Are you a fan of the Biggest Loser? This season is themed “No Excuses” and each week they highlight popular excuses people give for not leading a healthy lifestyle. A common excuse is “I can’t afford healthy food.” Anyone who says that has never purchased dark, leafy greens. A giant bunch of kale or collards is about 50 cents a serving. Considering that calorie for calorie, dark leafy vegetables are the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food, I would say that 50 cents is worth it.
Ham hocks are a tasty and cheap way to add a deep, smoky flavor to leafy greens without adding too many calories. They often are sold in packs of two so use one for this recipe and the other for my delicious Split Pea Soup.
It is no surprise that leafy greens are a nutritional power house. Here are a few health benefits:
- Excellent source of Vitamin K which helps prevents osteoporosis, fights diabetes and also fights inflammation.
- Helps lower cholesterol: greens help bind bile in the digestive track which helps remove cholesterol from the body.
- Loaded in fiber which helps fill you up with few calories.
- Greens have zero carbohydrates which helps keep blood sugars low.
Your fork is waiting.
Braised Collard Greens With Garlic
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 1 pinch red chili flakes
- 4 cloves garlic thinly sliced
- 12 c collards sliced in 2 in strips
- 1 ham hock optional
- 1 c chicken broth low sodium
- 1 tbs sugar
- 2 tbs lemon juice
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Heat a large pot over medium high heat and add olive oil, chili flakes and sliced garlic.
- Stir and cook for 30-60 seconds to allow juices to be released.
- Add collards and season with salt and pepper.
- Stir collards around to allow them to get coated in the oil and spices.
- Add ham hock, chicken broth and sugar.
- Bring to a boil them turn to low.
- Place lid on the greens and simmer for 45 minutes.
- Add lemon juice right before serving and check for seasoning.
- Add salt and pepper if needed.