Watercress is one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables available to humans. However, even when you know you should be eating it, it’s hard to know exactly how to fit the leaves into your diet. Here are 11 ways to eat watercress so you never have to miss out on watercress benefits ever again.
Watercress is a fast-growing aquatic or semi-aquatic perennial plant that heralds from Europe and Asia. It is a member of the Brassicaceae family, which means it is related to garden cress, mustard, radish and wasabi. These plants all share a peppery and slightly bitter flavor.
Watercress benefits shouldn’t be missed! Watercress contains a high amount of iron, calcium, iodine, manganese and folic acid as well as vitamins A, B6, C and K. It is also packed with omega-3 fatty acids. Watercress is jam-packed with phytochemicals called isothiocyanates, which demonstrate the ability to fight cancer and cardiovascular and neurological diseases.
However, watercress isn’t the type of green that can dominate a meal, as its tangy taste can overwhelm the senses. Instead, it’s best as a noteworthy complement to the showcase. The following 11 uses help you reap the most from watercress benefits and fit the plant easily into your daily diet.
First, to prepare watercress, be sure to rinse it thoroughly in cold water and cut off any over-sized stems. Blot the watercress dry with a paper towel or dry it in a salad spinner. It is best to eat watercress raw, as it phytochemicals are more potent that way. However, they are equally as delicious and quite beneficial when lightly cooked as well.
Watercress can most certainly be the only green leaf in a salad, but it is important to cut its peppery taste with a creamy sauce and other add-ins that make the experience more enjoyable for the palate. Try this Watercress Fattoush Salad with Creamy Watercress Tahini Dressing recipe as a start.
Watercress makes for a perfect addition to a creamy soup. This recipe for a Tangy, Peppery Watercress Soup mellows out the watercress intensity with potatoes and cream. You could also just add a garnish of fresh watercress atop any soup you make.
Add a few leaves of watercress to your next green smoothie to up its nutritional profile. Be careful not to overdo it though.
Garnish any pizza that pops out of the oven with fresh watercress leaves. They’ll give each slice a more definitive punch and a grain of nutrition.
5. Stir Fry
Take your stir-fry to the next level with watercress. It’ll offer a colorful touch to the finished dish. Try out this Watercress and Chicken Stir-Fry.
If you’re like me and like to start your day with a green juice each morning, change up your concoction by including watercress. This way, you are undulating your blood’s cells instantly with the benefits of watercress instantaneously– no digestion required.
Just a few seconds before finishing of your omelet over the stove, add a handful of fresh watercress to the top and then fold the omelet over to make a half. As you chew, enjoy the crunch (and nutrition!).
This Gourmet Egg and Watercress Sandwich with Prosciutto has my mouth watering. Watercress is commonly enjoyed as a layer in a sandwich and for good reason!
Watercress pairs really well with the neutrality of fish. It also acts as a good palate cleanser post fish meal.
There is a lot of heaviness going on in a tart, but if watercress is somewhere in there, maybe it’s a little nutritious? This Ham and Tomato Watercress Tart will have me believe anything.
Regular mayonnaise is amazing and all, but watercress adds an entirely new taste and color profile. Make this watercress mayonnaise and pair it with salmon!
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Photo Credit: Alpha