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May 2013


19th-25th May 2013 is National Watercress Week:

Wonderful Watercress helps protect our DNA


Eating antioxidant-rich watercress can reduce the risk of DNA damage caused by strenuous exercise such as high intensity treadmill workouts or heavy weight lifting sessions according to a recent study conducted by scientists at the University of Ulster’s Sport and Exercise Sciences Research Institute (SESRI).

The health benefits of consuming watercress seem to have been recognized by our ancestors for thousands of years. Examples include Hippocrates, founder of the first ever hospital on the island of Kos back in 400BC, who prescribed watercress for his patients, Roman Emperors who would eat it to empower their decision making, and even Persian Emperor Xerxes c485BC, who ordered that it be fed to his soldiers to keep them healthy during long marches and to prevent scurvy.

More recently in 19th century England, watercress was a staple food of the poor, who would often eat it with bread for breakfast. It was so highly regarded that even when people couldn't afford a loaf, they’d buy pre-prepared portion sized bunches of watercress sold by street vendors as a handheld fast food, and eat it by itself, resulting in watercress being known as "poor man's bread".

Today, we have a deeper insight into the health giving properties of watercress. Gram for gram it contains more Vitamin C than oranges, more iron than spinach, more vitamin A than apples, more vitamin E than broccoli and more calcium than milk, as well as good levels of Vitamins K, B1 and B6, beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, zinc, Lutein and Zeaxanthin - types of carotenoids that act as antioxidants. Add the fact that it's low in calories and it's easy to see why it has gained the accolade of being a "super food".

What better time than National Watercress week to start incorporating watercress into your diet on a regular basis, especially as there are various ways to use it in cooking…. not just salads. In fact, you can substitute it for spinach in many recipes, where its peppery taste will add an extra dimension.


If you're stuck for ideas. you can find lots of recipes using watercress at, including this delicious Three-Cheese, Pepper and Watercress Roulade


Written by Florence Sandeman, Publisher


Note to Editors:

·         The recipe below can be published by itself or  in conjunction with the above article and a hi-res picture is available to accompany it on request or downloadable from this page .  Please feel free to publish the article and/or recipe and photograph free of charge although we would request that credit is given to

· was launched in 2000 and is an independent and privately owned UK recipe and food information site covering many aspects of food,  from growing to cooking.   We have no allegiance to particular food suppliers or retailers.

·         Qualification of a "super food" - A food which is rich in antioxidants, nutrients and plant chemicals

·         Definition of  "antioxidant" A substance that prevents damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are highly reactive chemicals that often contain oxygen. They are produced when molecules are split to give products that have unpaired electrons. This process is called oxidation.


Sources:        University of Ulster: :


Contact:                 Florence Sandeman


Tel:                         07971 627037


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Three Cheese, Pepper & Watercress Roulade

Courtesy of


19th - 25th May is National watercress week. Many people associate watercress as a garnish or with salads, but this incredible "super food" merits more attention. This recipe gives watercress pride of place and can be served as a main course, starter or even picnics.


Click on the picture for the full sized photo then right-click to download

Cook and Prep time: 50 mins
Serves: 4 as a Main Course up to 12 as a light Starter

For the Egg Roulade
2 Spring Onions green and white parts, thinly sliced
½ a Red Sweet Pepper (Capsicum) very finely chopped
4 Eggs, separated
50g/2oz Gruyere or Cheddar Cheese, grated
90ml/3fl.oz milk
Salt and pepper
For the filling
100g/4oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
100g/4oz Soft Goat’s Cheese e.g. Chevre, at room temperature
1 x 85g/+3oz pack watercress, washed, dried and coarse stems removed


1. Pre-heat the oven to 180C, 350F, Gas Mark 4 then line a 30cm x 23cm (12in x 9in) Swiss roll tin with non stick baking or parchment paper making sure you allow it to overhang the long sides a little which will make it easier to remove the cooked roulade from the tin. Set aside.

2. Place the sliced spring onions, chopped peppers egg yolks, gruyere cheese, milk, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl and mix well.

3. In another large bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff then fold a third of the egg whites into the egg yolk mixture, until well blended. Add the remainder of the egg whites and fold in using a spatula or knife, working as quickly as you can.

4. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, spreading it well into the corners, and bake for about 20 minutes until golden brown and set. Remove from the tin and place, paper side up onto another large piece of parchment paper then peel off the paper from the back of the cooked roulade. Set aside to cool.

5. Meanwhile, place the goats cheese, cream cheese and ground black pepper in a mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk or wooden spoon until soft and well blended.

6. Gently spread the cheese mixture over the cold roulade to within 6mm/ ¼ - inch of all sides, then scatter the watercress leaves evenly over the cheese then roll it up from the long side. Best served at room temperature.


Distributed in conjunction with


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