Watercress-Vs.-Nasturtium-In-The-Fridge | Fridge.com

Watercress Vs. Nasturtium In The Fridge

Getting to Know Watercress and Nasturtium

Understanding watercress and nasturtium can help you make better choices about adding these greens to your meals and keeping them fresh.

Watercress: Overview and Characteristics

Watercress is a leafy green with a peppery kick and loads of nutrients. It loves water, making it a go-to for salads and other dishes.

Watercress Basics:

  • Scientific Name: Nasturtium officinale
  • Family: Brassicaceae
  • Flavor: Peppery, slightly bitter
  • Texture: Delicate, crisp leaves
  • Color: Dark green leaves with white stems

Nutritional Value: Watercress is a vitamin powerhouse, especially rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, and calcium.

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Vitamin K 250 mcg
Vitamin C 43 mg
Calcium 120 mg

For more on using watercress in your meals, check out our recipe ideas.

Nasturtium: Overview and Characteristics

Nasturtium isn't just a pretty face; it's edible and packs a peppery punch. Both the leaves and flowers are used in cooking.

Nasturtium Basics:

  • Scientific Name: Tropaeolum majus
  • Family: Tropaeolaceae
  • Flavor: Peppery, slightly spicy
  • Texture: Tender, succulent leaves
  • Color: Green leaves with vibrant flowers in orange, red, and yellow

Nutritional Value: Nasturtium is rich in vitamins and antioxidants, especially vitamin C.

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Vitamin C 60 mg
Antioxidants High

For more on using nasturtium in your cooking, check out our culinary uses.

Knowing the differences between watercress and nasturtium can help you pick the right greens for your dishes and store them properly. For more comparisons, read our articles on scallion Vs. green onion in the fridge and romaine lettuce Vs. cos lettuce in the fridge.

Storing Watercress and Nasturtium in the Fridge

Keeping watercress and nasturtium fresh in the fridge is key. Here's how to do it right.

Proper Storage Conditions

Watercress and nasturtium need specific conditions to stay fresh:

  • Watercress: Put in a breathable container or wrap loosely in a damp paper towel. Store in the crisper drawer.
  • Nasturtium: Store in a plastic bag with a few air holes or a container with a lid. Keep in the crisper drawer too.

Avoid sealed plastic bags, which trap moisture and speed up spoilage. Also, keep them away from ethylene-producing fruits like apples and bananas.

Shelf Life Expectancy

The shelf life of watercress and nasturtium varies, but proper storage helps:

Green Shelf Life (Days)
Watercress 3-5
Nasturtium 5-7

Watercress has a shorter shelf life than nasturtium. Use them within the recommended time frame to get the most out of your greens. If they start to wilt, use them immediately or try to revive them.

For more tips on storing other veggies and herbs, check out our articles on scallion Vs. green onion in the fridge and parsley Vs. cilantro in the fridge.

Nutritional Value of Watercress and Nasturtium

Both watercress and nasturtium offer unique health benefits and can be versatile additions to various dishes.

Health Benefits

Watercress is a nutrient-dense green, packed with vitamins and minerals. Here's a quick look:

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Vitamin C 43 mg
Vitamin K 250 µg
Calcium 120 mg
Iron 1.3 mg
Folate 9 µg

Nasturtium is also nutritious, rich in vitamins and antioxidants:

Nutrient Amount per 100g
Vitamin C 60 mg
Vitamin A 420 IU
Potassium 295 mg
Calcium 160 mg
Iron 0.9 mg

Adding these greens to your meals can give you a vitamin boost. Watercress is great for bone health due to its high vitamin K content, while nasturtium is known for its immune-boosting vitamin C.

Culinary Uses

Watercress adds a peppery flavor to salads, sandwiches, and soups. Its versatility makes it a favorite among chefs and home cooks. For more culinary ideas, explore our recipe collection.

Nasturtium is celebrated for its vibrant flowers and unique flavor. The leaves can be used in salads and sandwiches, while the flowers can be used as garnishes or in infused oils and vinegars.

Both watercress and nasturtium can elevate your meals with their distinct flavors and nutritional benefits. For more information on how to use these greens, check out our articles on pairing suggestions and culinary uses.

In summary, both watercress and nasturtium offer unique nutritional benefits and can be delightful additions to your culinary repertoire. Whether you're looking to boost your health or add a splash of flavor to your meals, these greens are worth considering.

Flavor Profiles

Watercress: Taste and Uses

Watercress is known for its distinct peppery flavor that adds a zesty kick to a variety of dishes. This green leafy vegetable has a subtle bitterness and a slightly tangy aftertaste, making it a versatile ingredient in many culinary applications.

Flavor Profile:

  • Peppery
  • Slightly bitter
  • Tangy aftertaste

Common Uses:

  • Salads: Watercress can be added to fresh salads for a spicy note.
  • Sandwiches: It complements sandwiches, providing a crunchy texture and a burst of flavor.
  • Soups: Watercress is often used in soups, particularly in cream-based recipes for added depth.
  • Garnishes: Its vibrant green leaves make it an attractive garnish for various dishes.

