Creamy Collards with Garlic and Spices

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I cook a lot of dark leafy greens. Not only do they allow us to pack in the nutrients but they are excellent for improving methylation pathways, something that commonly needs addressing with autoimmune conditions. Stress control, inflammation management, energy production, elimination of toxins and so much more can be helped by eating frequent portions of these healing greens.

Because we eat so many, I like to search out ways to switch them up a bit with different flavors and textures. I’m willing to bet most people reach for kale so I’m using collards in this tasty version — which I actually love cold, warm or hot. The sauce is so versatile you could do that on its own and spoon over a griddled chicken breast, a lamb chop or piece of firm, white fish. Also think about interchanging the collards with Swiss chard, spinach (you’ll need a lot more than the recipe calls for) and yes, kale. Whilst I haven’t actually tried this myself, my tastebuds and I think it would be a really good idea!

5.0 from 4 reviews
Creamy Collards with Garlic and Spices
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Serves: 2 as a side dish
  1. Melt the coconut oil in a medium, deep pan and add the sliced onion. Cook on a low heat for 6 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 3-4 minutes until lightly colored.
  2. Sprinkle the spices into the oil, throw in the cinnamon stick halves and stir for 1 minute.
  3. Now add the pumpkin purée and coconut cream, together with ½ cup filtered water and mix well. Turn the heat up to medium and allow the mixture to simmer briskly for 3 minutes until it is starting to thicken.
  4. Now add the collards and cook for a further 5 minutes or until wilted and tender. Taste the sauce and add salt to your liking.
  5. Transfer to a serving bowl and squeeze the lemon or lime wedges over the top.
Put a can of coconut milk in the fridge at least the night before. Turn the can of refrigerated coconut milk upside down, open with a can opener and pour the watery liquid off into a separate jug. You can use this for smoothies or soups. The cream is what is left behind.



About Kate Jay

Kate Jay, NTP, RWP, CGP and AIP Certified Coach, has been blogging at Healing Family Eats, since June 2014. Diagnosed years ago as hypothyroid, she and her family were already following the GAPS diet for digestive issues when Kate noticed swelling consistent with RA. She set up her AIP food blog as motivation for making the restricted diet as exciting as possible for her children, who felt they missed out on the junk their friends took to school. Originally a classically trained chef, who freelanced with popular food magazines in the UK, she is now passionate about helping her clients heal using a combination of her holistic training, lab work and real food as medicine. She focuses on creating simple, nutritionally dense and balanced family meals, without compromising on flavour. Find her also on FacebookPinterestTwitter and Instagram.


  • LJ says

    How many cups would 1/2 a large bunch of collard greens be?

    • Denise says

      This looks absolutely delicious! I am in the uk and cannot find collard greens. Can you clarify collard greens, do we have another nane for it in the U.K….my local farmers market say ‘any leafy green’ ? Thank you so much for all you fantastic recipes.

      • Kate J says

        Hi Denise, look for Spring Greens in your local Waitrose or Farmers’ Market. If you can’t find them, kale will do nicely 🙂

  • Beth says

    Just got done preparing this dish and wow its delicious!! Thank you for a great recipe. 🙂

  • Jen says

    Could you do this with brussels sprouts?

  • Sarah says

    This is utterly delicious. Putting it on weekly basis! I personally like to cook the greens for longer, I found them to still be quite chewy, so I put a lid on medium low for about 20 min.

  • Anya says

    Hello! I’m from Russia and have no idea what collard greens are ) Can I replace them with spinach or beet greens?

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Hi Anya! I think you’d have better luck with beet greens, but I do think spinach could work too – the cooking time will just be shorter for both of those options.

  • Leigh says

    Made this last night with a marinated pork tenderloin and it was amazing! I added a little more pumpkin and coconut cream towards the end because I left the greens on a bit longer and it started to dry out, but it didn’t seem to affect the flavor. I want to try this sauce with other veggies in the future, it was so good!

  • Amy says

    These were so good, I’ll definitely be making this again. I upped the sauce measurements a bit (on accident at first due to doing half a cup of the coconut milk), used butternut purée instead of pumpkin as that’s what I had on hand, put a lid on low once the greens were in and let it cook for ~30 minutes while I went on a walk, and then had them with leftover meatloaf (recipe also from this site). Great combo!

  • Kerry Davis says

    Wow to this recipe. I have honestly never eaten collard greens before. I am new to AIP eating and gave this recipe a try. Why did I like it so much?! The flavors all together made me want to eat it all. I didn’t tho bc I wasn’t sure what my stomach would do with that much collard greens but I did lick my plate. So delicious! My 9 year old ate it up too- high praise!

    • Mickey Trescott says

      Kerry, I’m so happy it was a win for you!

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