Cilantro: How to Use, Cook & Store

Cilantro is a tasty herb that adds a complex, citrusy flavor to meals.

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You either love it or hate it. But one thing’s for sure. It’s packs a massive health punch.

Health Benefits

This flavor-packed herb is loaded with phytonutrients such as borneol, carvone, camphor, elemol, geraniol, and linalool as well as the popular flavonoids quercetin and apigenin.1

This means that cilantro has amazing antioxidant properties and can control diabetes – scientists found that a single dose of coriander extract helped normalize blood glucose levels within 6 hours.2  

Research also suggests hat cilantro may be able to help reduce risk of heart disease. The high concentration of quercetin found in cilantro may decrease LDL oxidation and thus prevent atherosclerosis (the build-up of fatty plaques in the arteries).

Cilantro may also help keep blood pressure within a healthy range. 4

How to Use, Cook & Store Cilantro

Cilantro is also known as Chinese parsley or coriander leaves. It looks a lot like flat-leafed parsley, with which it’s often confused. But have a little sniff and you’ll immediately know the difference.

Taste: pungent, complex, citrusy flavor

Pairs well with: Avocado, chicken, fish, lamb, pork, shellfish, rice, lentils, peppers, tomatoes, and yogurt.

Great in: Salsas, chutneys, guacamole, soups, stews, curries, and salads. Sprinkle leaves over spicy chicken and seafood dishes.

How to store: To store cilantro, keep it attached to its roots – keep the roots in a little bit of water and the leaves loosely tented with plastic.

What’s the difference between cilantro and coriander? Cilantro and coriander come from the same plant, but their flavors are entirely different. You can’t substitute one for the other other. Coriander (aka coriander seed) are round seeds from the coriander plant. Coriander seeds are used whole or ground. Cilantro refers to the leaves of the plant and is also called “fresh coriander” or “coriander leaves”.

Coriander seeds are great in: Used in Middle Eastern, Mediterranean, Indian, Asian, Mexican, Latin American, and African dishes. Use in curries, curry powder, pickles, sausages, soups, stews, and ratatouille.

4 sources

  1. Wood R. (1999) The New Whole Foods Encyclopedia. Penguin (Non-classics).
  2. Aissaoui A, Zizi S, Israili ZH, Lyoussi B. (2011) Hypoglycemic and hypolipidemic effects of Coriandrum sativum L. in Meriones shawi rats. J Ethnopharmacol. 1; 137(1):652-61.
  3. Gong M, Garige M, Varatharajalu R, et al. (2009) Quercetin up-regulates paraoxonase 1 gene expression with concomitant protection against LDL oxidation. Biochem Biophys Res Commun. 20;379(4):1001-4
  4. Kelm MA, Nair MG, Strasburg GM, Dewitt DL. (2000) Antioxidant and cyclooxygenase inhibitory phenolic compounds from Ocimum sanctum Linn. Phytomedicine; 7(1):7-13.


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