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Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Canning Collard Greens

Question:  A reader asked what collard greens are and how to cook them ...

Here's my answer:  Collard greens are a southern thing but are also known pretty much all over most of the U.S. Collard greens are delicious. We grow and can several jars every year. There are two kinds and we've grown both. One looks similar to turnip greens without the turnip and the other looks like a HUGE overgrown cabbage that grow to 2 - 3 feet in height and 1 - 2 feet in width. Our favorite is the cabbage collard. After harvesting, washing and cutting the leaves off/apart I wilt them down in a pot of water, add salt and a piece of seasoning meat. Then I cook it all down in a slow/low boil for 1 -2 hours. (If you are canning them, you put them in jars after wilting the leaves down.)  They are so good! Collards, both varieties are a fall crop for our area. Since we can ours, when we are ready to have collards, I open a jar, empty contents into a pan and bring it to a boil for at least 10 minutes then serve.

I have some pictures from an old tutorial ... these were from a day of canning collard greens...

this is one cabbage collard plant ... we cut it apart and washed the leaves really well ...

preparing the leaves to go in the pot ...

more leaf prepping ...

these are ready for the pot ...

the pot with seasoning meat heating up ...

into the pot they go ...

cooking/wilting down  ...

going in the jars ...

processed in a pressure canner and ready for storage in my pantry!

(I process collard greens in a pressure canner at 10 lbs of pressure for 90 minutes. Consult a reputable canning book for pressure poundage for canning in your altitude.)

Hope this helps!

mrs. patsi @ A Working Pantry

She looketh well to the ways of her household … Proverbs 31:27 

Sharing 44 years' experience of frugal, prudent living and pantry building 

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  1. Patsy since I wrote to thank you for the information I have had a wizz around the internet. We can order the seeds online but mostly everyone says suggestions for substitutes as we dont have either of the collards you mention.
    This is a very famous thing as I have heard of them so often and never known what they are.
    We have Kale, Cabbage... we have Swiss Chard, Silverbeet, spinach... I dont know if any of these would work at all in a similar way. Thank you for all this info. xxx

    1. Annabel, I have canned turnip greens but they do not have the same taste as collards. They're good, but not the same. Cabbage is very different and lots of people do not like the end product ... us included.

  2. WE grow collards in the spring as well as in the fall. You break the bottom leaves off the spring collards and they will keep growing taller.
    We have some in the field that was planted in the spring last year.

    1. I've grown those kind of collards to in the spring but the cabbage collards, mentioned in this post, grow knee high and need a 'frost' to get them to their peak in flavor and taste. Hence, we plant them in the fall for harvest in December and January.