What is Watercress?

Is this watercress in full bloom? Photo: SXC
My mother likes trying new produce as much as I do. One night we had a 30-minute phone conversation about watercress. She read about it in Martha Stewart's Living magazine and has wanted to try it ever since.

In her small, rural Iowa town you can't find such fancy leafy greens.

I've never had watercress either, but have seen it at the local Hispanic grocery store a few times. I'm curious to learn how to eat it.

With a little research I've found watercress is grown in water, or semi-aquatically. It also boasts several nutritional benefits, according to Nutrition Data:
  • 1 cup of raw, chopped watercress only has 4 calories
  • Watercress is fat-free and cholesterol-free
  • A 1-cup serving provides your daily vitamin K needs
  • Watercress is also rich in vitamins A, C and E
Have you tried watercress? How do you eat it? What does it taste like?

Until Next Time,
Choose Healthy!

Angela Tague
Whole Foods Living

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26 comments:

  1. I've probably had watercress in a restaurant, but I don't use it at home. I wish I could grow my own vegetables, but the animals get to it, and I don't have time to deal with that.

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    1. Last summer a bunny moved into my garden. I totally understand the feeling!! Happy A-to-Z 2013! ~Angela, Whole Foods Living, http://www.wholefoodsliving.blogspot.com/

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  2. I have tried it but I am not a good one to tell you what it tasted like because I am NOT a fan of raw greens. To me most of them taste nasty, so I only eat cooked veggies.
    tm

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    1. I totally understand. There are some greens I can't do raw at all...like kale! I also prefer spinach cooked unless it's baby spinach and super tender! ~Angela

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  3. Once I've moved into my new home and am ready to start my new eating regimen, I need to scour your blog for good tips! :D

    I can't even remember if I like watercress, but I'm fairly sure I love water chestnuts :D

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    1. Hi Trisha! Aww, thanks! I hope you find some good ideas and inspiration to make healthy choices each day. :) ~Angela

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  4. Watercress is kinda.. peppery. Like a stronger, greener arugula. It grows fresh along the Fraser river and when we lived in Maple Ridge, BC we'd have it fresh all the time. Yummy.

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    1. Hmm, I like arugula OK, but it's not a favorite. So maybe watercress would be a good garnish or add-in to a salad! ~Angela

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  5. I love watercress! We buy it still living with the roots, nice organic stuff, and cut the roots off to put in a fresh salad. :)

    #atozchallenge, Kristen's blog: kristenhead.blogspot.com

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    1. Good for you! I've never seen it sold like that in my area! ~Angela

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  6. I've never eaten it, but if it's like arugula then I'd probably love it!

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    1. Well, according to the other readers it's sort of peppery. You should try it! ~Angela

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  7. I've never had it either Angela, but also would like it if it's like arugula. Always been a little scared to try it because I've heard that it's very, very bitter and I would not care for that. Then again, I'm not sure if those people who told me that like arugula. Taste is subjective isn't it?

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    1. Very subjective! I'm not big on bitter/sour flavors (except enjoying vinegar!)but I still think I'd try it at a restaurant if I had the chance! ~Angela

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  8. I've never had watercress, but if it's bitter/sour I don't think want to, even though I love greens. I might get brave though, you never know.

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    1. LOl! You sound like me. I don't think I'll seek it out since learning it's peppery/bitter. But if it's at a restaurant and prepared in a cool way, I might try it. ~Angela

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  9. We get watercress in the supermarkets over here in the UK and it does have a sharp, peppery flavour, which isn't to everyones tastes. However, I love it with balsamic vinegar drizzled over it as a salad or in soup - this is a great recipe! http://www.raymondblanc.com/Portals/14/docs/Jan%202012%20Watercress%20Soup.pdf

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    1. HI Sarah! Thanks for the ideas and the recipe! I never knew it could be used in soup! ~Angela

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  10. We grew up having watercress in clear Chinese soups (boiled with pork and red dates), in sandwiches and sometimes mum boils it in a pot of water with dried longan and some brown sugar as a sweet drink.

    www.eachparent.com

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    1. Very interesting! Thanks for sharing!! ~Angela

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  11. I've never tried watercress before, but it looks interesting to try!

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    1. Yes, it does! Thanks for stopping by! ~Angela

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  12. You can take some of the bitterness off by soaking it in salt water for 5 minutes, not more or it will wilt. Blend it with good honey and it makes a great cough medicine. Strain and take by spoonfulls. Try it in soups, in rice, sautéed, in salads and smoothies .Good source of calcium.

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  13. The plant in the photo isn't a watercress. It's a nasturtium, also eatable.
    But I've tried watercress too; it's delicious! You,ve got to try it in a sandwitch, in soups or even in fresh salad.

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    1. THANK YOU!!! I thought that plant looked familiar, but not as watercress. My grandma used to have them in her garden, but we never ate them. Thank you for the tips. ~Angela

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