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Hot and spicy watercress: only collect on clean water
Watercress tastes spicy to slightly bitter and gives a spicy note to salads. It can be combined very well with fruits such as apples and oranges. The herb refines marinades for meat and fish, potato dishes and steamed vegetables. The finely chopped leaves can be used for pesto, green smoothies, herb butter and curd cheese. Also try a spring watercress soup with white bread croutons. For this purpose, the leaves and fine stems are washed, blanched in salted water, pureed and stirred into poultry broth with a dash of white wine.
The watercress (Nasturtium officinale), also called watercress, is probably native to Southeast Europe and western Asia. Already in the Middle Ages it was valued as a food and medicinal herb. The watercress contains valuable mustard oils, which are not only responsible for the peppery taste. They also act as a natural antibiotic, promote digestion and stimulate the metabolism. There is no chance of spring tiredness. In addition, watercress is considered a vitamin donor (vitamins A, K, B2 and C) and supplies the body with iodine and minerals such as iron and calcium.
In spring, the watercress can be found on the banks of slow-flowing watercourses and clear springs. The fleshy, pinnate leaves are an important characteristic. They grow on tall stems above the surface of the water and can spread out like a carpet. However, watercress should only be collected from clean water. It is best to transport it in a bag or bucket with water to maintain the aroma, the Federal Center for Nutrition advises. The leaves should be washed carefully before preparation, as insect larvae or liver fluke cysts can adhere to them. The fresher, the better the delicacy from nature tastes. (Heike Kreutz, bzfe)