Creamy Collard Greens: A Perfect Winter Dish

Updated: Feb 14

Gluten-free, can be adjusted to vegan.


This is my new favourite winter dish! To be honest, I don't think I have ever had collard greens before. How I missed out! But I am making up for it now. This dish is especially great when you are not the biggest fan of eating greens. The cream and bacon totally make you forget you are eating leaves.


Creamy Collard Greens are perfect to eat in late winter and early spring when they are at their sweetest and most tender. This is a very nourishing dish, with the greens marking the cleansing time of year. More on this below!


Ayurvedic Perspective on Creamy Collard Greens


Late winter is kapha time of year. This means the qualities (gunas) of kapha are more present in nature. Slushy, wet, and melting snow, damp air, the stability of the slow winter. These kapha qualities also show up in our bodies. Kapha makes us stable, steady, calm, and grounded. But if these qualities increase we might feel lethargic, unmotivated, and stuck. In our bodies, we can feel an excess of mucus, congestion, and weight gain.


To avoid or move out of this lethargic state of being it is key to switch our diets from heavy and fatty winter foods to lighter and dryer foods.


"Late winter marks the start of the cleansing season in Ayurveda."

This means that for the last six months we have been building up our bodies to create insulation for winter and now it is time to shed this. We no longer need these extras and the body naturally starts to cleanse itself of water, fat, and toxins. How cool!


We can support our bodies by adjusting our diets to lighter and dryer foods that are pungent, bitter, and astringent. These tastes help the body cleanse. Pungent foods like chilies, ginger, and black pepper increase your heart rate and get your blood flowing. The bitter taste purifies the blood and supports the liver. The astringent taste is drying and acts as a broom in the body.


Creamy Collard Greens is a perfect dish for the transition towards cleansing. We don't just yet want to dive into bowls of raw and cold salads, but we do want to start adding more greens into our diet.


What's The Season?

In Ayurveda, we promote seasonal eating. This means we want to consume vegetables, fruits, meats etcetera that are locally produced in your current season.


"Collard greens hit their peak in late winter and early spring, which means they are at their sweetest and most tender. This also means they are at their highest nutritional density. Perfect!"

Shop Locally

Buy your collard greens at your local farmer's market to ensure strong, waxy leaves with white veins. This means optimal freshness!


Ayurvedic Nutritional Information


Natural Elements

The five natural elements of ether, air, fire, water, and earth are the foundation of Ayurveda. We look at everything through this lense.


Collard greens are bitter in taste which means they have the ether and air element. To balance out this dish with the other elements we add cream and bacon for water and earth and black pepper for fire. This way we have all elements represented in this dish, which is ideal.


Gunas

The collard greens are light, cold, and rough which we balance out with soft cream and oily bacon to balance the dish.


Tastes

Creamy collard greens are bitter, sweet, and salty in taste. Since this dish is a side dish we can add other foods to make up for the rest of the tastes. We can add potato for example for the astringent taste, and chicken with mustard for a bit of pungency and sourness.


Adjust To Your Dosha

  • Vata

Vata loves the extra cream and bacon fat. It helps them gain weight and adds oil to their body which reduces dryness. Vatas like their greens cooked well to be able to digest them. Don't overdo it with the black pepper. Too much will lead to dryness.


  • Pitta

Pitta can benefit from the cooling effects of the cream and milk. Leave out the black pepper or reduce it to three twists. Swap the bacon fat for olive oil or ghee. Too much grease is hard for pitta to stomach. You can leave out the bacon altogether.


  • Kapha

Reduce both the milk and cream to half for kapha and add a cup of water to make it lighter. You can leave the bacon and bacon fat out. Use olive oil or ghee to cook the shallots. Be generous with the black pepper!


Don't know your dosha? Do the FREE test here.