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Smoky Collards

May 8, 2014
Nancy Berkoff, RD, EdD

These smoky collards bring a Southern influence to a spring or summer dinner. On top of their disctinctive taste, they also carry unique health benefits, including an unmatched ability to lower cholesterol and cancer-fighting properties, not to mention vitamins A and K, calcium, and fiber. 

Cooks frequently add meat to collards to give them a smoky taste. Vegans do not have to buy liquid smoke to attain a similar taste. Instead, you can add vegan "bacon" strips or smoked tofu.


Serves 5


  • 4 pounds collard greens (or collards, mustard and turnip greens mix)
  • Vegetable oil spray
  • 8 strips vegan "bacon" strips or ½ cup diced smoked tofu
  • 6 cups water
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. Wash greens well, picking them over to remove any brown spots or blemishes. Drain well. Discard the discolored outer leaves and cut out the thick ribs. Tear the greens into pieces.
  2. Spray a large frying pan with oil, allow to heat and add vegan bacon strips or smoked tofu. Stir and toss for one minute to heat.
  3. Add greens and the water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low, cover, and continue to cook until the greens are tender.

Note: Traditional collard condiments include chopped fresh onions and hot sauce.

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