cons. On the one hand, frozen greens can last for months without losing their flavor or texture.
This is a big advantage if you want to enjoy collard greens year-round. On the other hand, some people believe that freezing decreases the nutritional value of greens. Some of the vitamins and minerals may be lost during the freezing process.
Ultimately, whether or not to freeze your collard greens is a personal decision.
For the best results, start with high quality produce. Look for greens that are crisp and free of blemishes.
Rinse the greens thoroughly to remove any dirt or debris.
Then, blanch the greens in boiling water for three to four minutes. This will help to preserve their color and prevent them from becoming mushy.
After blanching, quickly shock the greens in ice water.
Squeeze out any excess moisture. I like to let my greens sit out for a few hours at room temperature to dry.
Pack your collard greens into airtight containers. Be sure to label and date the packages so you can keep track of when they were frozen. They should last at least six months, if not more, when frozen.
Collard greens are a popular Southern dish, and they can be easily canned at home.
Canning foods is a great way to preserve them for later use. However, there are some foods that are better suited for canning than others.
Collard greens, for example, are a food that can be canned but may not always produce the best results.
One of the pros of canning collard greens is that it is a very quick and easy process. The greens only need to be washed and then can be placed in a pressure canner for an hour or so. You don’t need to do too much babysitting. This means that they can be canned with minimal effort on the part of the cook.
However, one of the potential drawbacks of canning collard greens is that they may lose some of their flavor during the process.
Canning can sometimes cause vegetables to become bland and lose their characteristic taste. This means that canned collard greens may not be as flavorful as fresh or frozen greens.
Of course, you’ll need to use a pressure canner for collard greens, too, since they’re a low acid vegetable. For some gardeners, that can be a deterrent.
If you’re planning to can collard greens, you’ll need a few supplies.
First and foremost, you’ll need canning jars, lids, and rings. Be sure to choose jars that are the appropriate size for the amount of greens you’re planning to preserve.
Of course, you’ll need a pressure canner, too. This will be used to heat the greens and prepare them for canning.
You’ll also need a jar lifter, which will make it easier to remove the hot jars from the canning kettle. Finally, you’ll need a canning funnel. This will help you to fill the jars without making a mess.
You will need about 28 pounds per canner load of 7 quarts. For nine pints, you’ll need 18 pounds of greens. Can only fresh greens and get rid of any wilted or diseased ones.
Start by selecting fresh, crisp greens. Wash them thoroughly, and then remove the tough stems.
Cut the greens into thin strips, and blanch them in boiling water for three minutes. Next, pack the greens into canning jars, leaving one inch of headspace.
Add half a teaspoon of canning salt to each jar, and then fill the jars with boiling water, covering the greens completely.
Add the lids and process in a pressure canner for 70 minutes at 11 lbs of pressure dial gauge and 10 lbs for weighted gauge (pints). For quarters, process for 90 minutes at 11 lbs of pressure for dial gauge and 10 lbs for weighted gauge.
Some people like to dehydrate their collard greens before consuming them. Dehydration is a process where the water is removed from the food, leaving behind the solid parts. This can be done using a dehydrator, an oven set to a low temperature, or by air-drying.
Dehydrated collard greens have several advantages over fresh or cooked greens. They are lightweight and easy to store, they have a long shelf life, and they retain most of their nutrients.
Some people believe that collard greens are more nutrient-dense when they are dehydrated because the process removes some of the water-soluble vitamins.
Additionally, dehydration can make collard greens more shelf-stable and easier to transport. However, dehydration can also change the flavor and texture of the greens, making them less enjoyable to eat.
The process is simple: just wash the collard greens and remove any tough stems, then slice the leaves into thin strips.
You can chill the greens before dehydrating, if you choose. This will preserve the color but not much else. It’s up to you! If you chill them, you’ll follow the same steps for blanching that we included earlier in the article.
Next, spread the strips on a dehydrator tray and set the dehydrator to 125 degrees Fahrenheit. Check on the greens after about 12 hours; they should be dry and crumbly to the touch. Once they’re fully dehydrated, store the greens in an airtight container in a cool, dark place.
When you’re ready to use them, simply rehydrate by soaking in water for about 10 minutes. Dehydrated collard greens are a delicious addition to soups, stews, and casseroles.
When stored properly, they can last for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. The best way to store collard greens is to wrap them tightly in plastic wrap or place them in a plastic bag.
This will help to keep them fresh and prevent them from drying out. When ready to use, simply remove the desired amount of greens from the packaging and cook as desired.
To prepare collard greens for cooking, rinse them well under cold water and then remove the tough stems by either slicing them off with a knife or tearing them away with your hands. The leaves can then be chopped or left whole.
Collard greens can be cooked in a variety of ways, including simmering in broth, sautéing with other vegetables, or roasting in the oven. Whatever method you choose, be sure to cook the greens until they are tender but still brightly colored.
Add a little acidity at the end of cooking to brighten up the flavor (lemon juice or vinegar), and enjoy!
When selecting collard greens at the store, make sure to choose leaves that are dark green and free from blemishes.
Before cooking collard greens, it is important to wash them thoroughly. Fill a large bowl with cold water and add the greens. Swish them around with your hands, then let them sit for a few minutes so any dirt or sand can sink to the bottom of the bowl. Drain the water and repeat until the greens are clean.
Once the greens are washed, you can prepare them in a variety of ways. No matter how you choose to eat them, collard greens are a healthy and delicious addition to any meal.
Collard greens are a powerhouse of nutrition and can be preserved in a variety of ways. By freezing, drying, or pickling collard greens, you can have this nutrient-rich vegetable available all year long. Consider adding collard greens to your next preserving project!
Do you like collard greens, or other mixed greens? I’d love to know how you guys preserve them!
updated 07/26/2022 by Rebekah Pierce
A city girl learning to homestead on an acre of land in the country. Wife and homeschooling mother of four. Enjoying life, and everything that has to do with self sufficient living.