Cilantro, a Culinary wonder and Superfood? Mais oui!

Not just a garnish, cilantro has a unique, distinctive taste and surprising health benefits.

Fresh Cilantro, also known as Chinese parsley, is fragrant and pungent with a fresh, distinctive flavor similar to parsley but with a citrus zing. Cilantro pairs well with garlic, lemon, lime, chiles, and onions, and with other herbs like basil and mint.

Cilantro is a common ingredient in cuisines around the globe including Indian, Thai, Chinese, Mexican, South American, Caribbean, Mediterranean, North African, and Eastern European.

How to use Fresh Cilantro

I personally love the taste of cilantro, I don’t quite understand why some people think it tastes like soap or ground metal shavings (who eats that??)

Cilantro is usually used raw like parsley, added to a dish at the end of cooking.

  • It’s fresh citrusy flavour is perfect for flavouring fish and seafood such as mussels. Try my Almond Crusted Fish with Cilantro Sauce.
  • Use cilantro as a leafy green and throw a generous amount in your green salad.
  • Classic Guacamole -A traditional Mexican dip made with avocado, lime juice, onion, tomato, jalapeno, garlic, chopped fresh cilantro leaves, kosher salt, and black pepper.
  • Chimichurri -An herbaceous green sauce made with fresh cilantro, parsley, olive oil, lemon juice, onion, red wine vinegar, and garlic.
  • Chicken Tikka Masala – it’s fresh tastes balances the spicy flavours of Indian dishes especially cream-based curries.
  • Cilantro-Lime Chicken – Chicken thighs marinated in lime juice, olive oil, garlic, chopped cilantro, and salt. Grilled and served with Mexican rice.
  • Cilantro-Lime Rice: Rice or cauliflower cooked with fresh lime juice, olive oil, and chopped cilantro. Served as the base of a burrito bowl or with cilantro-lime chicken.
  • Pico de Gallo: Chunky tomato salsa made with diced tomatoes, fresh cilantro, lime juice, jalapeno, white onion, and salt.
  • Grilled Shrimp With Cilantro and Avocado: Whole shrimp marinated in olive oil, lime juice, salt, and chopped cilantro. Grilled and served with fresh avocado and sliced cherry tomatoes.

Cilantro or Coriander?

In North America, we call the fresh leaves and stalks of the plant, cilantro and the dried seeds coriander.

In the rest of the world,. coriander is the name for the leaves and stalks of the plant, while the dried seeds are called coriander seeds.

Health Benefits of Cilantro

Cilantro has several unexpected health benefits.

One of the most fascinating aspects of cilantro is it’s ability to chelate heavy metals found in our body (mercury, cadmium, aluminum). Chelating agents are those that bind to heavy metal toxin ions and are then removed from the body through our regular excretory channels. Cilantro works best with chlorella, a blue green algae. While cilantro can mobilize the release of heavy metals from our tissues, chlorella binds toxins in the intestines for its safe removal.

Cilantro’s anti-inflammatory properties may ward off diseases rooted in inflammation including diabetes, cardiovascular disease and degenerative conditions of the brain. More amazing health benefits of cilantro:

  • Cilantro is full of antioxidants including terpinene, quercetin, and tocopherols, which may have anticancer, immune-boosting, and neuroprotective effects.
  • Cilantro may protect your heart by lowering blood pressure and LDL (bad) cholesterol while increasing HDL (good) cholesterol.
  • Cilantro may reduce unpleasant digestive symptoms like bloating and discomfort often experienced by people with IBS.
  • Cilantro contains antioxidants that may protect your skin from aging and sun damage. It may also help treat mild skin rashes.

So the next time you go to the grocery store, pick up a bunch of cilantro and go on a culinary adventure as you improve your health at the same time.

Author: vickinutritionist

As a graduate with honours from the Institute of Holistic Nutrition in Toronto, Vicki is a Registered Nutrition Consultant Practitioner, also holding a Bachelor of Arts Degree from the University of Toronto. Before founding Health by Nutrition™, Vicki worked as manager and principal nutritionist at Canada's largest weight management and nutrition centre. During her tenure, she helped hundreds of clients lose weight and reach their health goals. Her experience and extensive training in weight management and holistic nutrition makes her an exceptional coach to become your partner in success. Vicki is a professional member in good standing with the Canadian Association of Natural Nutrition Practitioners.

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