Collard greens are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals, and they are a staple in Southern cuisine. They are often cooked with ham hocks or bacon and simmered for hours to develop their flavor. However, cooking collard greens on the stove requires a lot of attention and time. That’s where the crock pot comes in. Cooking collard greens in a crock pot is easy and convenient, and it allows you to get on with your day while the crock pot does the work. In this article, we will show you how to cook collard greens in a crock pot step-by-step.
Preparing Collard Greens
Before cooking the collard greens, you need to prepare them properly. Start by cleaning and washing the collard greens. Remove any dirt or debris from the leaves, and rinse them under cold running water. Once you have cleaned the collard greens, remove the stems from the leaves. The stems are tough and will not cook well in the crock pot. Fold the leaves in half and cut out the stem. Then, stack the leaves and cut them into bite-sized pieces.
It’s important to note that collard greens can be quite tough, so it’s essential to cut them into small pieces. This will help them cook more evenly in the crock pot. You can also blanch the collard greens before cooking them in the crock pot. Blanching is a process of boiling the collard greens for a few minutes and then plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This can help to soften the collard greens and make them more tender. However, it’s not necessary if you prefer your collard greens to have more texture.
To cook collard greens in a crock pot, you will need the following ingredients:
- 2-3 bunches of collard greens
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- 1 pound of smoked ham hocks or bacon
- 4 cups of chicken or vegetable broth
- Salt and pepper to taste
It’s important to use fresh ingredients when cooking collard greens in a crock pot. The flavor of the collard greens will depend on the quality of the ingredients you use. If possible, use organic collard greens and fresh herbs. Using fresh ingredients will ensure that your collard greens are flavorful and nutritious.
Crock Pot Cooking
Now that you have prepared the collard greens and gathered all the necessary ingredients, it’s time to start cooking. Here’s a step-by-step guide to cooking collard greens in a crock pot:
Setting up crock pot
- First, turn your crock pot on to the low setting.
- Add the chopped onions, minced garlic, and ham hocks or bacon to the pot.
- Next, add the chopped collard greens to the crock pot. Layer them on top of the onions, garlic, and ham hocks or bacon.
- Pour the chicken or vegetable broth over the collard greens.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cooking time and temperature
- Cover the crock pot and let it cook on the low setting for 6-8 hours. Alternatively, you can cook the collard greens on the high setting for 3-4 hours.
- Check the collard greens periodically to ensure that there is enough liquid in the pot. Add more broth if necessary.
- Once the collard greens are tender and flavorful, they are ready to serve.
Cooking collard greens in a crock pot is a convenient and easy way to prepare this nutritious vegetable. With this step-by-step guide, you can cook collard greens to perfection every time.