Is it OK to eat watercress stems?

Answered by Stephen Mosley

It is absolutely okay to eat watercress stems! In fact, the entire watercress plant is not only edible but also quite nutritious. The leaves, stalks, and even the flowers can be consumed. The only part of the plant that is typically discarded is the roots, as they don’t have a pleasant taste.

Watercress stems can be enjoyed in several ways. They have a crisp texture and a slightly milder flavor compared to the peppery leaves. One popular way to use the stems is by adding them to salads. Simply chop them up into bite-sized pieces and toss them with other vegetables for a refreshing and nutritious salad. The stems can add a nice crunch and a subtle, peppery kick to the dish.

Another way to incorporate watercress stems into your meals is by using them in stir-fries or sautés. Cut them into smaller pieces and cook them along with other vegetables or proteins. The heat will slightly soften the stems while still retaining their crunchiness. The peppery flavor of the stems can add depth and complexity to the overall dish.

If you enjoy juicing or making smoothies, watercress stems can be a great addition. Blend them along with other fruits and vegetables to create a vibrant and refreshing drink. The stems not only contribute to the flavor but also provide additional nutrients.

One of the fantastic things about watercress is its versatility. You can experiment with different recipes and cooking methods to find your favorite way to enjoy the stems. Whether you choose to eat them raw or cooked, the stems are a fantastic source of vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and iron.

In my personal experience, I have found that adding watercress stems to soups and broths can enhance their taste. The stems release their peppery flavor into the liquid, making it more flavorful and enjoyable. They also add a pleasant crunch to the otherwise soft texture of the soup.

Yes, it is perfectly okay to eat watercress stems. They are not only edible but also offer a range of culinary possibilities. Whether you choose to use them in salads, stir-fries, smoothies, or soups, the stems can add a delightful peppery flavor and a satisfying crunch. So, don’t let those stems go to waste and explore the various ways to incorporate them into your meals. Happy cooking and bon appétit!