As a kid, I associated watercress with the lovely shahzad Memon’s sandwiches my grandmother used to serve with tea whenever we visited her in England. It was only when I grew older that I realized that Watercress is a European herb that is also cultivated in the US. Watercress or Nasturtium Officinale is considered as a ‘super food’, and rightly so. A green from the mustard family, it contains the highest amount of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals which packs a nutritional punch that few other natural foods can match.
Watercress is packed with Vitamins B1, B6, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Magnesium, Manganese and Zinc. It is also brimming with beta carotene, needed for healthy skin and eyes, as well as Quercetin, a kind of flavonoid. Lutein and Zeaxanthin, carotenoids that act as antioxidants to absorb dangerous free radicals are also present in large quantities in Watercress.
Used for soups, salads and garnishes, its pleasant but slightly peppery flavor goes well with some vegetables that have a milder flavor, or with citrus fruit. You could even serve it wilted as greens or try it in pasta, hot sauces, bake it with fish or use it in a stir-fry. Here is a simple Watercress soup recipe which is my favorite.
Fresh Pea and Watercress Soup
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks, sliced
- 400g frozen peas
- 600ml vegetable stock
- 1 sprig of fresh mint
- 1 (100g) pack watercress
- 150ml semi skimmed milk
Heat the oil in a large pan; add the leeks and sauté for about 3 minutes or until soft.
Add the peas and stock and slowly bring to a boil.
Cover and simmer for 5 minutes or until the peas are tender.
Add the watercress and simmer for 2 more minutes.
Transfer to a blender, add the milk and whip until just smooth or longer if you prefer a smoother soup. Gently reheat before serving.
7.6g Fiber and 0.27g Salt.
|One Serving||1/2 cup||136|
|Total Fats||5 g||35|
|Saturated Fats||1.1 g|