Nasturtium: Taste and Uses

Nasturtium leaves and flowers are edible and offer a unique combination of flavors. The leaves have a peppery taste similar to watercress but are milder, while the flowers are slightly sweet with a hint of spice. Nasturtium seeds can also be used as a caper substitute due to their tangy flavor.

Flavor Profile:

  • Peppery (leaves)
  • Slightly sweet and spicy (flowers)
  • Tangy (seeds)

Common Uses:

  • Salads: Both the leaves and flowers add color and a mild peppery flavor to salads.
  • Garnishes: The vibrant flowers are often used to garnish plates, enhancing the visual appeal and flavor.
  • Pickling: Nasturtium seeds can be pickled and used as a substitute for capers.
  • Sandwiches: Leaves can be added to sandwiches for an extra layer of flavor.

For more information on storing and using various veggies and herbs, you can refer to other articles like scallion Vs. green onion in the fridge and romaine lettuce Vs. cos lettuce in the fridge.

Characteristic Watercress Nasturtium
Main Flavor Peppery, slight bitterness Peppery (leaves), sweet and spicy (flowers), tangy (seeds)
Common Uses Salads, sandwiches, soups, garnishes Salads, garnishes, pickling, sandwiches

Explore different ways to incorporate these flavorful greens into your meals and enjoy their unique taste profiles. For more tips on handling and storing herbs, check out dill Vs. fennel in the fridge.

Incorporating Watercress and Nasturtium in Your Meals

Watercress and nasturtium are versatile herbs that can add unique flavors and nutritional benefits to your dishes. Understanding how to incorporate them into your meals can elevate your culinary creations.

Recipe Ideas

Watercress and nasturtium can be used in a variety of recipes, from salads to main courses. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Watercress Recipes

  • Watercress Salad: Combine fresh watercress with cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and a light vinaigrette for a refreshing salad.
  • Watercress Soup: Blend watercress with potatoes, onions, and vegetable broth for a creamy and nutritious soup.
  • Watercress Pesto: Use watercress instead of basil to make a peppery pesto sauce for pasta or sandwiches.

Nasturtium Recipes

  • Nasturtium Salad: Mix nasturtium leaves and flowers with arugula, radishes, and a lemon dressing for a colorful and spicy salad.
  • Nasturtium Stuffed Eggs: Add finely chopped nasturtium leaves to deviled egg filling for a peppery twist.
  • Nasturtium Butter: Blend nasturtium flowers with softened butter and a pinch of salt for a flavorful spread.

For more recipe ideas, you might also explore our articles on broccoli Vs. broccolini in the fridge and okra Vs. ladyfinger in the fridge.

Pairing Suggestions

Pairing watercress and nasturtium with complementary ingredients can enhance their flavors and nutritional profiles. Here are some pairing suggestions to consider:

Watercress Pairings

  • Proteins: Watercress pairs well with grilled chicken, salmon, and tofu.
  • Cheeses: Try watercress with goat cheese, feta, or blue cheese for a tangy contrast.
  • Fruits: Add watercress to dishes with apples, pears, or citrus fruits for a sweet and peppery balance.

Nasturtium Pairings

  • Proteins: Nasturtium complements grilled shrimp, steak, and eggs.
  • Cheeses: Pair nasturtium with cream cheese, ricotta, or Parmesan for a rich, savory flavor.
  • Vegetables: Combine nasturtium with radishes, beets, and cucumbers for a crisp and spicy medley.

For more pairing ideas, check out our articles on mint Vs. peppermint in the fridge and parsley Vs. cilantro in the fridge.

By incorporating watercress and nasturtium into your meals, you can enjoy their unique flavors and health benefits. Experiment with different recipes and pairings to discover your favorite combinations.

Growing Watercress and Nasturtium

Cultivating watercress and nasturtium in your garden or even in containers can be a rewarding experience. Both plants offer unique flavors and nutritional benefits. Here are some tips for growing them successfully.

Cultivation Tips

Watercress

Watercress thrives in a moist environment. You can grow it in shallow water or soil that remains consistently wet. Here are some key points for cultivating watercress:

  • Location: Choose a partially shaded area to protect the plants from excessive sunlight.
  • Soil: Use nutrient-rich, loamy soil with a pH between 6.5 and 7.5.
  • Watering: Keep the soil or water consistently moist. Ensure good water flow if grown in water.
  • Planting: Sow seeds or plant cuttings in early spring. Space the plants about 6 inches apart.
  • Fertilization: Apply a balanced fertilizer every few weeks to promote healthy growth.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium is a versatile plant that can grow in various conditions. It is known for its vibrant flowers and edible leaves. Here are some tips for growing nasturtium:

  • Location: Choose a sunny spot for the best flowering. Nasturtium can tolerate partial shade but will produce fewer flowers.
  • Soil: Use well-drained soil with a pH between 6.1 and 7.8. Nasturtium can thrive in poorer soils, so avoid over-fertilization.
  • Watering: Water the plants regularly, but be careful not to overwater as nasturtium prefers slightly dry conditions.
  • Planting: Sow seeds directly into the soil after the last frost. Space the seeds about 10 inches apart.
  • Fertilization: Minimal fertilization is needed. Too much nitrogen can lead to excessive leaf growth and fewer flowers.

