��A Special Herbal Plant-Cilantro to Coriander

If you have visited my blog over the years, you will know how much I enjoy planting things in the garden and watching them grow. My love and appreciation for the things God gives us in our world to enjoy and sustain us greatly increases as the years go by. It brings me much joy and relaxation. You might like to see some of my other gardening posts here, here and here.

This year, I am referring to my garden a Victory Garden because it has brought me a lot of solace and comfort during the uncertain times that the COVID19 virus has brought with it. Gardening is certainly not new to me, but it is just feels more special this year. I have added some new things, such as asparagus plants last summer and even more asparagus plants this year. I've also planted two types of raspberries and am hoping they will do well. I have purchased some blackberry plants but haven't planted them out yet. I've added a new variety of blueberries to the two bushes I already have. It's called Pink Lemonade!

Herbs are probably my overall favorite thing to grow. That's probably because herb plants are generally very easy and low maintenance to grow and tend. A lot of them will even stand up and even thrive in hot, sunny climates. Many of the herb family do not require much in the way of watering!

If you are thinking of growing some of herbal plants and would like to find out a little more about an herbal plant called Cilantro, I think you will enjoy this post. Who knows but what you might even be inspired to try some herbal gardening for yourself!

For anyone who has purchased coriander in whole seed or ground form in the spice section of a market or grocery store, you've  probably know that it adds a bunch of flavor to many dishes. Did you happen to know that the cilantro plant is where the coriander seed comes from? I fully admit that I didn't always know that fact but I am certainly glad I learned it.

I have a really nice crop of mature cilantro which is producing coriander seeds in my garden. Truly, this year is a bumper crop of coriander seeds for me. On what you might could call a lark,  I had planted some of the seeds from last year's cilantro plants in one of my raised beds, late in the summer of last year. They went through the winter in a dormant state, as the winter season here was really rainy but we didn't have much of any extreme cold weather period. Frankly, I had pretty much forgotten I had done it! What a surprise when all those beautiful cilantro plants started coming up!  In fact, it is the most cilantro I have had in my garden at one time, so it appears there will be lots of coriander seeds.

If you enjoy eating chips and tomato salsa, you have probably tasted cilantro. Cilantro it is a pretty much irreplaceable ingredient in making a good Mexican style tomato salsa. The leaves are what gives the salsa its unique and delicious flavor. It's those bright green leaves you see in the sauce that look a lot like the leaves of parsley, another herb that is generally much milder in flavor.

Cilantro has a savory and decidedly more pungent flavor and aroma than most of the parsley varieties that I have grown over the years. Parsley, though more subtle in flavor, lends character and liveliness to a dish or plate by adding interest with its pretty ruffled leaves and bright green color.

Because of the resemblance of the leaves of parsley and cilantro, some people refer to cilantro as Chinese parsley. Here is a picture of some beautiful parsley growing in a big pot in my garden:

Parsley in My Garden With Its Frilly Bright Green Leaves

Some people find it works well to cleanse the palate and freshen the breath. I've tried it and, in my opinion, it does work very well in that way. Cilantro likes the cooler days of early spring when the plant is its fullest and the leaves are a bright green and are best for use in flavoring a dish at that point. Its leaves are not as showy and tender.

It is beginning to get warm in the region where I live, so my cilantro is now in the tall, leggy state and leaves are much more sparse. See how tall and leggy the plants are in these pictures of the cilantro in my garden in its current state:
Mature Cilantro Plants in My Garden/Late Spring

Mature Cilantro Plants in My Garden/ Late Spring
Once the temperature starts to heat up outside, the plant begins to produce little bunches of tiny white flowers.
Bunches of Tiny White Flowers that Appear on Mature Cilantro Plant
These flowers wilt and fall off and the stalks and leaves of the plant begin to turn yellow.
That's when cilantro begins to produce clusters of somewhat largish, round seeds where the flowers had previously been. These are what is referred to as coriander seeds! Some people refer to the plant, in all its stages as a coriander plant, rather than cilantro plant. I was pleasantly surprised when I discovered this.
Green Coriander Seeds Before Turning Brown and Dry

When the seed clusters are left on the wilting plant, the seeds will begin to dry up and turn a golden/brownish color. The following picture is a close up of how some of the seeds on my cilantro plants have begun to turn a red/brown:

In a few weeks, when they have fully turned  fully brown, it is at that point when it is time to begin harvesting and collecting the lovely seeds. I usually place the seeds in a small paper bag or large envelope to continue drying for a while longer. After the seeds are completely dry, they can be placed in a glass or plastic jar. I sometimes repurpose a clean jar that once contained purchased herbs or spices. I simply remove the old label and put a new label on the jar to identify what is inside. I save pretty spice and herb jars sometimes, with that purpose in mind.



An added bonus to collecting the seeds is that, like myself, you can plant some of the seeds next season and so as to have a good crop of fresh cilantro and coriander seeds next spring too! The Cilantro plant, that grow from planting the Coriander seeds is one of those gifts that just keeps on giving!

 If you don't already know how much fun and satisfaction it is to grow your own herbs and spices, my hope is that you will give it a go. Herbs are some of the easiest and most low maintenance form of gardening there is!

Even if you don't want to grow a full-on herb garden, you can plant a few herbs in pots. Most herbs require minimal watering and very little fertilizer and will tolerate more neglect that most garden plants. Most grow quickly and are, therefore, offer quicker gratification. I've grown herbs for decades and never tire of discovering ones I haven't grown before.

The biggest benefit from using herbs is that they make dishes you prepare so much more flavorful and allow us to cut way back on things like salt and sugar in our food preparation and consumption. They offer health benefits to boot! So, all-in-all, herbs and spices are a win/win proposition!



How To Preserve And Use Coriander

Source: YouTube
Vegitate

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d5rehGRcpDE

Source: YouTube
 White Jasmine Cooking
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-XqDtKoJbjo

Source: YouTube
Gourmet World:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VOE06gqYmH4


Recipes Containing Coriander

Here are a few recipes I hope to give a try soon.

Source:  YouTube
 Simple Indian Recipes

Source: YouTube
Spicy Baji
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4GW5kbq_ijQ

I would like to share the following link to Psalms 91 from the Holy Bible. It is my hope and prayer that it will give you encouragement during these times of uncertainty. 

This I believe: https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm+91&version=NIV.

Through it all, God is here with us through the Holy Spirit and always will be. God will sustain us through this pandemic!  Those who believe his word have assurance we will have Victory over it!

Thank you for dropping by my blog today and may God keep and protect you all!

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