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Watercress substitute

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Watercress, like the rejected brick, was originally considered a weed. Nonetheless, it was quickly determined to be quite important. Indeed, Hippocrates, the founder of medicine, built his first hospital along a stream to provide fresh watercress for his patients.

The plant develops quickly near or on bodies of water, preferentially in slightly alkaline waters. While it grows abundantly in the wild, it is currently commercially produced to meet the expanding demand. If not picked, the plant may grow to be 4 feet tall.

Watercress, Rorripa nasturtium acquaticum, belongs to the Brassicaceae family, which includes broccoli, cabbage, Brussel sprouts, cauliflower, rocket, and radish. Its health advantages have been known since ancient times when grown in clean spring water. It is said to have originated in Greece and is now a staple of Mediterranean diets.

This lush green vegetable is packed with nutrients. Watercress features tiny, spherical leaves with an edible stem that are dark green in color (but hydroponically produced watercress for commercial purposes have an even darker green shade). Furthermore, watercress occasionally has white and green blooms, this form is more bitter, but the young leaves are less bitter. Watercress has a distinctive peppery and slightly spicy flavour.

Watercress may be a tasty addition to a salad or soup and is well-known for adding a peppery undertone to the meal; yet, it is not one of the most popular salad greens.

Watercress is low in calories, yet high in nutrients.

One cup (34 g) of watercress includes the following nutrients: 4 calories, 0.4 grams of carbohydrates, 0.8 grams of protein, and 0.2 grams of fiber Vitamin A: 22% of the RDA, Vitamin C: 24% of the RDA, Vitamin K: 106% of the RDA, Calcium: 4% of the RDA, and Manganese: 4% of the RDA.

Watercress also includes minor levels of vitamin E, thiamine, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, sodium, and copper.

People have termed watercress a super-food because it can perform many miracles such as purifying the blood, decreasing the risk of chronic illnesses; preventing certain cancer; prevent osteoporosis; strengthening the immune function; assisting weight reduction, and safeguarding eye health.

Watercress Nutrition Facts

Uses of Watercress in Meals

Watercress is versatile and may be used in a number of cuisines. To get the benefits of the vegetable’s potent antioxidant components, eat it raw or mildly steam it.

This very adaptable vegetable may be sprinkled on salads, blended into soups at the end of cooking, made into pesto by combining garlic and olive oil, served with eggs, or used to top any meal.

Watercress Recipes

  • Traditional Watercress Sauce
  • Watercress Soup
  • Pesto with Watercress
  • Risotto with Watercress and Peas
  • Dip with Watercress
  • Smoothie with watercress, mango, and pineapple
  • Omelettes with Watercress
  • Salad with Bacon, Potatoes, and Watercress
  • Watercress and Shiitakes Sautéed in Ginger

Substitute for Watercress

Watercress has indisputable health advantages and adds a distinct flavor to the meal. But, if this veggie is unavailable, here are a few options you may pick up and prepare with.


Arugula is often spelled rocket, roquette, or rucola. This plant’s young leaves are used in salads, but the older leaves are used in cooking. It is used in a variety of cuisines across the globe, including pasta, pizza, and soups. It has a strong, spicy, and peppery mustard taste comparable to the watercress. Not only are the leaves edible, but so are the flowers and seeds. One advantage of arugula is that it can be cooked.


This watercress alternative has the same peppery taste of watercress. Nasturtium, often known as the Indian cress, is an edible plant with vividly coloured blossoms The nasturtium plant’s blossoms and leaves may both impart that flavor to your cuisine. Nasturtium is known to have a more intense spicy flavor than watercress.


Spinach is a flowering plant that is widely utilized in a variety of cuisines. It is Asian in origin. It is also valued for its nutritional qualities. Watercress and spinach leaves do not taste the same. As a result, when used as a replacement, add pepper to create the required flavor. To enhance the flavor, combine spinach with a few nasturtium leaves.


Lettuces are low in calories yet filled with healthful, useful elements. There are several types of lettuce to choose from as a substitute. Lettuce is usually used in salads and sandwiches but may be a pizza topping as well. While it is not suitable for soups and stews, it may be used in stir-fry meals with a quick cooking time. Use the same amount of lettuce as you would watercress.



