Zesty Cilantro – Salsa’s Claim to Fame by Angela Welch, Board Certified Holistic Health Pracititoner.
Ah, the fresh zesty taste of cilantro in homemade salsa or a sprig of fresh cilantro to top your soup or chili – cilantro (also known as coriander) is a leafy green herb well-known to aficionados of Mexican food. Cilantro is that and more. Ground coriander seed is a staple ingredient in curry spice so you will find it in East Asian cuisine as well. Fresh cilantro used in chutney provides a cooling contrast to the other ‘hot’ spices. Cilantro is also used in Middle-Eastern, Mediterranean, European and South American cuisine. In ancient Greece the oil was used for perfume making and the leaves were used to mask the smell of rotting meats.
Cilantro is an herb with a wealth of health benefits in addition to being a culinary delight. Cilantro aids in cleansing the liver, removes heavy metals such as mercury from the system, stimulates the endocrine glands for hormonal balance and is considered an aphrodisiac, lowers blood sugar, reduces menstrual cramping, relieves diarrhea associated with fungal or microbial infections, relieves nausea, increases good cholesterol (HDL) while lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), has an anti-inflammatory effect to aid symptoms of arthritis and much more. It is high in iron, potassium, calcium, and manganese as well as Vitamins A, C & K. It also helps our body to produce digestive enzymes to aid digestion.
When selecting fresh Cilantro or Coriander, look for vibrant green leaves and stalks. Organic is a good choice to avoid pesticides and herbicides and is high in nutrition. Wash your Cilantro bunch in cold water, place it in a baggie and refrigerate or wrap a wet paper towel around the stalks to keep it fresh. You can always grow your own fresh Cilantro right at home for optimal freshness & nutrition. Cilantro does not transplant well so sow seeds directly into the ground when the climate agrees – typically one to two weeks before the average last frost is a good time.
Medicinal quantities of Cilantro are not recommended for pregnant women and for women wishing to become pregnant as it may interfere with conception.
Recipe below for ‘Easy Cilantro Lime Rice’
Easy Cilantro Lime Rice
- 1 cup organic brown or white rice (brown has more nutrition and fiber)
- 2 cups water
- 1 teaspoon all-natural or organic chicken bouillon granules
- 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh organic cilantro
- Sea salt to taste
- Bring the rice, water, and chicken bouillon to a boil in a saucepan over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, and simmer until the rice is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Remove from the heat, add the lime juice, cilantro, and salt; fluff with a fork and serve.