Early last week, I wouldn’t have believed anyone for a second that collard greens could be eaten raw.

Firstly, they’re usually stewed (to death) for hours with ham hocks or bacon. Second, they remind me of high quality leather.

Last week, I would have scoffed at the idea that collards are the new kale. I understand that they’re good for you; but how in the world do you get them to not taste like cow hide?

Well, as it turns out, raw collards are my new favorite thing. And I’ll share with you how to make this amazing vegan green salad that is so nourishing, so filling and unbelievably delicious.

Here’s the not-so-new secret to getting leafy greens to taste delicious when raw: remove the tough ribs, slice the leaves thinly and massage them with some sea salt for about a minute. By drawing water out of the leaves, the salt makes them softer and less stiff. It’s like wilting the vegetables without having to cook them, which means you retain all the nutrients that make leafy greens so good for the body.

What else is in this salad? Only the most delicious hearty things!

Beets are unbelievably healthy and filling, and they add a gorgeous magenta contrast to the collards.

Apples can basically make any salad taste good, and are available almost anywhere.

Pepitas, or pumpkin seeds, add a rich and crunchy texture.

And dried cranberries are one of my favorite things to add to salads (make sure they’re sweetened with real sugar, not corn syrup!).

Another fabulous thing about this salad? It keeps well. I packed it for dinner on-the-go one evening and was just thrilled to devour it on my break. Because collards are such sturdy vegetables, this salad is perfect for bringing to work.

Have I convinced you to try raw collards yet? Give it a go!

Collard Greens Salad with apples, beets and pepitas - vegan

Collard Greens Salad with Apples, Beets and Pepitas (Vegan)

Ingredients:

– 1 bunch collard greens (fresh, smaller greens are best.)
– 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
– 1 large or 2 small beets
– 1 large apple
– 1 handful pepitas
– 1 handful dried cranberries

For the dressing:

– 1/4 cup olive oil
– Juice from 1 lemon
– 1 tablespoon brown mustard
– 1 tablespoon maple syrup
– Salt & pepper to taste

Directions:

Roast the beets and dice into bite-size pieces. Here are instructions on roasting beets.

Remove the tough ribs of the collards by slicing with a knife. Roll up the leaves together, and slice them very thinly (i.e. chiffonade).

Place the chopped leaves into a large bowl. Sprinkle evenly with sea salt, and massage the leaves for approximately one minute. The leaves should soften and become fragrant.

Dice the apple and toss the salad with the chopped beets, apple, pepitas and cranberries.

Mix the dressing until well-incorporated, and drizzle over the salad. Enjoy!

Collard Greens Salad Collard greens salad with beets and apples