Your Crock-Pot is Ideal for Cooking Collards
Introducing your kids to delicious and healthy collard greens is time-consuming, since traditional stove-top cooking can take 30 minutes, at a minimum. But, unlike some greens such as spinach and broccoli, collards are sturdy enough to stand up to the Crock-Pot. In fact, this green is almost ideal for this slow-method of cooking.
The next time you're thinking collards for dinner, try this traditional recipe cooked in your Crock-Pot.
Total Time: 8 to 10 hours | Prep Time: 30 minutes | Serves: 6
- 10 slices of bacon
- 1 cup diced white onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 4 cups stemmed and cut collards
- 6 cups chicken broth
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 bay leaves
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pepper
- 2 pounds smoked ham hock
- 1 to 2 dashes of hot sauce
- In a large pot over medium-high heat, cook the bacon until crispy, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove from heat and place on a paper towel. When cool, chop bacon into large bits.
- Add the diced onion and garlic to the pot and cook until soft, about 5 minutes. Then add the greens to wilt so they will fit into the Crock-Pot.
- In a 6- to 8-quart Crock-Pot, pour in the greens and onions. Add broth, vinegar, brown sugar, bay leaves, salt, pepper, ham hock and bacon. Cover the Crock-Pot and cook on low heat for 8 to 10 hours.
- After cooking, remove the bay leaves and add 1 to 2 dashes of hot sauce to taste.
Serve with fried chicken, macaroni and cheese or your famous meatloaf.
TL;DR (Too Long; Didn't Read)
Wash your collards thoroughly before cooking. While they may appear clean, collards hold onto dirt, which, when cooked, creates a gritty texture. Wash in the sink under cold water until the water runs clear, then pat dry and cut into strips.
Ham hocks are a traditional ingredient in many collard green recipes, but you can also use smoked turkey wings. If using wings, before serving, remove the wings from the Crock-Pot. Skin, de-bone, chop up the turkey meat and add back to the collards.
If you're watching your fat intake, cut the portion of bacon in half, or use turkey or vegan bacon instead.
Cut down on prep time by using pre-washed and chopped collards.
Most Crock-Pot dishes can be cooked on high-heat to speed up the cooking process, but this doesn't work as well for collard greens. It's better to go low and slow to develop the most flavor.
Jill Corleone is a registered dietitian and health coach who has been writing and lecturing on diet and health for more than 15 years. Her work has been featured on the Huffington Post, Diabetes Self-Management and in the book "Noninvasive Mechanical Ventilation," edited by John R. Bach, M.D. Corleone holds a Bachelor of Science in nutrition.