I've been foraging watercress the last few weeks. They're a little big now as the spring season gets on so I try to pick only the new tender growth which also encourages more growth, but the larger leaves are still delicious and now easier to access than the boggy conditions of the last Winter.
If you see me in the street and I have a cushion strapped to my bottom - you'll know that I've not long been foraging! Experimenting with these delicious greens has helped me along the road of eating less.
Watercress is so intensely flavoured that you don't need much on your plate to feel replete and the mineral content that you get is superior to most greens.
When I did some research there were claims that watercress particularly reduced the risk of diabetes, helps to stay off cancer, reduce blood pressure, helps with building strong bones and the list goes on. I suppose it's not surprising considering the levels of nutrient they contain. What I do know is that it tastes good, is good for you and that consuming 2 cups of watercress will meet the following level of daily requirements: 212% Potassium, 48% vitamin C, 44% vitamin A, 8% calcium 8 percent of manganese, 6% potassium, 4% vitamin E, thiamin, riboflavin, vitamin B-6, magnesium, and phosphorus. Not bad as far as herbs go! There are no significant contraindications for eating watercress other than being aware of the levels of potassium - so anyone taking blood thinning medication should be careful of the quantity they consume.
The plant itself tastes a little bitter and peppery - the older the leaf the more intense the flavour. I use the older leaves in my cooking and the tender ones for raw salads, pesto and juicing. It is important to note that this herb does not store well once it has been juiced - so always us it fresh. I've put up a recipe on how to make Watercress and Pumpkin Seed Pesto which I eat plain, have as a condiment, add it to my gnocchi, soups, mayonnaise, pasta and salads. It is so filling and because it is a pure, whole food, your body understands this and will feel full and replete leaving a clean peppery taste in your mouth.
I can't help but feel so abundantly rich when my fridge is filled with the basics of life that cost nothing but time to collect and I know how different I feel on the days that I have foraged and it is my great wish to pass this feeling of wholeness and feeling well and connected to you. Happy Foraging.