Crockpot Collards with Smoked Turkey
I live in the south. Georgia to be exact. My spouse's family are southerners, so collards are served at Sunday meals and special occasions in which traditional meals are cooked and eaten. Collards are bitter, so, they aren't my favorite greens. They can be found on the market at anytime of the year, so i eat them because they are good for you and are quite filling. That is if they are cooked in a healthy way.
But if you know southerners, like i know southerners. That is furthest thing from the truth because they are all about eating good food whether it can be healthy or not. Collards as an option is typically not the healthiest fare on the table, especially if you are trying to cut back on salt or don't eat pork.
I have found a solution that has impressed even the most discriminating of palates, without sugar, added salt or high fat!
This method makes eating collards a great addition to any meal or diet lifestyle. The only thing you use is the smoked turkey for flavoring. What you have to remember though is smoked turkey is already packed full of salt because of the way it is prepared. Especially if it is cured and store bought.
Smoked turkey is inexpensive. Healthier than ham hocks, and satisfies your none pork eating family and friends. It is also a great way to add flavor without adding a lot of other items, so it is really a cheap alternative to seasoning your collards or any type of greens.
The only other seasoning that i add to these collards is pepper, and some hot sauce when i am eating them. Other than that, they can be enjoyed as is without too much more ingredients added.
Crockpot collards for me are the easiest, most simple way to cook these greens, because it leaves you free to do other things rather than wait and watch. I love Crockpots! They make getting in and out of the kitchen easy while preparing some great meals.
Collards are well known in the south, visiting any restaurant that serves these particular greens or any other famous greens of the south you will discover things like "pot likker" or "pot liquor". This is an experience, it is a serving of cooked collard green's "juice", this is a flavored nutrient rich broth, and cornbread.
Mary Mac's Tea Room is one of Atlanta's famous historical restaurants that is known for serving southern fare and if you ask will give you a complimentary bowl of "pot likker" or pot liquor with a homemade fresh cornbread muffin. It is worth a try.
So, if you are ever in Atlanta for lunch or dinner, stop by Mary Mac's Tea Room located on 224 Ponce de Leon Ave, NE, Atlanta, Ga 30308 or contact via the net at marymacs.com. Enjoy!
Besides being a hardy green with lots of flavor and versatility, collard's pack a nutritional punch that most people acknowledge as an awesome one-two-three knock out, if you are battling any type of health problem.
They are packed full of vitamin C, soluble fiber, multiple nutrients with anti cancer properties. Collards potency as an anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-cancer vegetable is because it is a modulator of the innate immune response system making it an invaluable asset to any diet.
Collards are related to cabbage, kale, broccoli, and spring greens, like mustard greens and turnip greens. The leaves are large, green and of course edible. In some countries like Brazil, it is grown for it's decorative garden ornamental appeal.
These greens can be found all year round but are known to taste better after the first frost or in the colder months.
I buy my collards already washed and cut in the bag! Quick, easy and simple, the least amount of work - the better.
Collards are eaten year round in the south and are known as a staple vegetable. The usual classic ways that collards are made and served is with fat back, some fatty meat or ham hocks, hopping johns which is black eyed peas, and cornbread.
The smell of cooking collards is not the best, it is distinct and strong but it is worth it!
Mess o' greens, is a southern favorite. The south's version of how it is prepared with scraps of meat dates back to the African slaves that populated the southern plantations. They are also recognized as the one's that first started the tradition of drinking the liquid of the cooked collards.
There are also superstitions associated with collards and New Year's Day. Many of the old and some of the young people of color prepare and serve them for good luck and a good financial outcome.
Medical institutions such as Harvard Medical School, Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the University of Tennessee Medical Center recommend and even give recipes for preparing collard greens to eat.
W Allan Walker of Harvard Medical School advises pregnant women to eat collard greens because they are rich in vitamin A and folate.
Collard greens are also rich in calcium, so check out the medical schools recipes and enjoy these green leafy vegetables all year long.
What you will need.
A large bag of washed and cut collard greens, (about 8 cups).
Two (2) store bought smoked turkey drumsticks.
Black or cayenne pepper to taste.
A medium to large crock pot.
A slow cooker liner, (optional) for quick clean up.
Method of preparing:
Go ahead and wash the smoked turkey and set aside.
Wash and pick through collards removing any of the thick stems, you really only want the leaves.
Add the liner to the crock pot and set on high, put in the drumsticks cover with water and set your crock pot for at least two hours. Cook the drumsticks by themselves. This gets some of the salt out, flavoring the water and tenderizing the meat.
After about an hour add the collards, remember they shrink down a lot so fill up the pot, set for another two hours and walk away.
The tenderness of the collards is all up to you but the longer you cook them the tenderer they are, and the more flavorful the broth.
Add pepper before serving. Enjoy!
If you would like to do it overnight, set the crock pot on low, this is at least ten (10) hours.
Cornbread is a good side but that is up to you!
Mary Mac Tea Room.