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Watercress- Any Season for Your Salad

watercress growing in a stream watercress growing in a stream (photo by jhy)

Watercress is a member of the mustard family that can be found and harvested year round. Even in the Northern states, if there is open water in a stream you might find watercress available for picking.

It has a spicy flavor, and the leaves are great to add to salads. Watercress is nutritionally rich, having iron, calcium and folic acid, vitamins A and C, and it is high in iron.

The one thing to watch out for is the quality of the water source where you pick it. If it's growing in a contaminated stream there will be bacteria adhering to the leaves. Always be sure to wash the leaves in potable water. If the stream smells bad, or is downstream of something like a cow pasture, it's best to pass over that source.

I have found that the flavor varies from time to time and place to place. The leaves pictured above look just like any other bunch of watercress, but they weren't very spicy at all.