Purslane is a great alternative for watercress, and it tastes much better uncooked. Purslane is the way to go if you desire a lush, luscious vegetable with a bite. Since watercress and purslane have similar flavor profiles, they may be used interchangeably in salads and sandwiches. Purslane may be used in lieu of equal parts watercress. But, if you prefer a less leafy dinner, add less purslane.

Dandelion Green

These plants are recognized to be one of the must-haves in diets due of their great nutritional content. Young leaves will be less bitter, but older leaves will be highly bitter, modifying the amount according to the recipe. It works well in stews, soups, and salads.

Frequently Asked Questions [FAQs]

Can you eat watercress every day?

Yeah, without a doubt. Watercress, as previously said, is a wonder vegetable that is very beneficial. You can eat it every day, but only one cup at a time.

Is it safe to eat raw watercress?

Yes. Watercress is best eaten fresh since, like other vegetables, it loses nutritional value when cooked.

Is cooked watercress less healthy?

Cooked watercress is not less nutritious. But, as previously said, the raw vegetable provides the greatest nutrients.


Watercress is a fantastic herb and a delicious culinary vegetable. It is also quite healthful. Watercress was thought to prevent baldness by the Romans and Anglo-Saxons; some emperors felt it helped them make brave judgments; others claimed it treated toothache, freckles, and hiccups.

This magical worker plant might be hard to come by. When it is unavailable, use the replacements described above. Consider the ideal quantity for the desired impact and flavor.


Can you replace watercress with spinach?

Spinach No. 2

When watercress is unavailable, it might therefore be an excellent substitute. It has a pleasant, juicy flavor that may become bitter when wilted. Spinach may be eaten fresh or cooked. Spinach is a common green vegetable that is used in Asian and Indian cuisine.

What is watercress called in America?

Cress is the name given to a group of green salad plants in the Nasturtium family that are modest in size, have a strong peppery flavor, and have light leaf texture. The most common varieties of this green were American Cress, Winter Cress, and Water Cress.

What can I use instead of watercress or arugula?

Wrap ingredients include watercress, baby spinach, dandelion greens, mixed greens, romaine lettuce, escarole, and frisée. According on the kind of food, these are the finest arugula substitutes: Salad ingredients include watercress, baby spinach, dandelion greens, mixed greens, baby kale, and romaine lettuce. Sandwiches

Is watercress the same as water spinach?

This vegetable thrives in moist subtropical climates and is known by numerous names in English, including water spinach, water convolvulus, Chinese watercress, and morning glory.

Can I substitute cilantro for watercress?

Watercress may be used in lieu of cilantro in any dish. Your cilantro-averse relatives and friends will thank you, and that bowl of guac will go before it has a chance to turn brown.

What flavor is watercress?

Watercress has a particular peppery flavor that elicits strong reactions; you either adore it or find it difficult, as we found with our friends at The Prince of Wales School in Dorchester.

Can you get watercress in America?

Watercress is prevalent in the cold, alkaline waters of springs, spring flows, and similar streams across Missouri and the bulk of the North American continent. Watercress is also sold all over the globe.

Is watercress the same as baby spinach?

Watercress has a stronger flavor than spinach or kale, but it may be utilized in the same manner. Prepare a salad using solely watercress or a combination of watercress and other greens. Watercress may be used to sandwiches or pureed into creamy soups. Fruit, nuts, potatoes, sweet potatoes, beets, leeks, and maize all pair nicely with watercress.

Is water celery the same as watercress?

Apium nodiflorum (L.) Lag. is a perennial plant in the Apiaceae family that is also known as fool’s watercress or water celery.

What are the variations of watercress?

Cress varieties
Watercress: This kind has the most pungent taste and texture since it grows freely in water.
Garden cress is cultivated in soil and has a peppery taste similar to horse radish.
Upland Cress has thinner stems and a milder taste.
Watercress from Korea is more crunchy and bitter.
Jun 13, 2021

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