Cilantro is a beautiful bright green leafy herb that is commonly used in guacamole, salsa, curries, noodle dishes, and chimichurri sauces. Cilantro has a very distinct citrus flavor. Either you like it or you don’t. I personally love its fresh pungent flavor. Its seeds are called coriander and are often used as a cooking spice. Not only does this flavorful, bright herb taste fabulous, it also has many health benefits and healing properties.
Here are just a few of reasons you should add it to your diet
- It is a great source of vitamins and minerals
- A small amount delivers the full daily value of vitamin A and K and is rich in vitamin C, potassium, and manganese.
- Cleanses the body of toxic metals.
Cilantro supports the body’s natural detoxification processes. Compounds in the leaf bind to toxic metals and loosen them from affected tissue. This process allows metals to be released from the body naturally. If you don’t care for the taste, there are supplements that contain cilantro extract.
- Relieves nausea
- Prevents gas and bloating
- Relieves indigestion and heartburn
- Ease stomach cramps
- Aids in efficient digestion
Cilantro produces digestive enzymes that aid in the breakdown of foods. In many cuisines, fresh cilantro accompanies hot and spicy dishes because of its cooling effects. So when you see that little sprig of cilantro on your dish, it’s not just for aesthetics! EAT IT!
- Known to calm the nerves, and can improve sleep quality through its natural sedative effects.
How to use it?
salads, entrees, and soups
While coriander seeds can be added throughout the cooking process, fresh cilantro actually loses its strength, and health benefits when introduced to heat. It is best to add fresh chopped cilantro leaves just prior to serving in hot dishes. It can be added at any time for raw foods like salsas, guacamole, and smoothies.
Throw a handful into your smoothies.
When I juice vegetables, I like to add a small handful of cilantro. It gives it such a fresh clean taste. However, I recommend not sending it through the juicer, it will just shred it. After you have put all the other veggies or fruits through the juicer, pour the juice into a blender and then add the cilantro. Blend until smooth. This way you will actually get some cilantro (the juice and the fiber).
Here is a recipe for a really yummy cilantro lime dressing.
How to keep cilantro FRESH?
It’s not very fun reaching in the vegetable crisper and pulling out a slimy wad of cilantro when you had counted on it for a particular recipe. I have tried several methods for keeping it fresh longer and some didn’t work so well. This particular method works like a charm. This is what you do.
1- First of all, I do recommend buying organic when you can.
2- Thoroughly wash.
3- Trim the bottom ends of the stems.
4- Place the cilantro in a small mason jar or glass. ( I like to use a narrow mouth jar). Fill the jar at least half way full with cool water. Just like a little bouquet of flowers, you can enjoy a beautiful bunch of green goodness right inside your refrigerator.
5- Make an HERB TENT. Take the bag from the produce department and place it over the herb. Puff it up so there is some air in it and gather the bag around the bottom and tuck it underneath the jar.
Since you have already washed it, you can now easily just clip off what you need. This works really well with parsley as well.
Enjoy a little green goodness, start eating cilantro now!