Collard greens are a splendid addition to any menu and work great as a side dish or main course. And today, you’ll find both the fresh option and the bagged varieties at every local grocery store. The latter offers a convenient advantage making it appealing to many people. And if you’re worried about the difference, don’t be because they can be cooked just as easily as the fresh varieties.
Collard Greens Nutrition Facts
What are Bagged Collard Greens?
Bagged collard greens are collard greens processed and sealed in plastic bags. And you’ll find them under numerous brand names in the vegetable sections of grocery stores. Bagged collard greens mostly come in 2-pound sizes and are usually shredded and trimmed. This means, unlike the fresh ones, you’ll find the stalks and hard ribs removed and the leaves chopped so you can cook them immediately.
Cooking Techniques for Bagged Collard Greens
The main difference between bagged collard greens and fresh ones is that you won’t have to trim the ribs and chop the leaves yourself. Instead, you’ll find them shredded into conveniently small sizes, making them a ready-to-cook option for most menus. But they’ll still need a few steps to get the best results, and luckily, most of them are no different from how you prepare fresh collard greens.
Choosing the Bagged Collard Greens
While most bagged collard greens come in the same manner, some may include the stalks for those who prefer these in their dishes. Also, not all bagged collard greens are shredded in the same sizes, with some offering larger slices than others. So, choose the product that best appeals to you in these areas. Most bagged collard greens are also free of preservatives but consider checking the package if you’re bothered.
Prepping the Collard Greens
Some bagged collard greens come prewashed so that you can cook straight away. And since you won’t be doing any trimming, the cooking time is greatly reduced. But you can also run the leaves through a quick rinse under the sink before cooking. Do so by running tap water over the collard greens in a colander. You should also lookout for any limp or yellow leaves and take them out (highly unlikely to find any, though).
A rich broth gives the tastiest collard greens recipe, and you can choose from chicken to beef, vegetable, or mushroom. You can also add some garlic, onions, freshly ground pepper, and any choice of herb. Invest in smoked ham, smoked turkey, ham hocks, bacon, and any oil you wish for a Southern-style recipe. And adding a dash of vinegar can help soften the leaves if you prefer.
Cooking the Collard Greens
Bagged collard greens can be prepared the same way as fresh ones, meaning you can do so on the stove, in a crockpot, or in an instant pot. The method you select will depend on your preference and what you’re planning to do with the recipe.
On the Stove
Rinse the bagged collard greens in a colander and set them aside to drain. Then, add the broth to a Dutch oven and place it to boil over high heat. If you’re using a ham hock, simmer it with garlic cloves in boiling water for two hours to make the broth. Then, take it out and put the greens into the pot. Cover it partially, and leave for 45 minutes (two hours for silky-soft greens). As the collard greens cook, shred the ham hock (if any), and heat any oil or fat in a pan over medium heat. Dice some onions and sauté in the pan for 15 minutes, then add the shredded ham, stir, and set the pan aside. Once the collards are done cooking, transfer them into the pan with tongs. Add some garlic cloves and sauté the mixture over medium heat till it blends. Season as desired with salt and pepper, and serve hot.
In a Pressure Cooker
Program the pressure cooker to SAUTE mode for five minutes, and add some oil. Sauté diced onions in the oil for three minutes. Split the bagged collard greens into two parts and add one into the pot. Add the choice of meat to it, followed by the rest of the greens (omit the meat for vegan). Then, pour the broth and set the instant pot to MANUAL. Program it to 45 minutes on HIGH. Once ready, remove the meat, shred it, and return it to the pot. Then, stir, and adjust the seasoning as desired before serving.
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In a Crockpot
Rinse the bagged collard greens and add them to the slow cooker. Then, add the meat options, if any, followed by the broth and selected seasonings. Cover the crockpot and set it to HIGH for four hours, or seven to eight hours on LOW. Once the time has reached, take the bone meat, shred, and stir it into the greens. Then, serve as desired.
NOTE: The pot broth is tasty and should be served as a side dish. Also, remember that vinegar can be added at the start of the cooking process to soften the leaves.Print
- Set the crockpot to SAUTE, and prep the timer to five minutes. Saute the onions in the crockpot for three minutes.
- Divide the greens and add one part to the crockpot. Then, add the turkey neck and the remaining half.
- Pour the broth and cook on HIGH for 45 minutes at MANUAL.
- Remove the turkey neck and separate the meat from the bone. Return the meat to the crockpot and adjust the seasoning if desired. Then, serve as preferred.
This video recipe is also helpful for cooking bagged collard greens.