I know what you’re thinking….you’re looking in your fridge and looking right back at you is the last bit of your Easter ham. You’ve had leftovers for lunch and dinner, sent kids off to school with sandwiches, snuck some cold right out of the fridge (aha, you didn’t think we saw ya, but we did!) and the thought of eating that last little bit, even one more stinking bite, sends you crying to the nearest fast food restaurant looking for something, ANYTHING new for your poor bored taste buds. What if I told you there was a way to totally repurpose those leftovers so that not only do you forget that you’ve been eating the same meal every day for a week, it tastes amazing, and is PACKED with nourishment? Enter the greens! To be precise, a collard greens and ham recipe.
Collard greens unfortunately get pigeon holed into some sort of weird southern dish that has to be stewed and served soppy wet or it will be tough, chewy, and bitter; but it’s just a little misunderstood. With the right treatment, the greens practically SING with flavor, and the hearty texture means it can stand up to some great accompanying proteins (ham, or lots and lots of bacon, for example).
Collard greens also offer a nutrient profile that would make broccoli blush with shame. They’re a great source of manganese, folate, Vitamins K and C and caretenoids.
They’re also extremely nourishing for many conditions:
- Immune system support: Vitamin C is a potent antioxidant and necessary for the regulation of the immune system, especially during active infections.
- Cancer prevention and support: Special phyto-nutrient compounds called glucosinolates found in collard greens have been shown to be very helpful in fighting numerous cancers.  In addition, some of the phyto-nutrients, di-indolyl-methane (DIM) and sulforaphane have proven benefits against multiple types of cancers thanks to their cancer-cell growth inhibition properties and are even being studied as a powerful support in chemotherapy and radiation treatments.  
- Detox support: the many phyto-nutrients in collard greens activate detoxification enzymes in the body and help support both phase 1 and phase 2 of the body’s detoxification process. Folate also plays a key role in prevention of homocysteine build-up.
- Anti-aging: antioxidant compounds such as caffeic acid, ferulic acid, quercetin, and kaempferol provided by collard greens, along with Vitamin C (well known for its antioxidant properties) pack a serious punch in lowering oxidative stress in our cells.
- Healthy pregnancy support: bio-available folate is crucial for baby’s healthy neural tube formation
- Eye health: Collard greens help protect against glaucoma. 
- Collard Greens are high in oxalates (the preceptor for oxalate crystals), so watch out if you have any history or indications of kidney stones.
- If you have thyroid issues, beware. Collard greens contain a group of compounds called glycocides which exhibit a goitragenic effect and can aggravate a thyroid problem.
If either of these is a concern, collard greens may not be right for you. Know your body!
Special note, this is a vegetable that is very important to buy organic. Conventionally grown collard greens are often contaminated with concentrations of organophosphate insecticides, potentially highly toxic to the nervous system. To ensure you are not eating a toxic sponge, be sure to get your greens from an organic source to help ensure the lowest toxic dose from good quality soil.
Paleo Collard Greens and Ham recipe:
- 1 bunch collard greens
- 6-8 oz. chopped leftover ham
- 1 TB apple cider vinegar
- Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste
- Dried red pepper flakes (optional)
- Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil
- Rinse and roughly chop collard greens into 2 inch slices
- Parboil the greens for 5 minutes, discard water
- Heat skillet to medium heat with 2 TB of of grassfed lard, butter or ghee
- Add collard greens and stir to coat, adding salt and pepper and garlic powder to taste
- Add apple cider vinegar, stir well to coat
- Add ham chunks, turn heat to low, cover pan and allow it to heat gently for 15 minutes
- Season to taste, and serve it up hot!
What’s your favorite ham leftover recipe? Let us know and spread the love!
Medical disclaimer: The information and references in this website are intended solely for the general information for the reader. It is not to be used to diagnose health problems or for treatment purposes. It is not a substitute for medical care provided by a licensed and qualified health professional. Please consult your health care provider for any advice on medications.