Cilantro: Perfectly Seasonal Real Lively Food with 7 Fresh Ways to Love it More

‘Variety is the spice of life.  Variety implies a wide array of nutrients.  Eating a wide selection of food creates more opportunity for the body to get all of the nutrients it needs….’ from  A Fresh Wellness Mindset.  

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Homegrown cilantro tastes so much better than store bought.  It is super easy to grow.  Simply put some seeds (preferably heirloom) in a pot with good drainage and quality soil, cover with a little soil (read your package directions), water and cover with a little natural mulch like untreated grass clippings.  Put it in a sunny spot and keep it slightly moist.  Within a week or so you should see the sprouts.  Fresh cut cilantro is delicious and fun.  Involve the kids and they will be much more likely to make healthful choices and love real lively food.

Cilantro and coriander are two names for the same plant.  There is a French and Mexican origin of the name.  Often times you will see coriander on spice bottles.  Coriander seeds are warmer and spicier than cilantro or the plant.  They are often used in soups, curries and stews.  Don’t exchange fresh leaves for the coriander seeds in a recipe.

Nutrition High Points:  Cilantro is said to aid in the removal of heavy metals from the body.  It is plentiful in vitamins A, C, E and K, folate, potassium, magnesium and other minerals, and dietary fiber.  Research has shown it may support cardiovascular health, lower blood pressure and cholesterol.  It has been said to reduce inflammation, settle digestive troubles and support healthful endocrine and other healthy function. 

 Tam’s Favorite Ways To Enjoy Cilantro

1.  Pesto.  Rinse and spin dry the cilantro.  Cut off the stems (doesn’t have to be perfect); puree in food processor;  add a ¼ tsp of fine sea salt, 1 clove garlic or ½ tsp garlic granules;  puree it; add ¼ cup walnuts or pepitos/pumpkin seeds; puree; add about 3 Tbsp olive oil in stream while machine is running;  taste; adjust (mine is different every time); add 1/8 cup shaved or grated Parmesan (optional).  If you don’t prefer nuts, leave them out.  Use pesto as a spread, in rice and pasta dishes and as a marinade for pork chops, chicken or fish. 

2.  Salsa.  Even if you use a prepared salsa, adding some finely chopped cilantro ups the flavor and nutrition in a huge way. 

3.  Paired with goat or feta cheese.  Whenever you use these two, add some chopped cilantro.

4.  Quinoa salad.  Cilantro is an amazing addition to quinoa salad.  Cook the quinoa; add chopped summer veggies like tomato, cucumber, zucchini, carrots, peppers, whatever you like; with cilantro, lemon juice and a little olive oil for a summer delight.

5.  Guacamole.  Same as with salsa, even if you use a prepared guacamole, adding some finely chopped cilantro ups the flavor and nutrition in a huge way.

6.  Primavera.  Yum!  Add cilantro to all those fresh veggies and a little agreeable for you pasta and you have summer right in front of you.

7.  Curry dishes.  A little or a lot of cilantro is outstanding.

Please comment and let me know how you like your cilantro.  We inspire each other. 

Bon Apetit!