Cilantro (Coriander) is an annual herb that is used in various cuisines worldwide. All parts, including the flowers are edible. It’s a must have herb in the vegetable garden.
The cilantro seeds are round hard seeds with a light brown color. It is possible to ground the seeds before using them in various dishes. Think of curry dishes or various oriental dishes. You can also roast the seeds.
Growing cilantro outside
We advise to grow the cilantro seeds directly outside in the ground. You can also grow cilantro in a pot but there is a good chance that the yield will be lower than if you would sow the cilantro seeds directly in the ground. If you only want to harvest the leaves then you can grow it in a pot. But if you also want to harvest the seeds it is better to grow cilantro in the open soil. This has to do with the space and nutrition that the plant needs.
When to sow cilantro
Cilantro can be sown directly in the ground from mid-April. Make sure that the soil is well-drained. You can use seed and cutting soil for this but coriander will also grow well in potting soil.
Growing coriander is not difficult. Just make sure you stick to some 'rules' or tips. Cover the seeds after sowing (not too deep), with a thin layer soil. Keep the soil moist during the germination process but not soaked. After about 2 to 3 weeks you will see the first plants. Coriander will bolt rapidly in hot weather. After about 1 month you can use the first leaves in dishes.
In the webshop of Dutch Garden Seeds we have 3 types of Cilantro seeds in stock:
- Organic cilantro seeds
- Regular cilantro seeds
- Lemon cilantro seeds
Is cilantro healthy ?
Cilantro delivers impressive health benefits. Cilantro is full of vitamins, minerals and fiber. Vitamin A, Vitamin B11, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K ( which plays an important role in helping your blood clot ) Potassium and Manganese. Cilantro is also full of antioxidants which are important for fighting free radicals.
Can you freeze cilantro?
To preserve freshness and taste it is certainly a good idea to freeze cilantro. Make sure you only use fresh leaves and no leaves with yellow spots on them. Just like any other herb you want to freeze; clean the cilantro with water and cut the stems and leaves. Then put per portion in a freezer bag. After it is frozen, it can be kept for months with preservation of taste. You can also freeze coriander into ice cubes with some oil.
Fresh coriander has a bit of the same structure as parsley or celery leaves. Cilantro is a very fresh tasting spice. This is typical a herb you love or hate. You may experience a soap-like taste , rather than the herby taste others experience and love. Fresh coriander is still fresh for 4 to 5 days after picking.
Meals with Cilantro
In Eastern cuisine, a lot of food is eaten with cilantro. But coriander is also frequently used in the French cuisine.
It is also possible to dry the cilantro.
There are at least 4 ways to dry the cilantro.
- In an oven: Wash the cilantro and place it on a baking sheet. Set the oven to 40°. Then leave it in the oven for 1 to 2 hours. Check it regularly. After the cilantro has become crunchy, let it cool and then place it in an airtight glass jar. NB! after about half a year the taste will start to diminish.
- In a food dehydrator: basically the same description as above, only slightly shorter. Around 1 to 1.5 hours.
- Air drying cilantro
- Wash the cilantro and then bundle it. You can put the bundles in a paper bag and hang them upside down. Make some small incisions in the bag to allow the air to flow. Let it dry for about 2 weeks. Check if the cilantro is dry enough after 2 weeks to put in a jar.
Keep in mind that it is better to freeze the cilantro it if you want to keep the strong taste.
Growing herbs is a healthy activity. Besides that you are actively involved, it is also wonderful to always have fresh herbs around. Almost all herbs have a medicinal effect and health benefits. In the webshop of Dutch Garden Seeds we have more than 40 different types of herbs. Of these, there are about 15 Organic herbal seeds.