Everything you need to know about how to use cress, including the different varieties, how to store it, nutrition information, and more!
For those unfamiliar with this veg, cress is one of the oldest leafy greens us humans have eaten. It’s a water or soil grown plant that’s in the same family as mustard and cabbage, giving it a distinctly spicy, peppery, pungent flavor.
Varieties of cress
There are many varieties of cress out there, grown in many different ways! But they all tend to share the same flavor profile – a bit spicy!
- Watercress: Grown freely in water, this variety has the most pungent flavor and texture.
- Garden Cress: This variety is grown in soil and has a spicy flavor, like horse radish.
- Upland Cress: Thinner stems and more delicate flavor. This variety often comes in plastic bags, with the cress still attached to the roots.
- Korean Watercress: More crunchy and bitter.
How to Buy Cress
Similarly to how you would buy spinach or kale, when buying cress in the grocery look for dark, crisp leaves that are free from bruised or yellow spots.
How to Store Cress
Like most leafy greens, cress is highly perishable so you should only store it for a couple of days. If you bought it in a bunch, either:
- Wrap the stems in a damp cloth and cover the leafy end with a plastic bag, or…
- Place the stems in a glass of water (like we do with parsley) and wrap the leafy ends in a plastic bag
(Both methods of storing cress should be stored in the fridge).
How to Prepare Cress
Rinse and pat dry, then cut off the thick parts of the stems. Then you can either saute it for about a minute (as you would spinach), steam it, or eat it raw! Here are a few of our favorite cress recipes:
Cress Nutrition Information
per 1 cup (34 g)
- Calories: 4
- Carbohydrates: 0.4 g
- Fiber: 0.2 g, 0% Daily Value (DV)
- Protein: 1 g
- Fat: 0 g
- 106% DV of Vitamin K: A fat-soluble vitamin that allows for activation of enzymes in the clotting cascade, which is responsible for blood clotting. Also builds bone by modifying osteocalcin so that it may bind calcium, thus building the bone matrix.
- 24% DV of Vitamin C: A water-soluble vitamin that acts as an antioxidant to fight against potentially damaging free radicals (molecules with unshared electrons that float around wreaking havoc) and an important cofactor in collagen synthesis.
- 21% DV of Vitamin A: Provides the provitamin version of this fat-soluble vitamin, meaning it comes from a plant source and your body converts the plant pigment into active Vitamin A. It is essential in many components of healthy vision, as well as immunity and cell growth/differentiation.
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