Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum) is a member of the aromatic flowering plant family that includes carrot, celery and parsley. Cilantro microgreens are indeed aromatic, with a citrusy and grassy flavour. Cilantro is used in many cuisines such as Latin American and Asian cuisines. People may have strong reactions to the flavour of cilantro, with some loving it and some hating it. The leaves, stalk, seeds and roots of the plant can be used. Cilantro microgreens are delicious added to scrambled eggs, in salsas and guacamole, on top of tacos and curries and in dips. In addition to the excellent flavour, cilantro microgreens are highly nutritious.
Cilantro is a good source of vitamin K. Vitamin K is required for blood coagulation and dark-green leafy vegetables are good sources. Cilantro microgreens have a similar concentration of vitamin K as baby spinach. Cilantro is also a good source of vitamin C, which is an essential nutrient that acts as an antioxidant. Cilantro microgreens have a slightly lower concentration of vitamin C than an orange.
Cilantro microgreens contain very high levels of the carotenoids lutein/ zeaxanthin, violaxanthin and beta carotene, which are fat soluble antioxidants important for organ function and protecting cellular structures from damage. Cilantro microgreens contain 3 times more beta carotene than the mature leaves. The concentration of beta carotene in cilantro microgreens is comparable to that of carrots and sweet potatoes. Lutein/zeaxanthin are carotenoids that act to help prevent age-related eye degeneration and cataract, dark leafy green vegetables are recommended sources. Cilantro microgreens are an excellent source of lutein/zeaxanthin and have a higher concentration than red cabbage shoots, peppercress microgreens and baby spinach! Violaxanthin is a carotenoid found in the photosynthetic organs of plants, and cilantro has high concentrations of violaxanthin.
Cilantro is an excellent source of alpha-tocopherols (vitamin E). Vitamin E is a fat-soluble antioxidant important in immune function. Nuts, seeds and oils are the most common sources of vitamin E, but cilantro microgreens are an excellent source and contain much less fat. The concentration of vitamin E in cilantro microgreens is over 6 times the amount in a serving of sunflower seeds.
|Vitamin K (Phylloquinone)||Vitamin C (Ascorbic Acid)||Carotenoid (Beta Carotene/ Vitamin A)||Carotenoid (Lutein/ Zeaxanthin)||Carotenoid (Violaxanthin)||Vitamin E (Alpha Tocopherol)|
|Cilantro||2.5 µg/100g||40.6 mg/100g||11.7 mg/100g||10.1 mg/100g||7.7 mg/100g||53.0 mg/100g|
USDA National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference, Release 28 (2016)
Xiao, Z., Lester, G. E., Luo, Y., & Wang, Q. (2012). Assessment of vitamin and carotenoid concentrations of emerging food products: edible microgreens. Journal of agricultural and food chemistry, 60(31), 7644-7651.