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Are Collard Greens the New Kale?

Major chefs are adding the greens to their menus. Here's why:

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Kale has been the “it” green for the last few years, but now it has some competition. Collard greens, another leafy vegetable and a longtime Southern staple, are becoming a favorite among culinary all-stars. Hugh Acheson, owner of Five and Ten and The National in Georgia, declared collards “the new kale” during a guest-judging appearance on "Top Chef". And Michael Ferraro, executive chef at Delicatessen in New York City and a former competitor on "Iron Chef America", is also a fan. “Collard greens are a very classic comfort food ingredient, but they’re making a comeback in a big way with new, lighter preparations,” he says, “They’re not just for fried chicken anymore.”

Fortunately, collards beat kale in the body benefit category as well. One cup of collard greens is packed with more than your daily-recommended dose of vitamins A and K, two antioxidants that may help strengthen your immune system, prevent cancer and heart disease, and lower cholesterol. Plus, they contain 7.6 grams of filling fiber per cup — compared to kale’s 5.

Tempted to try them? You can steam, boil, braise or sauté collard greens. Like kale, their thick leaves don’t wilt easily, so they hold up well in the fridge. Or have someone else do it for you: