Watercress is a salad option that is often overlooked. This is because it doesn’t have a particularly long shelf-life, as it needs to be used soon after it is removed from the soil in which it grows. With this in mind, what’s the best way to preserve it?
Can You Freeze Watercress?
Yes, you can freeze watercress for up to 3 months but only if you plan to use it in soup, pesto, or another recipe where the texture isn’t important. This is because watercress doesn’t freeze well on its own and will go soggy once thawed.
Does Watercress Freeze Well? Sometimes
Can You Refreeze Watercress? No
How to Freeze Watercress
Just like lettuce and other salad leaves, watercress doesn’t freeze well at all on its own. This is because the ice crystals that form during the freezing process cause the cress to go watery and soggy.
Therefore, if you freeze watercress and hope it will retain its crunch long into the future, you will be very disappointed.
So, the best way to freeze watercress is to blend it into a soup or to create a delicious pesto before freezing it. This way, your watercress won’t go to waste and will contribute to a delicious family dish.
However, if you want to freeze watercress as it is, simply chop and bag it up and place it in the freezer. If you do this, be mindful that it will be pretty mushy once you have thawed it, and it should then only be used in a recipe that doesn’t stipulate what its texture should be like!
3 Tips for Freezing Watercress
Now you know how to freeze it, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing watercress to have the best results:
Use It Fresh
Watercress is a delicious addition to salads and sandwiches, but it is often overlooked because it doesn’t keep particularly well. However, the best way to enjoy its taste and crunch is to use it when it’s fresh, ideally within a few days of buying or picking it.
As soon as watercress is removed from its roots, it starts to dry out, so bear this in mind when you’re planning your weekly shop.
Include it in Soups
One of the best ways to use up watercress – be it fresh or frozen – is to include it in a delicious vegetable soup recipe.
Although it doesn’t lend a great deal of taste to soup, it does provide a dose of additional nutrients and vitamins, and it’s an excellent way to use up any watercress that isn’t particularly fresh.
Only Freeze Once
Given that watercress doesn’t freeze particularly well the first time around, you definitely shouldn’t freeze it for a second time. As such, if you’ve preserved some watercress in the freezer, make sure you use it up all in one go.
How Long Can You Freeze Watercress?
You can freeze watercress for around three months. But remember, when you come to use it, frozen watercress won’t be suitable for enjoying raw or in a delicious egg mayonnaise sandwich!
Its consistency will have changed significantly, and it will only be suitable for use in soups or pesto, as introduced already.
Watercress lasts 3-4 days in the fridge before it starts to turn, so it’s important to enjoy this salad option when it’s still fresh for the best results.
You Can Freeze Watercress for up to 3 Months
How Do You Defrost Watercress?
It’s best to use frozen watercress as it is, as thawing it will cause it to go particularly soggy. If you’re adding it to a soup or smoothie, you can simply remove the watercress from the freezer and add it to the mix without thawing it first.
However, if you do wish to thaw watercress for whatever reason, you can simply transfer it from the freezer to the fridge and use it once it has completely thawed.
Can You Refreeze Watercress?
No, you should only freeze watercress once. It doesn’t freeze very well the first time around, and it will almost certainly be soft and mushy if you were to freeze it for a second time.
Instead of buying watercress in batches, focus on picking up smaller servings of watercress so you can enjoy it when it’s fresh and delicious.
Does Watercress Freeze Well?
Overall, watercress doesn’t freeze well.
If you preserve it in the freezer, it will only be good for use in recipes where its texture isn’t important. So, you can use frozen watercress in soups, smoothies, or pesto, but you won’t be able to enjoy it as part of a delicious salad or sandwich.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing watercress or watercress in general, then these may help:
The best way to store watercress is in the fridge for a few days if you plan on using it as a garnish or for salads.
Yes, you can freeze watercress soup in the way you would freeze any soup. Portion it out into individual portions then store in airtight containers or in thick freezer bags.