Cilantro 101



Cilantro can be found in Mexican, Asian and Caribbean cooking.  Like many fresh herbs, cilantro possesses several health benefits.  Cilantro is virtually calorie and fat free bringing only 5 calories to the table for 9 sprigs!  Fortunately, those nine sprigs are packed full or beta-carotene which is a necessary precursor to vitamin A and can be stored up unlike vitamin A, and Vitamin K which contributes to proper blood clotting and bone formation.  According to the National Cancer Institute cilantro is an herb with anti-cancer properties.  In naturopathic medicine it is known as a blood cleaning herb that can help detoxify you.

Ways to use Cilantro

Add it to scrambled eggs or an omelette
Salsa
Sprinkle on top of your taco
Add to the top of your enchiladas or chile relleno
Topping Pho/Tortilla soups or other broth or Tomato based soups
Marinades for grilled meats like carne asado, pollo asada, or fish
Chopped with kitchen scissors and mixed with lettuce as the base of a salad

Recipes

Mango Salsa
Thai (peanut) Coleslaw

Storage

Dried – tie the bunch together with string, hang upside down in a dark place, wait until fully dried.  Crumble and store in an air tight container.
Fresh – place the bunch, stem side down, in a glass with an inch or so of water. Cover with a plastic bag, secure with a rubberband and store in the refrigerator. The cilantro should stay fresh for up to 1 week if you change the water every other day.
Frozen in Water – Use an ice cube tray and fill each cube with a Tablespoon of chopped cilantro.  Add water & Freeze
Frozen in EVOO – Use an ice cube tray and fill each cube with a Tablespoon of chopped cilantro.  Add Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Freeze

Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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