Nasturtium officinale is the scientific name of watercress, also called Yellowcress or cress. Watercress belongs to a family which is Brassicaceae, its cruciferous vegetable which also includes cauliflower, cabbage, turnips, broccoli, collard greens, and kale. Cabbage and lettuce have the most common similarities with the watercress.
Watercress is a plant that grows in water, and the whole plant is edible. Leaves are small or large, attached to the hollow stem part of the plant. Cress plants don’t need soil for their growth, but they need nutrient-rich water, and strawberries, tomatoes, cucumbers, and peppers are also grown in this way. Cress plants are bitter or peppery taste, usually used in salad dressing, sandwiches, or smoothies. These plants are usually cultivated throughout the year but are mostly found between April and September.
One serving, which is 100g of cress, contains 11kcal, 1g carbs, 2g protein, and 95% of water; also a rich source of vitamin K, vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Eating watercress improves heart health, high antioxidant level lower risk of cancer, lower cholesterol, vitamin K and minerals help to protect against osteoporosis, boost immune function, protect eye health. Their nutrient density may aid weight loss problems.
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What to Do with Watercress?
Watercress is an astonishingly flexible plant that can be used in everything; due to its attractive color and taste. You can cook different food items using cress plants with multi-health benefits, as we discussed earlier. Here I’ll tell different ideas to used watercress.
Cruciferous vegetables are the best for salad making by adding different herbs. You can make a variety of salads by using watercress such as watercress, potato, and feta salad, Asian-style beef, watercress salad, and beans-watercress salad.
Many people drink green smoothies, including green vegetables like kale, spinach, or mint, to stay hydrated or regulate blood circulation. We can also add watercress to these smoothies to enhance their nutrient requirement. Pineapple- mango watercress smoothie, watercress-Avacado smoothie, or kale- spinach watercress smoothies are popular.
In the UK, Europe watercress soup is a traditional staple food. It’s the best weight loss soup; you can also add other food items to enhance their flavor. Different soups are made from watercress, such as spiced squash and watercress soup or simple watercress soup.
In British classic, watercress sandwiches are the most popular food item. Most tasty sandwiches are egg, and watercress sandwiches, chicken, cheese, and watercress sandwiches.
Different sauces are made and used with grilled chicken, meat, egg, fish, or steamed vegetables. We can make homemade watercress sauce which gives us a delightful taste.
Like we made mint and spinach pesto, watercress pesto is also best used with a dry food item to enhance appetite and taste. We made different types of pesto: simple watercress pesto and red onion tart watercress pesto.
We make a dry vegetable meal with added herbs and spices. We also made stir-fries watercress with other vegetables and olive oil added, giving us the best savor. We add garlic and ginger paste to it, and it’s the best meal for a time with many health benefits.
Chicken watercress curry:
We also made watercress curry, take with tortilla or rice.
An egg is a multi-vitamin meal, and when we add green vegetables to it, it will give us the perfect flavor or perfect morning breakfast. Watercress omelets are a quick recipe.
Noodles attract anyone by their appetizing aroma; we can add watercress to boiled noodles with other vegetables to enhance their nutritional facts or taste.
Chicken and watercress samosa:
Can dogs eat Watercress?
No, Dogs can’t use this cress water; it will severely damage their kidney and thyroid function if consumed in large quantity. This plant grows in water, where different bacteria or fungi are implanted, making them toxic to dogs. It contains GIT irritants which can cause nausea, vomiting, excessive drooling, tremors, and abnormal nervousness, so it’s best to avoid them.
How to Store Watercress?
Watercress plants are found all around the year, and you can easily use them any time of the year. You need a proper storage process or guidelines to enhance its shelf-life to store it.
Fundamental principles to store Cress:
- Don’t wash watercress leaves because it spoils their storage or their moisture delays their process.
- If these leaves are stored in airtight plastic bags, make sure to make a small hole in them because closed begs form moisture from condensation.
- If leaves are cut off, these can’t be stored at room temperature; they need proper temperature for storage.
- If you store your cress leaves in any glass jar, then add olive oil or any other vegetable oil so they can stay longer.
Different ways to store watercress:
Stored in Crisper Door:
This storage allows humidity to pass through the begs, as the towel fully absorbs their leaves’ moisture. Crisper door extends the life span of fruits and vegetables. They can stay useable or edible for up to 3 days.
Stored in water:
Watercress is an aquatic plant; you can store it in water by placing the only stem in it; leaves and the upper part cannot be submerged in water; it’ll enhance their quality of life for up to 5 days. You can also add salt to it to facilitate some nutrition for plants.
Stored in freezer:
Cuts leave and stem in refined form. Place it in an airtight plastic bag with a small hole in it. Don’t wah your cress before storing it in the plastic bag because moisture spoils your vegetable easily. You can store your cress for almost one week in the refrigerator or freezer, but it remains fresh or juicy for five days.
Can Watercress Grow Underwater?
The watercress plant looked fresh when placed in water so that we could grow it underwater, which contains fresh water at a normal temperature, not too hot or too cold. It’ll also need damp soil, which gives it proper nourishment for growth. If you soaked it in early summer, apply liquid feed to it. March and April are perfect months with the perfect temperature for watercress plants to grow underwater. It will take almost 7 to 14 days with a temperature of 8-15C.
How to buy Watercress?
Buy a watercress that has dark green leaves and looks fresh. Take those which don’t have any yellowing or spoilage part on them. Look for that cress that has perky brunches.
How to get rid of Watercress?
Some animals also eat watercress, or it’s growing so fastly all year, so sometimes you want to get rid of it.
- Dig watercress plant with roots and remove it completely from there.
- Add grass plants or others to avoid or stop their growth if needed.
- Place a sheet or cover to stop sunlight rays from passing through it.
Is Watercress Bitter?
Fresh watercress taste has a peppery flavor, but mature ones have a slightly bitter taste like mustard greens.
What is Watercress in Arabic?
In Arabic, Watercress is stated as جِرْجير or قُرّة العَيْن.
What to use instead of Watercress?
We can use cruciferous vegetable plants in place of cress because they belong to the same category having similar characteristics or nutritional values, such as cilantro, Arugula, spinach, Nasturtium Leaves, radish sprouts, endive, dandelion greens, kale, and Radicchio. These are substitutes used instead of cress plants.
What does Watercress look like?
The Watercress is 7cm to 12cm long from above to tip, and its stems are slightly brittle with a paler tint. These leaves look like oval-shaped with unbroken ends, and it’s soft and green in color. When the summer months start, small natural white flowers occur on them, which make them captivating, and it’s part of the natural life cycle of plants. This whole plant is edible, including its leaves, stem, and flowers.
How to grow Watercress without Soil?
It’s an aquatic plant that can easily grow in water. We submerged cress plants in water with little care or added vermiculite or perlite, which gives water retention to the plant. It is one of the best ways to grow Watercress without soil.
What is a Watercress Sandwich
It is most nutritious and filled with a lot of vitamins and minerals. It comprises butter, cucumber, boiled egg, and fresh Watercress over a slice of bread. It’s a quick and mouth-watering recipe that we made. In British culture, cress sandwiches are the most demanding and traditional food item.
Is Watercress good for the Lungs?
There is scientific evidence that recent studies approved that consuming Watercress may improve swelling or inflammation of the lungs in acute bronchitis, constipation, flu, or arthritis. It’ll help to prevent the symptoms of pulmonary disease. When we eat food rich in cress, it’ll reduce toxins in our body.