We’re all looking for the healthiest food these days, and greens are top on the list. While leafy greens seem straightforward, there are different types, and finding the tastiest ones with the most nutrition is often confusing. Learn the differences between turnip greens vs collard greens to help you narrow down the search.
There are many dark green veggies at grocery stores and farmers markets. You can find everything from Swiss chard, dandelion greens, mustard greens, and spinach to collard greens and turnip greens, and they are all beneficial to a wholesome diet. However, they range in flavor, texture, and nutritional values, and it’s useful to understand their differences before using them in recipes.
Southerners are familiar with collards since these leafy greens are a well-known staple. They are commonly added to salted meats like ham hocks with apple cider vinegar, and they are a nutritious side dish with smoked turkey wings. On the other hand, turnip greens are a lesser-known vegetable that is delicious when you braise or saute it in soups and stews.
Differences between Turnip Greens and Collard Greens
Are collard greens and turnip greens the same veggie? While turnips and collards are a part of the Brassica family, they are different vegetables. The tender greens of each veggie have a strikingly similar appearance, but they have a different taste and texture when they are raw and cooked.
What about lettuce or arugula or spinach? All greens have similar characteristics but different tastes and growing strategies.
Learn about the difference between collard greens and turnip greens and their appearance and growing habits. Find out how these two greens taste raw and cooked and their many uses in the kitchen. Discover their nutritional values and a delicious recipe that combines the flavor of both greens in one dish.
Are Collard Greens and Turnip Greens the Same?
These two greens look similar, but are collard greens and turnip greens the same vegetable? They come from different plants, and their growing habits differ. Explore each one to help you choose the right one for your garden.
The turnip is a root vegetable with a white fleshy taproot that we commonly associate with potatoes and beets. Its closest relatives are arugula and radishes, and it is a member of the mustard family in the genus Brassica.
The entire plant, from the leafy top to the taproot, is edible, and the turnip greens grow in clumps or mounds above the ground. They are fast-growing veggies and ready to harvest in about 40 days, forming the best bulbs during cool weather.
As far as the turnip or parsnip goes, both are tasty root veggies with edible leaves. Note that the wild parsnip has toxic leaves so only grow parsnips that come from a reputable seed company if you want to eat the greens.
Collards are loose-leaf members of the cabbage family (Brassica oleracea). They are a cool-season crop. The best time to plant collard greens is in late summer or early fall for a winter harvest if you live in the south and late summer if you live in the north.
Collard greens take anywhere from 60 to 75 days to mature, and go through several collard greens growing stages before it’s picking time. Harvesting the tender greens encourages more to grow back.
Differences between Turnip Greens vs Collard Greens
There are a variety of leafy and southern greens, and some of them are perfect for eating raw, while others are better suited for cooking. Discover how collard greens and turnip greens differ in appearance and taste, their uses in the kitchen, and substitutes for each. Is kale a collard green? No, kale is a different green that is also popular in many recipes.
Most of the different types of collard greens are broad-shaped and medium to dark green with a coarse texture. Turnip greens are the leafy green tops of turnips, medium green in color, slender, and have lobed or cut leaves with less texture than collard greens.
The flavor of turnip greens is similar to mustard greens with their spicy bite. However, they tend to be fibrous and taste better when cooked. Fall turnip greens have peppery notes, while spring leaves have a brighter taste.
Collard greens are a good substitute for turnip greens, as well as kale and Swiss chard. Saute them with onion, garlic, olive oil, and lemon juice, or add them to soups, stews, or pasta.
Raw collard greens have a bitter flavor that mellows with a subtle earthiness after cooking. These greens are wonderful in a meaty braise, pesto, soups, and casseroles, and a collard green gratin with Parmesan cheese is not the same without them.
Use turnip greens, spinach, mustard greens, or Swiss chard as a substitute in recipes for collard greens.
Nutritional Difference between Collard Greens and Turnip Greens
While dark, leafy greens play a positive role in your overall health, some of them have more nutrients than others. Learn about the nutritional difference between collard greens and turnip greens and how each green is beneficial to your diet.
Both collard greens and turnip greens are a great addition to your diet, and regularly consuming them provides you with a variety of essential nutrients. However, there are some significant differences in nutrition when comparing a cup of raw collard greens with raw turnip greens.
Turnip greens contain more iron, calcium, potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, vitamin E, vitamin A, vitamin C, and B6 than collard greens. As a result, they are great for maintaining healthy skin, reducing anemia, preventing cancer, and helping with sleep and mood.
Collard greens are also beneficial since they have fewer carbohydrates and calories than turnip greens and contain a little more vitamin K, folate, and protein.
Collards have twelve calories per cup, and turnip greens have eighteen and nearly double the carbs. Collard greens are good for relieving constipation, aiding poor bone health, and helping with diabetes and cancer.
Combining Collard Greens and Turnip Greens in a Recipe
Pot liquor or pot likker soup is one of our favorite ways to enjoy the benefits of both collard greens and turnip greens in a flavorful dish. This recipe is packed with antioxidants, has a 45-minute cooking time, serves eight, and a slow cooker is not required.
Pour the chopped ham into a large pot or Dutch oven and heat it for two to three minutes before adding the olive oil, carrots, and onions. Saute them for two more minutes, add the garlic, and cook for one more minute.
Add the broth and cook until the liquid reduces to half. Add the water, collard greens, and turnip greens and cook for 45 minutes or until tender, and add black pepper and salt to taste. Serve the soup hot with a side of cornbread.
Both turnip and collard greens have a similar appearance and are a wonderful addition to recipes. However, there are differences in growing them in the garden and cooking them in recipes, and it’s a great idea to know how they differ to get the most out of your leafy greens.
We hope that understanding the differences between turnip greens vs collard greens helps you choose the ideal greens for gardening and cooking, and we’d love it if you’d share our collard greens and turnip greens guide with your social network on Facebook and Pinterest.