CDC ranks produced by nutrition density scores. Spinach, chard, beet greens score 80s. Watercress is perfect with 100.
This leafy green belongs to the Brassicaceae family and thrives in bodies of freshwater such as streams and ponds.
It is closely related to mustard, cabbage, kale, and radishes. The Latin translation of its scientific name, Nasturtium officinale, is “nose twister.”
The flavor of watercress is piquant and peppery, almost like a cross between arugula and horseradish.
According to B&W Quality Growers, watercress has been consumed for over 3,000 years. It was an essential constituent in the ancient Greek, Persian, and Roman cultures.
The piquant vegetable was included on the original Thanksgiving menu.
Due to its prevalence in moist, temperate environments, watercress is considered a weed in some regions. However, its consistent supply makes it a dependable and nutrient-rich food source.
Based on BBC, street vendors in Victorian-era London sold it as a refreshment and referred to it as “poor man’s bread.” It has been ingested for medicinal purposes for millennia in Europe and Asia.
How To Prepare Watercress
Younger seedlings have a milder flavor and stems that are tender and hollow. This renders them ideal for raw recipes such as salads and garnishes, similar to how parsley and cilantro are used.
The flavor of mature watercress is much more intense and piquant. Additionally, the stems become tougher and more fibrous, so they must be prepared to improve their flavor.
Dr. Amy Lee, the head of nutrition at Nucific, grew up consuming large quantities of watercress in stir-fries and savory broths. Dr. Lee asserts that it is crucial not to overcook them, as with any vegetable.
However, this does not imply that the best method to consume it is raw. Particularly for mature watercress, cooking breaks down some of the fibrous stems to make more of the nutrients bioavailable.