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Coriander, A.K.A. Cilantro

Coriander is a bright green plant that can be used as an herb or spice.   Coriander leaves are commonly known as cilantro.  The fruit of the plant contains two seeds, which create an excellent spice when dried.  Coriander has been used for at least 7,000 years and often as a digestive aid and stimulant.  Coriander has also been referred to as antidiabetic , anti-inflammatory, antianxiety, antimicrobial and cholesterol lowering. Coriander works to stimulate the conversion of cholesterol to bile acids within the liver, which is likely what reduces cholesterol and improves the digestion of fat.

Coriander is an excellent source of minerals like potassium, calcium, manganese, iron and magnesium.  It is also rich in many vitamins including folic acid, riboflavin, niacin, vitamin-A, beta carotene, and vitamin-C.  Cilantro is one of the best herbal sources of vitamin K which helps to build bone mass and protect neuronal damage in the brain. (http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/)

Tips
1.     Use cilantro in place of basil to make a pesto. 
2.     Add coriander seeds to a pepper mill for a fun twist to the diner table. 
3.     Add ¼ tsp. ground coriander and 1.2 tsp. cinnamon to decaffeinated black tea. 
4.     Add coriander to pancake and waffle mixes for a unique flavor. 
5.     Make a batch of cilantro chutney using 1 bunch chopped cilantro with ½ cup shredded coconut, 2 T. fresh mint and ½ diced jalapeno pepper.     
(The Encyclopedia of Healing Foods, Murray, Michael. Atria Books, New York, New York, 2005.)
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