By Whitney Sanders

Origin of Cilantro

Coriander was named after the bedbug that emitted the same odor. Commonly called cilantro. It originated in Southern Europe and reached other areas centuries ago including the hanging gardens in Babylon. Ancient Sanskrit texts, Egyptian papyrus records and the Bible all mention coriander.

Botanical Information

Most people only use the leaves of the cilantro. That's where the most flavor is. It's up to you if you want to use the stems or not. You can also use the seeds of cilantro

Common Culinary Uses

Cilantro is almost always used in savory dishes. It is popular in Mexican cuisine and also in Asian cuisine sometimes. Cilantro can be used fresh or dried. It is more commonly used fresh. Cilantro is used in salsa quite often.

Cilantro-Lime Salsa

2 cans (14.5 oz each) Muir Glen™ organic fire roasted or plain diced tomatoes, well drained

1 medium onion, chopped (1/2 cup)

2 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1/2 teaspoon coarse (kosher or sea) salt

1 to 2 fresh jalapeño or serrano chiles, seeded, finely chopped

Health Benefits

One-fourth cup of cilantro (about 4 grams) contains 1 calorie, 0 grams of fat, 0 grams of carbs, 0 grams of protein, 2% daily value of vitamin C and 5% daily value of vitamin A. It also contains vitamin K and small amounts of folate, potassium, manganese and choline, as well as the antioxidants beta-carotene, beta-cryptoxanthin, lutein and zeaxanthin.

Fun Facts

- Cilantro is a relative of the parsley family

- Usually flowers in the late summer

- Cilantro is used for digestive problems

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