Our Favorites: Alabama Blue Collards

The rare and colorful Alabama Blue Collards are a real hard to find treat. They are distinguished by their blue-green, and purple leaves with plum-colored veins. Bama  blues have smaller leaves than most collards and the plants can be more closely spaced. Because the leaves are smaller, they tend to be more tender and cook faster, and the plants hold their sweetness longer in hot weather.

Used in Southern cooking, collard greens are very similar in their nutrient density to kale (1000 ANDI score) with a hearty texture and a stronger taste. Collards are popular with the raw food movement because the wide leaves are used as a wrapper instead of tortillas or bread. We've always enjoyed collards slow cooked with pastured pork shanks or ham hocks. The kids devour it!

What's more is that we get unique health benefits from collard greens in the form of cancer protection. The cancer-preventive properties of collard greens may be largely related to four specific glucosinolates found in this cruciferous vegetable: glucoraphanin, sinigrin, gluconasturtiian, and glucotropaeolin. Each of these glucosinolates can be converted into a corresponding isothiocyanate (ITC) that can help lower our cancer risk by supporting our body's detox and anti-inflammatory systems.

Beautiful, tasty, healthy and a cancer fighter - a great combination for one's garden and a must-have in our book. We are thankful for Jean Mills for preserving and sharing these rare seeds.