Watercress is a vegetable with crispy dark green-colored leaves similar to Broccoli, Mustard, and Wasabi. However, its leaves are oval, and the stem is a little paler in color than its leaves.
It has a pepper-like taste when it is eaten raw like in salads and sandwiches, but once it is cooked, its taste becomes more like a vegetable which goes well with soups and stir-fries. When it matures, its taste becomes bitter. It has a short life span, and it remains edible for 4-5 days; after that, it will lose freshness and become less flavorful.
How To Store Watercress?
Watercress is mostly composed of water, so it needs to be stored in a cool place to avoid early spoilage. It has a short lifespan, and it can go bad if it is not stored properly, so try to buy it in a small quantity and use it within 4-5 days.
But if you want to store it for later, you should store it with great care and always follow the precautions. Some methods are listed down below, which you can find helpful.
Keep it into Water Jar
If you have bought plenty of watercress and want to retain the crisp of its leaves, then first find yourself a glass jar, fill it with cold water and set it aside. Now take your watercress and make a bunch of it just like a flower bouquet, after that. Next, put this bunch of watercress into the water-filled glass jar in such a way that its stem is submerged into water and leaves are above the head of the jar and cover them with a perforated thin plastic bag, then put it into the refrigerator.
Whenever you need to add it to your cuisines, just cut the leaves off the stem and cover it again with plastic.
Wrap The Stems With Kitchen Towel
You can also store it by wrapping the stem of your watercress with a kitchen towel, damp the towel slightly with water and then wrap it around the stems, cover the leaves with a perforated plastic bag and store it in the refrigerator. Keep changing the towel when it dries out.
You can store your watercress in the refrigerator, and it will remain good for a week, store it by using above mentioned methods, or you can just put it into the refrigerator enclosing it into a plastic bag.
Can You Freeze Watercress?
As discussed above, watercress has a short lifespan, and it can spoil early; to increase its lifespan, freezing it is the best option. You can make a puree of it that can be kept in the freezer easily or freeze it in a chopped form.
In both cases, start from washing off all the dust or debris it can have, then if you opted for making a puree, put all the leaves of your watercress into a blender and blend it, that transfer this puree into a freezer bag and freeze it. For the second method, chop the pre-washed leaves and then freeze them, enclosing them into freezer bags.
How Long Does Watercress Last?
It usually does not last for so long because of its shorter shelf life, and it can go bad within 4-5 days. Therefore, you should store your watercress with extra care to make it last longer. The way you store it also plays an important role in extending its shelf life.
If you are refrigerating it and opting for the water jar method, try to keep an eye on the health of that jar; when you notice that its water has become turbid or gives a bad odor, change it in the first place. In the damp paper towel method, do the same and keep changing the towel when it dries out.
When you freeze your watercress, try to keep the zip of freezer bags perfectly closed to avoid freezer burns. Also, check the health of all the leaves before blending because even if only one leaf is bad, it can cause the whole puree to spoil early.
How To Tell If Watercress Is Bad?
Watercress is a delicate vegetable, and when it starts to spoil, it gives prominent signs of spoilage. You should discard it when the following changes occur in your watercress,
- Discoloration: When your watercress’s fresh dark green color changes to black or greyish, it has started to spoil, and it is not safe to eat such type of vegetable.
- Bad Odor: If you sniff and notice that a bad smell is coming out of it, do not use it in your cuisines because it is about to go bad.
- Shrinkage of leaves: When spoilage occurs in watercress, its leaves become shrink; these leaves have a crispy texture when they are healthy.