Go Green for Spring: Cilantro

GreenforSpringToday’s highlight is cilantro.

(Yes, I know cilantro is an herb. Avocado is a fruit. We’re just gonna roll with it.)

The health benefit mainly associated with cilantro is toxic metal cleansing.

So, remember that time you drank that bowl of mercury? Yeah. Cilantro will help you with that.

But other than binding to the toxic substances stored in your body’s tissues, cilantro is also showing a lot of promise in diabetic research (it contains a nutrient that stabilizes insulin production), and as an anti-anxiety sleep aid.

Choosing Cilantro
Use your senses when choosing cilantro. It should look green and vibrant, smell fresh, and feel like a freshly picked bouquet – not weak or wilted.

There’s more in the bundle than you think, so keep that in mind when you’re figuring out how much you need.

Using Cilantro
A lot of people recommend storing cilantro in a vase with a little bit of water in the bottom and a plastic bag over the top. That sounds like a whole lot of work, and I have never done that. I wrap my cilantro in a paper towel, put it in an open bag, and stick it in the fridge. It keeps just fine.

To wash cilantro, hold it like a bouquet of flowers, then dunk it “flowers” first into a bowl of cold water. Swish it around, then pull it out and let the water drain off. Replace the water in the bowl and repeat. Do this two or three times until the water is mostly clear.

Now comes the fun part…

Wrap a paper towel around the stems, then go outside and shake the water off the cilantro like you’re shaking out a feather duster. …or you could use a salad spinner…or just pat it dry with a towel.
But slinging cilantro off my balcony really is fun. (I don’t get out much.)

It’s best to keep the cilantro in its bundle and just tear or slice off what you need. (Hold the cilantro at an angle above a cutting board, and gently slice off the outer leaves with a very sharp knife.)

Extra cilantro will freeze quite well. Just put it in a ziplock bag and stick it in the freezer. No extra steps needed. (Do not thaw it before you reuse it. Just pinch off whatever you need.)

A word about today’s recipe:
I pinned this recipe a couple months ago. We were in the smack dab middle of winter, and I must have been craving green. It looked so good! It had avocados! It required a mortar and pestle! I love my mortar and pestle! And exclamation points!
Well, it sat around on my Pinterest board for a little while. Every now and then, I would look at it and imagine its awesomeness.
It called to me.
This past weekend, I answered.
I was so excited!
…then so disappointed.
It looked so good. It tasted so bland.
However, I was determined that my effort would not go to waste. I put on my chef’s hat, channeled my inner Rachael Ray, and went into rescue mode.
The result was this recipe. And it’s not half bad, if I say so myself.

chckpeavcdo

Creamy Chickpea and Avocado Salad
I can’t wait to try this with roasted garlic. Sun-dried tomatoes may also make an appearance.
1 avocado
1 15oz can of chickpeas
1/4 cup fresh cilantro
1/2 cup greek yogurt
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbs chopped green onion
1/4 tsp onion powder
juice from half a lime
salt and pepper to taste

Peel and dice the avocado. Drain and rinse* the chickpeas. Smash the chickpeas and avocado together using a mortar and pestle. (You can also do this with a fork, but a mortar and pestle is much more fun.) Add remaining ingredients and mix well.
Serve with choice of bread. (I prefer pita.)

*I also peel my chickpeas. It’s not necessary, but it makes for a smoother salad. Just rub the chickpea between your fingers, and the outer skin will slide off.

Have you ever had a recipe fail on you? What did you do to rescue it?

For other great recipes, follow me on Pinterest!

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