If you’re not familiar with collard greens, or just don’t buy them often, it’s time to consider adding them to your produce repertoire! Part of the cruciferous vegetable family (which also includes cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy and brussels sprouts), collard greens are nutrient dense and rather light tasting, which means they’re perfect for blending into smoothies!
One cup of collard greens contains 5 grams of protein, 7 grams of fiber (which is about 30 percent of your daily recommended intake), a whopping 100 percent of your daily recommended vitamin K, and 80 percent of your daily vitamin A needs. One cup also includes about 46 percent of your daily vitamin C needs, and about 50 percent of your daily manganese. There’s also a good amount of folate and potassium.
When compared with traditional iceberg and romaine lettuce, collard greens are far and away the better choice for a green smoothie base.
Vitamin K improves calcium absorption, which means it helps to keep bones strong and healthy — a plus for a lot of women. Many people think taking a calcium supplement is the only way to keep their bones strong, but a few cups of collard greens a week is a huge help!
Cruciferous vegetables have long be touted as cancer fighters due to sulfur-containing compounds called glucosinolates. These compounds have been linked to fighting such cancers as melanoma, prostate, lung and pancreatic cancers.
High fiber diets increase the likelihood of a healthy digestive system, aid in weight management, and may even help diabetics keep their blood sugar in check.
Fun Facts about Collard Greens
Smoothies With Collard Greens
Now that you know just how powerful collard greens are, here are a few smoothies to help you on your quest to eat this nutrient-rich cruciferous vegetable!
Beets and Greens
And you thought collard greens were just a southern treat. This smoothie will give you your daily allotment of Vitamin K and A. That’s the good stuff, folks. Vitamin K is known to make your bones stronger and Vitamin A boosts your immune system. It’s a cure-all in a glass.
A cup of collard greens contains almost five grams of protein, as well as good amounts of vitamins K, A and C. Mint and lime combine for a slightly tropical flavor combo, while pear and persian cucumbers add hydration, potassium and copper. Pea protein, which is an easily-digestible, plant-based protein that’s perfect for vegans or people who can’t digest whey or soy, makes this relatively low calorie smoothie a perfect post workout snack. Rehydrate your body, give your muscles the protein they need, and add a dose of nutrients to keep you feeling energetic after any kind of exercise.
Poblano Pepper Pick-Me-Up
The poblano is a mild chili pepper originating from Puebla, Mexico. Most of the heat in the poblano pepper lives in the seeds, so be careful when cutting and seeding it, and make sure you wash your hands immediately after chopping! One little pepper has a lot of fiber as well as iron, and may even speed up your metabolism for a few hours after consumption. The pepper’s heat is evened out by the sweetness of mango (beta-carotene), a granny smith apple (flavonoids and fiber), and collard greens (vitamin A and calcium). A dose of cilantro and tart lime complete the rainbow of flavors and vitamins.
Ginger Detox Twist
A cross between a mandarin orange and a lemon, meyer lemons were originally used for purely aesthetic purposes before their benefits were discovered. Sweet and not tart like regular lemons, meyer lemons have such a thin layer of white pith between their skin and fruit that they can actually be eaten skin and all. Chlorella is a type of algae that grows in fresh water, and is often used as a natural treatment for digestive issues and fibromyalgia. Ginger is a fantastic anti-inflammatory, and collard greens contain a big dose of vitamin A, C and even a little bit of protein. If traditional detox drinks prove too harsh for your stomach, this gentler version should give you all the nutritional benefits without the intense stomach side effects.
Zucchini Apple Pie
Nothing says the holidays like a pie fresh out of the oven. Take that idea and make it super healthy with this nutrient-dense drink. In addition to having a few grams of protein per serving, collard greens have almost a full day’s worth of vitamin A, and half of your daily amount of vitamin C. A low calorie food, zucchini is also full of vitamin C, as well as fiber. Native to South America and the southwestern United States, mesquite has a luscious caramel flavor without any of the sugar, and provides a good amount of fiber, protein, calcium and iron per serving. Walnuts, a popular winter food, are a great source of plant-based Omega-3s.
Green Coffee Kiwi Wake-Up
Good morning! Or good afternoon-slump-reviver. Coffee and kiwis? Trust us. Green coffee is the unroasted version of the coffee beans we use for our morning joe. The beans are rich in chlorogenic acid, which can aid in weight loss, and may help fight heart disease and diabetes. Tiny kiwis pack more vitamin C than oranges! Of all cruciferous vegetables, collard greens are best at helping to lower cholesterol, and pair beautifully with banana and walnuts to smooth everything out.
Green Cantaloupe Mint
This refreshing pick-me-up is crisp and green. Collard greens is one of the most nutrient packed vegetables and pairs nicely with the sweetness of cantaloupe and pear. Cantaloupe is high in Vitamin A-- containing about 30 times the beta-carotene content of oranges! It’s hydrating and has many benefits for the skin, including clearing acne and helping to prevent wrinkles. Camu camu powder can help fight viral infections including the common cold.
Halloween is not over in our book. Whether you’re drinking this smoothie before or after ghouls day, it will give you tons of potassium from the bananas, help lower cholesterol from the collard greens and provide healthy fats from the chia seeds and almonds. This well-rounded smoothie will seriously stave off hunger. Hungry? Blend a Snickers.
Like Bees to Honey(dew)
Light, delicate and sweet. This little cup of wonder will give your tastebuds a wake-up call. Collard greens have a very mild taste that complements the subtle flavors of the honeydew and mint. With just one teaspoon of bee pollen you are helping your summer get off to an allergy-free start. That’s something we’ll raise our glass to!
Mint Chocolate Chip
This classic combo will wow your tastebuds. Fresh mint and cacao nibs give this smoothie its comfort-food flavor. Banana and apple add fiber and stomach-settling properties. Sneak your greens in with our fresh collards. Did you know that walnuts can help reduce stress? Studies show that walnuts lower both resting blood pressure and blood pressure responses to stress. Nothing wrong with that!
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