Crave Magazine

Go green in 2021 with these tasty watercress recipes

It’s nearly new year and here’s hoping 2021 pans out better than 2020 – so let’s start as we mean to go on – healthy!  

The Watercress Company has developed lots of watercress recipes including these delicious, nutritious smoothies – one for every day of the week to help even the weakest willed person to stick to a healthy diet!  What’s more they’re all vegan so can aid Veganuary converts and taste so good even the Dry January cohort will be sorted!

Each recipe contains a generous portion of watercress, one of the healthiest veg you can eat.  It contains over 50 vital vitamins and minerals; gram for gram there’s more Vitamin C in watercress than in an orange, more calcium than milk, more folate than a banana and more Vitamin E than broccoli.  Watercress also boasts high levels of Vitamin A, fibre, iron, protein and a full complement of essential amino acids.

Amino acids are often referred to as the building blocks of proteins and are compounds that play many critical roles in your body including regulating the immune function and building muscle.  Your body needs 20 different amino acids to grow and function properly. Though all 20 of these are important for your health, only nine amino acids are classified as essential.  Unlike nonessential amino acids, essential amino acids can’t be made by your body and must be obtained through your diet.

The best sources of essential amino acids are animal proteins like meat, eggs and poultry but unusually for a plant, watercress has a full complement of the 9 essential amino acids.  What’s more, although the overall number of calories are low in watercress, half of them are made up of protein – remarkably this proportion is about that same as chicken, cod and beef! 

This high rate of protein makes watercress especially important in a vegan diet in which meat is not consumed, but it’s also essential for iron.   Iron is needed for the activation and proliferation of immune cells.  However, for plant iron to be absorbed, Vitamins C and A are required to convert it into a more easily absorbable form such as haem iron as found in meat.  Because watercress has high levels of iron AND Vitamins C and A, it is a reliable and rich source of iron.

But whether you’re vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian or simply enjoy great tasting nutritious smoothies, these seven watercress-based smoothies will start your day with a healthy kick!

Watercress recipes – Watercress & Pomegranate Smoothie

As with watercress, pomegranate juice is rich in antioxidants. Studies show that it can help prevent heart disease and has anti-inflammatory and anti-bacterial qualities.

Calories: 115   Serves: 1 Prep time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

Method

  1. Peel the Sharon fruit and roughly chop 
  2. Place everything in a blender and whizz together

Fat: 1g Saturated Fat: 0.0g Carbohydrate: 27g Protein: 2g Fibre: 2.0g Salt: 0.09g

Watercress recipes – Watercress and Orange Detox Smoothie

With orange and watercress there’s a double whammy of immune boosting vitamin C in this smoothie while high levels of vitamin A, thanks to the carrot and watercress, will help you see in the dark!

Calories: 112   Preparation: 5 mins  Serves: 1

Ingredients

Method

Watercress recipes – Watercress Breakfast Smoothie Bowl

Did you know that watercress freezes brilliantly for use in soups and smoothies? Next time you have a handful left over, pop it in the freezer ready to throw into your next smoothie.  This tropical tasting lovely can be served as a tempting breakfast treat with fruits and nuts or as an easy drinking smoothie in a glass. The choice is yours.

Serves 1 Prep time: 10 minutes 

Ingredients

To serve (optional)

Method

  1. To make the smoothie simply place all ingredients into a high-powered blender or smoothie maker and blitz until smooth.  
  2. Check the consistency is to your liking and add a little more pineapple juice if you prefer a thinner smoothie.  At this stage the smoothie can be kept in the fridge for up to two days or frozen for up to one month.
  3. To serve, pour into a cereal bowl and decorate by arranging the fruit and seeds on top in any way you like.  
  4. Why not experiment by adding different fruits, berries or even edible flowers and herbs?

Tip: Use frozen mango to ensure that your smoothie comes out of the blender nice and chilled

Watercress recipes – Watercress Smoothie

Get revved up for a great day with this smoothie packed full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatories courtesy of the range of healthy ingredients used to make it.  

Prep time: 5 mins  Serves: 1

Ingredients

Method

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a high-speed blender and blitz until velvety smooth 
  2. Add grated nutmeg to taste
  3. Drink immediately

Watercress recipes – Watercress, Avocado & Lime Smoothie

This deliciously creamy smoothie slips down nice and easy with a citrus tang from the lime and refreshing minty aftertaste.  It tastes so good you’ll wonder if it can really be doing you good – but it is!

Serves 1 Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Method

  1. Add all ingredients into a blender or smoothie maker and blend thoroughly.  
  2. Add more coconut water to achieve desired consistency if necessary, then either serve immediately or keep in the fridge for up to three days.

Watercress recipes – Watercress & Kiwi Smoothie

A fruity little number packed full of antioxidants thought to protect the heart, this smoothie is a great start to the day. 

Calories: 96 Serves: 3 Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Method

  1. Scoop out the kiwi fruit from the skin
  2. Cut up the apples 
  3. Put all ingredients into the blender and enjoy!

Watercress recipes – Watercress, Melon & Pear Smoothie

Positively bursting with Vitamins A & C, and a healthy dose of fibre, this smoothie makes a great wake up call for the day

Serves: 3 Prep time: 10 minutes

Ingredients

Method

For more mouth-watering watercress recipe inspiration visit www.watercress.co.uk and for more information about the health benefits of watercress go to www.thewatercresscompany.com

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