Ask ten people if they like cilantro, and you are bound to receive wildly different answers. It seems that every other person I date either loves it or hates it. I’m in the lover category. I could place cilantro on just about everything unless it’s a sweet dish. Thankfully my daughters enjoy it as well. It’s hard to keep enough in my fridge, therefore, it may be time to start growing it in our garden.
Why do some people love cilantro, and some hate it?
There is the suggestion that our preference for this cute little green herb has to do with genetics.
“OR26A is the genetic SNP (single nucleotide polymorphisms) that makes cilantro taste like soap to some people: bitter and excruciating — almost painfully metallic and horrible.” Forbes article
How we perceive bitterness is within us. The same is correct for why some prefer a lot of salt on their food. It helps to take away the bitterness that they taste in the food. The same food that others taste in a completely different way. For those who do not like cilantro, it’s not a matter of convincing them with your favorite recipes. They will never like cilantro, so let it go. Keep the cilantro on the side when cooking for them. They will love you for the effort.
Benefits of cilantro
The benefits are plentiful. If you love the taste of cilantro, read on.
- Useful in preventing urinary tract infections
- Great for digestion and stomach upset
- Improves sleep patterns
- Protects against cardiovascular disease
- Lowers stress
- Protects against food poisoning
- Regulating menstrual cycle and function
- Prevents neurological inflammation
- Benefits skin irritation
- Supports the liver
- Aids in detox
- May prevent colon cancer
- Clears the body of heavy metals
Vitamins and minerals found in cilantro
Cilantro is low in fat and cholesterol. It is high in folate, vitamin A, C, E, K, and potassium. It is full of dietary fiber and magnesium, which helps to calm the body and prevent constipation.
Uses for cilantro
I suggest adding cilantro to various dishes to know if you will like it. I enjoy it on salads, on eggs on toast, topped on fried rice, on sushi, added to chicken or beef burgers, on soup, and of course in guacamole. My daughter and I always order a side of cilantro to add to the restaurant’s guacamole.
Cilantro pesto is a beautiful alternative to the traditional basil pesto. A recipe I enjoy uses roasted cashews, cilantro, garlic, sea salt, and organic olive oil. Puree all ingredients and store in an airtight mason jar in the refrigerator.
Cilantro lemonade can be made in a blender. Take 2 cups of chopped cilantro, juice of 1-2 lemons (to taste), two tablespoons honey, ¼ teaspoon salt, and 2 cups of water. Blend in the blender and drink with the frothy top, or strain into a glass to remove the foam. This is a refreshing drink on a hot day.
It is best added after cooking; otherwise, it will get slimy, and no one likes that.
“Both cilantro and coriander come from the Coriandrum sativum plant. In the US, cilantro is the name for the plant’s leaves and stem, while coriander is the name for its dried seeds. Internationally, the leaves and stems are called coriander, while its dried seeds are called coriander seeds.” Healthline
Crushed coriander seeds bring a wonderful flavor to soups, ground chicken, beef, and bean dishes. Coriander has a unique and different flavor than cilantro leaves. I am just as drawn to this form of cilantro.
Cilantro tea is a thing. Have you heard? Steep the fresh leaves in a cup of hot water for 5 to 10 minutes for a refreshing tea. This tea is beneficial to drink after meals or during a part of a detoxification plan.
Storage of fresh cilantro
As with all fresh greens and herbs, it becomes wet and brown if left in a plastic bag for too long. I have gotten into the habit of adding a dry paper towel to my bags of greens. This will help to soak up the moisture, adding a few extra days of freshness to your produce. With cilantro, you can take a different approach to add up to a week of cilantro usage.
Place the stems of cilantro in a glass of water. Only fill the water to reach below the actual cilantro leaves. Place in the fridge, uncovered.
Fun Fact about Cilantro!
Cilantro is one of the most widely-eaten herbs in the whole world. A few of my friends who find this delicious herb bitter tell me they wish they loved it. They know they are missing out on something great by the looks of pure satisfaction on their friend’s faces after consumption. Alas, it is not for everyone. So if you love it, count yourself lucky and get adventurous in your cilantro eating ways.
Guac is delicious
But when scathed with cilantro,
Prepare for your death.
Read more articles from You, Me, and Uni, including Benefits of Herbal Tea on Your Health Goals. Also read Calming Herbal Tea and Fun Facts About Tea. Check out the workbook Feminism: A Journey to Equality – YOU, ME AND UNI. This is a tool that can help you unleash the YOU that you always wanted to be. Have you tried You, Me, and Uni’s crafted tea blends?
Trust Your Gut, Know Your Gut and Meditative State of Mind can be purchased through Amazon. For more information on You, Me and Uni, check out the website, created by Master Herbalist, Jennifer Vollbrecht. Browse the herbal tea articles on the site for more tips on adding delicious tea to your healthy lifestyle.
Anastacia Elizabeth Walden is a writer, editor, and owner of Walden Writes For Women.