Harvesting Guidelines

Watercress

Harvesting watercress is straightforward. You can start harvesting when the plants are about 4-6 inches tall.

  • Timing: Begin harvesting 4-6 weeks after planting.
  • Method: Use scissors to snip off the top 2-4 inches of the plant, leaving the roots intact. This encourages new growth.
  • Frequency: Harvest regularly to promote continuous growth. Avoid cutting more than one-third of the plant at a time.

Nasturtium

Nasturtium can be harvested for both its leaves and flowers. Here’s how to do it:

  • Timing: Harvest leaves and flowers as needed once the plant starts flowering.
  • Method: Pinch off the leaves and flowers by hand or use scissors. Harvesting flowers regularly encourages more blooms.
  • Frequency: Regularly harvest to keep the plant productive. Leaves can be picked at any stage, but younger leaves tend to be more tender.

By following these cultivation and harvesting tips, you can enjoy fresh watercress and nasturtium in your meals. For more veggie and herb comparisons, check out our articles on sweet potato Vs. yam in the fridge and scallion Vs. green onion in the fridge.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

When storing and handling watercress and nasturtium, there are several common mistakes to avoid to ensure that they remain fresh and flavorful.

Storage Errors

Proper storage is crucial for maintaining the freshness of watercress and nasturtium in the fridge. Incorrect storage can lead to wilting, loss of flavor, and reduced shelf life.

  1. Improper Temperature:
  • Watercress and nasturtium need to be stored at the right temperature. Keep your fridge at 35-40°F (1-4°C) to maintain optimal freshness.
  1. Excess Moisture:
  • Watercress and nasturtium are susceptible to moisture, which can cause them to become soggy and spoil quickly. Store them in a slightly damp paper towel and place them in a perforated plastic bag.
  1. Lack of Airflow:
  • Ensure there is adequate airflow around the vegetables. Storing them in tightly sealed plastic bags can trap moisture and promote mold growth.
  1. Exposure to Ethylene:
  • Avoid storing watercress and nasturtium near ethylene-producing fruits like apples and bananas, as ethylene can accelerate spoilage.
Common Storage Errors Effects
Improper Temperature Wilting, loss of crispness
Excess Moisture Sogginess, quicker spoilage
Lack of Airflow Mold growth
Exposure to Ethylene Accelerated spoilage

Handling Tips

Handling watercress and nasturtium with care is essential to preserve their delicate nature and nutritional value.

  1. Rough Handling:
  • Handle watercress and nasturtium gently to avoid bruising and damage which can lead to quicker spoilage.
  1. Washing Before Storage:
  • Do not wash them before storage as excess moisture can cause them to spoil faster. Wash them just before use.
  1. Improper Cutting:
  • Use a sharp knife or scissors to cut watercress and nasturtium. This prevents crushing and helps maintain their texture and flavor.
  1. Overcrowding:
  • Avoid overcrowding in storage containers. Overcrowding can lead to bruising and uneven airflow, promoting spoilage.

By avoiding these common mistakes, you can ensure that your watercress and nasturtium stay fresh and flavorful for as long as possible. For more information on storing similar vegetables, check out our articles on sweet potato Vs. yam in the fridge and scallion Vs. green onion in the fridge.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I freeze watercress and nasturtium?

Freezing watercress and nasturtium can be tricky due to their high water content. When frozen, the texture of these leafy greens can deteriorate. However, if you need to freeze them, it's best to blanch them first. Blanching involves briefly boiling the greens and then plunging them into ice water. This process helps preserve their color and flavor.

Green Freezing Suitability Preparation Method
Watercress Low Blanch before freezing
Nasturtium Low Blanch before freezing

How do I revive wilted watercress and nasturtium?

Wilted watercress and nasturtium can often be revived by soaking them in ice water for about 15-30 minutes. This rehydrates the leaves and restores their crispness. Ensure the greens are fully submerged and gently pat them dry with a paper towel after soaking.

Are there any allergies associated with watercress and nasturtium?

While watercress and nasturtium are generally safe to consume, some individuals may experience allergic reactions. Symptoms can include itching, swelling, and gastrointestinal discomfort. If you have a history of allergies to leafy greens or related plants, it is advisable to consult with a healthcare provider before adding these greens to your diet.

For more comparisons on storing vegetables, you might find these articles helpful:

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