Saturday, August 1, 2009

Viva Cilantro!

Cilantro, with it's very strong flavor, is one of those herbs that people either love or hate. Me? I LOVE it. The other day I was dumping handfuls of this flavorful herb on a bowl of brown rice tossed with fresh mango salsa (try this, it's super yummy). I began to wonder if this pungent green herb had many health benefits, which would be nice since I eat so much of it. So my big cilantro-filled bowl and I sat down at the computer, googled a bit, and were amazed at what we found. Grab a sprig and chew on this:

Cilantro, considered one of the world's oldest spices, is an excellent source of nutrients which can be easily added to your diet. Physicians, including Hippocrates, used coriander (the seed from which cilantro is grown) for its medicinal properties. The health benefits associated with cilantro are extensive, but it gets major recognition for diabetic support and is known in some parts of Europe as the "anti-diabetic plant." (get out your bowl, Dad :-). Another health benefit is that Cilantro reportedly works as a natural chelation treatment, which means it can help remove mercury from the body. In India, it is renowned for its anti-inflammatory benefits and in the United States used for fighting cholesterol. Cilantro helps digestion and settles the stomach, helps treat symptoms of arthritis, protects against urinary tract infections, helps lowers bad cholesterol while raising good cholesterol, is a good source of dietary fiber, magnesium, and iron.

Still need a reason to add this wonderful herb to your diet? Try this easy recipe, it's one of my favorites and has been known to convert many into cilantro lovers!

Cilantro-Lime Salsa

  • 1 small white onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 or 3 tablespoons white vinegar (I use 2)
  • 1/2 cup parsley, chopped
  • 1/2 cup salad oil
  • 1 jalapeno, minced

Mix all ingredients in a non-metallic bowl. This is great served over grilled steak, chicken and fish.


patty said...

welcome back! hope your respit was all you needed it to be. i love cilantro, and just add it randomly to things. my fav: to guacamole!! as much as my family will let me get away with. also good in fresh salsas served over chick breast.. yum! thanks for sharing. can't wait to try your recipe! :)

Papou John said...

I've used cilantro (AKA Chinese parsley) for over 40 years but I don't remember if Nicole liked it when she was little. I use it instead of parsley when I make a chimichurri and I sometimes sneak it in my otherwise authentic Greek Village salad. I never buy dried, crushed cilantro (coriander) because it's too bitter. Jamma Jan is not crazy about it. Could be a Canadian thing, eh?

Papou John

Moon Mommy said...

TO DAD (Aka Papou John):
Can't remember if I liked cilantro as a kid or not, but if you made it, I probably ate it. You should write a cookbook...

Jennifer, Playgroups Are No Place For Children said...

YUM! That looks fabulous. I'm so glad you're a cilantro lover, we need to stick together!