I remember the first time I made a collard wrap in cooking class at nutrition school – after I ate it, I noticed how I felt just right. It was fun to make as a class as we sat around the table in our groups, and scooped out of the bowls of ingredients that most appealed to us.
Now, I know what you’re thinking… how do I roll this stiff looking green leaf that looks like a fan? There’s this massive stalk getting in the way. I can’t fit all my ingredients into it. It’s falling apart before I can even take a bite!
Not to worry because I am going to teach you so you’ll be mastering the collard wrap roll. Collards are part of the cruciferous vegetable family, which means they have super detoxifying properties. They are packed with nutrients, and are an excellent source of calcium, vitamin A, K and C! So long too refined white flour wraps… collards are taking your place.
Preparing The Collards
- Selecting your collards: When you go to shop for collards, choose ones that are fresh, vibrant green, and not yellowing, torn, or wilted. Select larger leaves since this makes it easier to roll up your yummy ingredients.
- Trimming the stem: cut off the long stem just below the bottom of the leaf. Lay the collard flat on the cutting board with the veiny side up. Using a sharp pairing knife cut the center rib flat to the same thickness of the leaf, but not all the way through.
- RAW or Cooked?
- For RAW collard wraps: Fill up the sink, or a bowl, with clean warm water. Hand-wash the leaves to remove any dirt.
- For COOKED collard wraps: After washing the collards, in a separate bowl fill it with boiled water, and submerge the leaves until they turn bright green in color. Make sure to use a spoon to remove them from the hot water so you don't burn your fingers! You may also cook them by steaming them in a double broiler until just soft and bright green. Rinse under cold water to stop the cooking process.
- Gently Pat Dry: you may do this with a clean kitchen towel or piece of paper towel.
- Add your favourite fillings: place your collard leaf on a plate with the veiny side up. In the center, towards the edge, on one side of the leaf, add your spread. The spread helps to hold all the goodness together. For example, I love to use bean dips, hummus, cashew dip, or guacamole. Then load up on as many veggies, herbs & other fillings as you like! (Depending on the size of your leaf… try not to over fill it otherwise it will be hard to keep together!)
- Rolling: just like you were rolling a burrito, with two hands, fold over both sides of the collard on top of the fillings. Once they are tucked in, roll roll roll all the way to the end!
- Meal Prep: collards are great because they don’t go soggy fast- so make a couple extra for lunch the next day.
- Choose a Theme: This is a great way to make healthy eating fun with a group of friends! Here are some example themes:
- Thai Collard Wraps with Peanut Dipping Sauce
- Mexican Black Bean & Rice Collard Wraps with Homemade Salsa
- Raw Vegan Collard Wraps with Sprouts and Guacamole
- Quinoa & Roasted Root Veg Wedge Collard Wraps with Pesto Dipping Sauce
- Chicken & Romaine Salad Collard Wrap with Garlicky Cashew Caesar Dressing
- Sushi Collard Wrap with Tamari to Di
- Breakfast Scramble with Baked Potato Wedges in a Collard Wrap
Choose Your Fillings:
- The Spread: bean dips, hummus, carrot cashew dip, guacamole, pesto, roasted eggplant dip
- Protein: beans, lentils, wild-caught fish, or organic & humanly raised chicken
- Complex Carbs: yam or potato wedges, squash cubes, brown/red/purple rice, quinoa (also great protein source!), millet, amaranth
- Healthy Fats: avocado, nut butter spreads, unrefined olive oil dressings
- Raw & Cooked Vegetables: try to include local & seasonal veg! If it is the winter, maybe more cooked ingredients is more health supportive. If its summer, a raw wrap may sound more appealing!
- Leafy Greens: the beauty of a collard wrap is your already including some greens! Try baby mixed greens, crisp shredded romaine or red leaf lettuce, arugula, spinach, frisee, or thinly sliced radicchio & dandelion as additional fillings.
- Others: fermented vegetables, sauerkraut, sprouts, herbs (cilantro & parsley), organic soft goat cheese, seeds (hemp & pumpkin), etc.
- Dipping Sauce