Ok, to not throw out the classics, I can really never give up kale. But, collard greens have always been somewhat mysterious and not something I have longed to integrate into my smoothie rotation… until they were all that I had on hand. That’s when the love affair began!
You (or at least I) can not really taste bitterness in collard greens unlike some other greens. They blend up when raw to be very smooth and have a bit of a creamy flavor in a veggie kind of way…and they have a unique nutritional profile, too !
“The cholesterol-lowering ability of collard greens may be the greatest of all commonly eaten cruciferous vegetables. In a recent study, steamed collard greens outshined steamed kale, mustard greens, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, and cabbage in terms of its ability to bind bile acids in the digestive tract. When this bile acid binding takes place, it is easier for the bile acids to be excreted from the body. Since bile acids are made from cholesterol, the net impact of this bile acid binding is a lowering of the body’s cholesterol level. It’s worth noting that steamed collards show much greater bile acid binding ability than raw collards.
We get unique health benefits from collard greens in the form of cancer protection. The cancer-preventive properties of collard greens may be largely related to 4 specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin. Each of these glucosinolates can be converted into an isothiocyanate (ITC) that helps lower our cancer risk by supporting our detox and anti-inflammatory systems.”
While I have been playing around with some of my favorite smoothies (like this apple pie spinach smoothie) this simple smoothie uses all of what I have on hand on a daily basis:
Simple Collard Green Breakfast Smoothie
4 or 5 giant collard leaves with the center removed (if you have a vitamix or other high-speed blender, the rib is fine to blend)
2 tbs of almond butter (mine is raw, use what you have)
a shake of sea salt if its unsalted
2 really ripe bananas
lots of cinnamon
and about 2 cups of water.
Blend up in a blender. Add a little honey if it needs sweet. And you are all set!