The main difference between kale and collard greens is that the leaves of kale are curly and its color varies from dark green to violet-green whereas the leaves of collard greens are plain and its color varies from dark green to light green. Furthermore, kale is less hard and has a bitter flavor while collard greens are hard and have a mild flavor.
Kale and collard greens are two varieties of leafy greens. Along with cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts, they are the different faces of the wild species Brassica oleracea, maintained through selective breeding for a long time. Their leaves are edible and extremely nutritious.
Key Areas Covered
1. What is Kale
– Definition, Features, Nutritional Value
2. What is Collard Greens
– Definition, Features, Nutritional Value
3. What are the Similarities Between Kale and Collard Greens
– Outline of Common Features
4. What is the Difference Between Kale and Collard Greens
– Comparison of Key Differences
Collard Greens, Iron, Kale, Leafy Greens, Vitamin K, Winter-Loving Plants
What is Kale
Kale or leafy cabbage is a type of leafy green that has become increasingly popular in the past decade. The edible leaves of kale usually have a dark green to violet green color. Also, most leaves in this plant are curly. Some kale plants may reach 17-18 feet in height. Jersey kale or cow cabbage is the extra-tall variety of kale. However, most kale varieties are compact.
Kale is an annual plant, which germinates over a wide range of temperatures. Also, this plant can survive in temperatures as cold as -15 degrees Celsius. In the winter, this plant thrives, and its leaves become hard. But, after a heavy frost, these leaves become soft.
Nutritionally, raw kale contains 84% water, 9% carbohydrates, 4% protein, and 1% fat. Also, it is significantly rich in vitamin K. There is 371 % (daily value DV) of vitamin K in a 100 g serving of raw kale. Moreover, it is also rich in vitamin A, C, B6, E, folate, thiamin, riboflavin, and pantothenic acid. Besides, it contains a considerable amount of iron, manganese, calcium, potassium, and phosphorus as well. In addition, kale is a good source of phytochemicals including carotenoids, lutein, and zeaxanthin.
What is Collard Greens
Collard greens or wild cabbage is another type of leafy green vegetable in the same cultivar group of kale. The shape of the collards leaves is plain, and its color varies from light to dark green.
Collard green plant grows as a biennial in areas with winter frost while it is a perennial in cold regions. Its upright stalk can grow up to 2 feet. Also, its leaves are comparatively thick. They are tastier and nutritious during the cold season.
Nutritionally, raw collard greens contain 90% water, 6% carbohydrates, 3% protein, and contain negligible fat. Same as kale, this plant is also rich in vitamin K and contains 388% of the daily value in a 100 g serving of raw collards. Moreover, it contains a higher amount of vitamin A, C, and B6. Besides, it is rich in calcium and manganese as well.
Similarities Between Kale and Collard Greens
- Kale and collard greens are two types of leafy greens that are genetically similar.
- Both are different faces of the wild species Brassica oleracea.
- Also, both belong to the Acephala group along with spring greens. The plants in this group do not form a central head as in cabbage.
- Moreover, both plants sustain through selective breeding.
- Besides, they grow best in winter and cool seasons.
- However, the dreaded cabbage worm is their mortal enemy.
- Furthermore, both their seedpods are thin and contain small, dark, round seeds.
- Their leaves are edible and extremely nutritious.
- Additionally, both are significantly rich in vitamin K. They are also rich in vitamin A, B, and E.
Difference Between Kale and Collard Greens
Kale is a hardy cabbage of a variety which produces erect stems with large leaves and no compact head. Collard greens is a cabbage of a variety that does not develop a head.
Color of Leaves
The color of kale leaves varies from dark green to violet-green while the color of collard green leaves varies from light to dark green. Thus, this is a main difference between kale and collard greens.
Another difference between kale and collard greens is that the leaves of the kale are curly while the leaves of the collard greens are plain.
The leaves of the kale are soft while the leaves of the collard greens are hard.
Kale has a slightly bitter taste while collard greens have a mild taste. Hence, this is another difference between kale and collard greens.
Life cycle is another difference between kale and collard greens. Kale grows either as annuals or biennials while collard greens grow as biennials or perennials.
Nutritionally, the difference between kale and collard greens is that the kale is rich in vitamin K and iron while collard greens are rich in fiber and proteins but, low in calories.
Many different cuisines use kale while collard greens are associated with Southern cooking and paired with pork or vegetables.
Both kale and collard greens are selective breeds of the wild species Brassica oleracea. Kale is a leafy green vegetable with curly leaves. The color of their leaves can vary from dark green to violet-green. Kale is significantly rich in irons. On the other hand, collard greens are another type of leafy green rich in fiber and proteins. Its leaves are hard and color can vary from light to dark green. The main difference between kale and collard greens is their appearance and texture.
1. “Kale, rosemary, and cilantro” By Harvest – Own work (CC BY-SA 4.0) via Commons Wikimedia
2. “Collards in container” By Downtowngal (talk) (Uploads) – Own work (Public Domain) via Commons Wikimedia