Healthy Kid Cilantro

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Kids get two herbs in one with cilantro! The leaves, which resemble parsley, are popular in Mexican, Californian, and Thai cooking and are called cilantro. When dried the leaves lose much of their flavor, but fresh from the garden the leaves have a citrus savory taste and are rich in phytonutrients. The plant flowers and produces seeds, the round nutty fruits are a different spice called coriander that is a main ingredient in curries and other Indian dishes. Whole seeds last for a year and can be dry roasted and chopped for a welcome nutty accent for lentils, mushrooms, or rice. These seeds are an aid to digestion and have been used in cooking for thousands of years. Cilantro leaves are fabulous in guacamole, black beans, or Thai soup. Kids can grow organic cilantro in a pot on the patio or kitchen window, harvesting the individual leaves as needed. When the plants mature completely, cut the seed bearing stems where half the seeds have changed from green to tan. Hang the stems indoors in paper bags for two weeks until they are completely dry. Kids can store the seeds in an airtight glass jar.

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