Cilantro is the March Harvest of the Month

Cilantro is March’s Harvest of the Month. Few foods are quite as dynamic as this spice and herb that transcends time, distance and culture.  Also known as coriander, cilantro has been used around the globe for centuries. The herb, cilantro, is the leaves of the coriander plant. When the seeds of the plant are dried and ground they are referred to as coriander. Cilantro is used extensively in Mexican and American Southwestern cuisine. It is also used in Asian cuisine and is sometimes called Chinese parsley.

During the month of March you may find cilantro used more abundantly in a variety of recipes from our cafeterias.

Did You Know?

  • Genes may play a role in enjoying cilantro or being adverse to it. People with certain genetic characteristics sometimes think cilantro tastes like soap. Good news, our taste for it can change over time and you might find you indeed like it.
  • Coriander is the seed of cilantro; when your cilantro ‘goes to seed’ you now have coriander.
  • Cilantro leaves are optimum if you wait to cut the plant around 6 inches tall, but you can still cut it at any time during its growth for that much needed flavor.

Try These Delicious Recipes

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Spicy Cilantro Hummus
Tuna Salad with Tomato, Avocado and Cilantro

How to Buy and Store: To maintain freshness and increase the shelf life cilantro should be stored in the refrigerator. To optimize the quality of your stored cilantro consider storing it in a jar with the stems submerged in water- much like how you would keep fresh flowers in a vase. Cilantro that is stored this way can last 7-10 days in the refrigerator. 

Making it Kid-Friendly: When introducing cilantro to kids keep in mind that cilantro has a bold powerful flavor so consider using it sparingly. Most dried herbs tend to gain potency when they are dried. However, cilantro loses a large amount of its aromatic properties when it is dried and can seem milder. For these reasons, when cooking consider introducing small amounts of dried cilantro to dishes that will be served to children.

Nutrition and Health Benefits: Cilantro is rich in antioxidants which reduce oxidative stress and inflammation throughout the body.  Antioxidants also play a role in preventing various cancers. Cilantro, along with other dark green vegetables and herbs, is rich in vitamin K.  Vitamin K is a precursor to prothrombin, which is converted to thrombin as part of the process that allow our blood to clot when we are injured. Additionally, adding fresh herbs, such as cilantro, to food during cooking rather than salt is beneficial to heart health and can help prevent cardiovascular disease.

Calories: 0g Vitamin K: 3.1mg
Total Fat: 0g Vitamin A: 3.4mg
Total Carbohydrate: 0gMagnesium: 0.3mg
Protein: 0gPotassium: 5.2mg