Watercress: An Herb Fit For A Queen
Posted by Kate W on Wednesday, July 11th, 2012
When I was born, my dad was still in law school. My mom was the primary breadwinner of the family, so she returned to work mere weeks after I was born. My dad took care of me for a while, but it soon became apparent that juggling a newborn baby and intense studies for the bar exam was going to be more than he could handle. So, my parents hired a nanny.
When I mentioned to my husband that I had been raised by a nanny until I was about five, he thought it sounded terribly glamorous, especially when I mentioned that she was British. He imagined a whimsical Mary-Poppins-esque nanny, or perhaps a regal and stately woman like the Queen. He became convinced that she must have had daily etiquette classes for all the neighborhood children, where we sipped tea with our pinkies in the air.
He was rather crushed when I disabused him of this notion. I told him that my nanny was distinctly un-royal. She was brash and loud, with a braying Cockney accent and an indelicate way with words. I was far more likely to eat a boiled hot dog for lunch than a dainty tea sandwich with cucumbers or watercress. This was fine with me, though; what two-year old wants to eat watercress?
Three decades later though, I can fully get behind an egg salad and watercress sandwich. Watercress is botanically related to mustard greens, which explains why it has a similarly peppery, tangy flavor. It is one of the oldest-known leaf vegetables known to be consumed by man, but it still has a fresh, original taste. While it’s extremely low in calories (two and a half cups of this herb contains a mere ten calories) it is absolutely packed with nutrients meaning you can combat weight gain but still get good nutrition. It is loaded with Vitamin A, Vitamin C, calcium, potassium, magnesium, manganese, phosphorous, copper and B vitamins. Like carrots, is also chock full of lutein, meaning it will enhance your eyesight without turning you orange. Whether you toss it in a salad, wilt it slightly and serve it with pasta, or serve it up on a delicate sandwich with the crusts cut off for afternoon tea, watercress will liven up your tastebuds, and give you a nutritional boost.
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