Green that Beats Kale in Health Points: Watercress

Step aside broccoli, kale and Brussel sprouts; you’ve had your time to shine. If you’re tired of eating all cruciferous to get your nutrient-dense greens, you’ve gotta try this leafy green. Watercress is the better-than-kale green you’re probably not eating! It is not given a bold arrangement in the produce aisle like the iceberg lettuce, most likely because it isn’t as well known, is more seasonal and often more expensive. However, in comparison to organic kale, it is just about one for one. To add watercress into your diet, you can juice it, put it in your shakes, or add it to sauteed veggies or raw salads. It tastes like a combination of spinach and arugula with a dense leafy texture and peppery bite in flavor.

And you better believe it can hold its own weight and then some in the veggie world. Watercress isn’t only packed like crazy with nutrients, it is also known for its ancient healing properties due to its high levels of antioxidants. Watercress.co.uk states that Hippocrates, the father of modern medicine, built his first hospital in close proximity to a stream where watercress grew so that his patients would have easy access to this life-sustaining green.

Because the plant naturally grows near fresh, slow-moving water sources, these little green leaves got to skinny dip in natural waters and soak up life sustaining sun packing its leaves with vitamins A, C and K as well as lutein and zeaxanthin, two carotenoid nutrients. (Don’t panic if you don’t know what carotenoids are! They are basic nutrient antioxidants famous for decreasing the risk of disease, particularly certain cancers and eye disease. Just like those found in carrots!) Watercress has been credited in reducing DNA damage to blood cells caused by free radicals. Additional research shows that disease begins with a nutrient-deficient, poorly cared for gut. Adding watercress into your diet can help sky rocket you into a healthier you, one bite at a time. Think of it as foodie fuel!

Here are three ways to use Watercress this week:

Watercress Salad

Salad Ingredients

1 bunch of Watercress (long stems removed)
1 cup Green Grapes (cut in halves)
½ cup Marcona Almonds, Slivered
¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts
Dressing to taste

Dressing Ingredients:

½ cup Extra Virgin Cold Pressed Olive oil
¼ cup Golden Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tbsp Raw Honey
Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:
  • Place the Balsamic Vinegar, Honey and Seasoning into the blender and turn on a medium speed. Slowly drizzle the Olive Oil through the lid to emulsify the oil into the dressing. Let the blender run for about 2 minutes until completely combined. Set aside.
  • Assemble the salad by tossing all of the ingredients into a large bowl and top with the desired amount of dressing. Serve immediately and…Enjoy!

Crisp & Crunchy Watercress Salad

Ingredients:

1 Bunch Watercress, rinsed and dried
3 c Spinach
1 Grapefruit, sliced
¼ c Raw Unsalted Hazelnuts
1 Cucumber, diced
1 Red Chile, thinly sliced

Dressing Ingredients:

¼ c Olive Oil
1 oz Fresh Grapefruit Juice
1 tsp Grapefruit Zest
Juice from 1/2 Lemon
1 Tbsp Freshly Grated Ginger Root
½ tsp Cumin
½ tsp Garlic powder
Salt and Pepper to taste

Directions:
  • Roast the hazelnuts in a 400 degree oven for 12-15 minutes, turning every 5 minutes. Set aside.
  • In a large salad bowl combine all dressing ingredients except for the olive oil and whisk to combine. Then drizzle in the olive oil while continuing to whisk until the ingredients have emulsified.
  • Dress the watercress and spinach with the dressing and serve in chilled bowls. Top with the remaining ingredients, roasted hazelnuts and enjoy!

Beautiful Skin: Raw Juice Recipe

INGREDIENTS:

1 large bunch of watercress
1 green apple
1 cup of green grapes
1 lime, skin removed
2 celery stalks

DIRECTIONS:
  • Wash all produce well.
  • Peel the lime (optional or scrub for a more sour taste with the added peel nutrients).
  • Add all ingredients through juicer and enjoy!

Lauren Rae
Dallas Fitness and Nutrition Coach
laurenraelife.com

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