From Humble to Healthy, Cilantro Delivers
Summer brings bushels of fresh flavors and aromas from the field and garden. One of my favorite herbs is Cilantro/Coriander. Coriander may be used as an herb or spice since both its leaves and seeds are used as seasoning. The fresh coriander leaves are more commonly known as cilantro.
You may be familiar with cilantro’s bold (sometimes considered offensive) aroma and flavor in Chinese, Indian or Latin American cuisine. Nothing spices up a good summer salsa like freshly snipped cilantro!
But, did you know that cilantro is packed with health benefits? Here are a few to get you acquainted with cilantro’s healing side:
• Adding fresh cilantro (and most fresh herbs) to your favorite dish helps reduce added sodium.
• High in anti-oxidants, cilantro acts as a natural preservative by limiting the oxidation process of other foods in the recipe as well as slowing the spoilage process.
• Cilantro leaves have also been found to have an antibacterial effect against Salmonella.
• Cilantro has been called “the poor man’s chelation” due to its blood detoxification properties. It is a great herb to support heavy metal toxicity cleansing.
• Historically, cilantro has been used in India as an anti-inflammatory agent and in parts of Europe as an anti-diabetic plant.
Cilantro is a fragile herb, so it’s best to wash it just before using in your recipes. I recently found a yummy cilantro sauce (Gourmet, July 2007). I’ve enjoyed it on pork chops, halibut and salads. I hope you’ll enjoy it too:
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
1 garlic clove, minced
1/4 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes
1/3 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
• Whisk together lime juice, garlic, red-pepper flakes, salt
• Slowly drizzle in oil, whisking well
• Whisk in cilantro
• Serve over pork chops or white fish or salad
• Store in glass dressing bottle