Healthy Southern Collard Greens

November 22, 2019

Happy (almost) Thanksgiving! It’s getting close to the time when I start to think about what I need to get ready for the big day. And yes, even dietitians’ splurge on this day, although my contributions are on the healthier side though. On my Thanksgiving menu this year, I’ll be doing some collards, red cabbage, and will be bringing a fruit of some sort. Since my younger days, those have been my go-to options on Thanksgiving.

We take on so many extra calories in the next couple of weeks and then play catch up to get those extra calories off. Thinking ahead and making mindful choices about our recipes and how we prepare each meal can make it easier to navigate the holidays healthily.

Here are a few suggestions to make the much-anticipated meal a little healthier:

1.            Bring on the color! You can add so much color by adding roasted root vegetables.

2.            Decrease the sugar in your favorite recipe by one third to one half.

3.            Opt for healthier fats like olive or avocado oils in place of saturated fats (solid at room temperature).

4.            Use half the salt the recipe calls for, or eliminate the salt if possible. Remember, you can always add more salt, but you can’t take it away.

5.            Be mindful of your choices. Make sure that you are enjoying the choices you made and savor the taste.

Here is one of my favorite ways to fix collards. Still southern, but a lot healthier!

Wishing you a healthy Thanksgiving!

Mary's Healthy Southern Collard Greens


2-3 bunches fresh collard greens thoroughly washed

1/4 cup olive oil

3 Tbsp kosher salt


Use a sharp knife to cut out the tough center stalk of each leaf and then stack the leaves on top of each other and slice into 1-inch ribbons.

Fill up a dutch oven or large pot about 1/3 of the way up with water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Add the olive oil and salt.

Add the collards to the water and bring back to a boil. (You may need to add the collards in batches if they don't all fit at one time. They will wilt down, and then you can add the rest.) When all of the collards have been added, and the water is boiling, turn the heat down to low, cover and simmer for about 20 minutes. Taste and add more salt if necessary.

Continue to cook for about 10 more minutes. Serve immediately and be sure to include some of the flavorful "pot likker".

Nutrition Information: Calories: 68 calories, 3 gm carbohydrates, 1 gm protein, 6 gm fat, 670 mg sodium

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