I love collard wraps, but the first time I had one, I definitely did not feel that way. According to my little sister, collard wraps are like vegetables wrapped in more vegetables (in other words, her nightmare) and can taste like a mouthful of salad if not made well. So, today I want to share the things I’ve learned that have really transformed my collard wrap eating experience and tips to make a delicious one at home.
Why eat a collard wrap? Well, if you’re gluten intolerant, or looking for something lower in carbohydrates, collard leaves make a nutritious substitute for tortillas or conventional wraps. Collards are definitely a health food, high in vitamins A, C, K, fiber, calcium, iron and more. They are a dark leafy green packed with nutrients. The catch? They can be bitter, tough, and fibrous to eat, which is why a raw collard leaf may not be the most enjoyable, if you’ve ever bitten into one yourself. Not to worry though, I’ll be sharing how to prepare your collards to make them a lot more enjoyable, and also easier to digest if fibrous raw veg is tough on your tummy. Some (ok, most) of these tips, I’ve picked up from restaurants, and without them, I might not be as much of a collard wrap lover as I am today.
1. Blanch or steam your collard leaves
This is the absolute game changer. Blanch (submerge in boiling water and then remove and place in an ice bath or cold water to stop cooking) or steam your collard leaves. This makes the leaves more tender, more easily digestible and also much easier to use as a wrap! It also cuts some of the bitterness from the leaf.
2. Remove the stem and shave it down
Doing this will make the leaf much more flexible (i.e. wrapable) and less tough/stringy to eat.
3. Use a pre-made vegan patty or burger
I like to make my collard wraps with pre-made veggie patties in them and sometimes, I use frozen store-bought ones too! No shame in the game here. Using a pre-made patty, whether homemade or purchased, ensures that your wrap is full of flavour, and gives you something to bite into. Also, it’s easier than adding something else that is more crumbly or prone to falling apart in your wrap. I typically cut my patty into strips, or I lay it fully flat and make more of a flat wrap (as I did in the photo).
4. Add something creamy
I recommend avocado or some kind of hummus, like my beetroot hummus. Adding creaminess is key not only for flavour, which can help to soften any bitterness in veg, but also is like a glue for your wrap. It holds everything together, and you can never really go wrong with adding avocado or hummus, am I right?
5. Fill with extra greens or sprouts
Even though you’ve got your greens covered thanks to the collard wrap itself, I always add extra greens or sprouts like spinach or alfafa. Think of these greens like packing peanuts or the zig zag paper confetti that comes in packages. It fills up empty space in your wrap and delivers extra nutrition. Win-win.
6. Layer 2 or 3 leaves to wrap
When it comes time to actually wrap things up, I like to layer at least 2 collards lengthwise to create a longer, rectangular wrap. Slather on hummus or mashed avocado first, then place fillings on one side of the wrap, and proceed to roll up burrito style–rolling lengthwise, tuck the sides in and continue to roll until complete. Once wrapped, you can also layer with another collard leaf (I am completely ripping off of the way Chipotle wraps their burritos here), to secure. And last but not least…
7. Stick a toothpick or skewer in it
To keep things together in case it starts to unravel a little.
And that’s it! I hope these tips help you master the collard wrap in your kitchen.
Love & collards,
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BY Remy • December 27, 2018
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Hi there, I’m Remy! Welcome to Veggiekins Blog, home to nourishing vegan + gluten-free recipes and tips to live your best balanced and holistic life. I’m a human on a mission to empower you to be well and be kind to your mind, body and soul with the healing power of plants.
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