Musings & Contemplations

Wonderful Watercress: The Health Benefits of this Seasons Salad

I’ve really been enjoying watercress recently, its fresh but peppery and it’s flavour is versatile enough to be matched with many different dishes including salads, pasta, soups, pies, stir fries, smoothies and even breakfast! (Think watercress omelette or watercress and tomatoes on toast)

Watercress in the uk is in season from April right through to October. On the ‘Eat the seasons’ website they advise that watercress is at its best when the leaves are dark green. I agree! I’ve seen bagged watercress before with a yellowish leaf and it.did.not.taste.good!

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Tofu and Garden Pea ‘quiche’ with watercress

This post is to share some of my recent reading about watercress, such a brilliant little salad leaf it deserves some attention this season! (Click on the photos to see the recipes for these dishes!)

Water cress is grown in large “watercress” beds which are constantly watered, hence it’s name ‘watercress’. The website for ‘The Watercress Company’ (growers of watercress in Hampshire and Dorset since 1850!) has loads of really interesting information including how watercress is grown, the history of watercress and some great information on their efforts in wildlife conservation. I always thought watercress was grown in places near huge sunny Asian lakes or something similar so it was very interesting to see it is also successfully grown in England :)

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Baked Artichoke, Quinoa and Watercress Salad

When I visited a Bio Sig dietician back at the end of last year he actively encouraged me to eat lots of watercress as it lowers levels of estrogen. This can help fat loss, mood swings and general well being in men and women. I already eat a lot of dark greens such as spinach, kale and broccoli but I happily found a place for watercress in my diet. It can enhance any dish which suits a kick of sharp flavour.

Watercress also contains vitamin A, C, E and B, it is anti cancerous and it has been shown to increase productivity of white blood cells (information from Livestrong)

As with a lot of vegetables and fruits it is most beneficial to your body when eaten raw and organic, it is so strong in flavour (similar to rocket leaves) it is best mixed simply with some lemon juice and … You guessed it.. Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil.

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Courgette, Watercress and Melon Bruschetta

What’s your favourite watercress recipe? Feel free to share recipe links in the comments! :)

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3 thoughts on “Wonderful Watercress: The Health Benefits of this Seasons Salad

  1. Wow I LOVE watercress! If I do a bean patty or pan fried tofu (or anything really), I like to serve it on a bed of watercress. Our favourite sandwich involves Djon mustard, thick slices of Fry’s vegan polony sausage and loads of watercress on brown bread. Yum! As I like to get a bag every shop, I’ve wondered about growing it, but as you note, it needs fresh running water (don’t have), or water that is renewed each day (hassle). Instead, this year I’m going to have a go at growing American Land Cress, which is supposed to be very similar – which reminds me I must buy some seed. See here in case you’re interested: http://www.marshalls-seeds.co.uk/cress-american-land-seeds-pid2330.html

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