What is Coriander Seed?
Coriander seed is the fruiting body of the coriander plant, which is a popular fresh herb. Scientifically known as Coriandrum sativum, this plant as a whole is known as coriander, as is the spice which is prepared using its seeds. Coriander seeds are light brown and round in appearance. They can either be cooked whole, where their flavor is enhanced, or they can be ground, although they quickly lose their potency in that form. The seeds have a unique taste, combining nutty, spicy, and citrus elements to create an inviting aroma in many dishes around the world. Coriander seed is a very popular ingredient in Asian dishes and curries, but they are are also used in the making of sausage, stew, soup, bread, and in pickling vegetable. Some people even use coriander seed in the process of brewing beer.
Coriander Seed Nutrition
Coriander seeds are packed with nutrients, including high levels of dietary fiber, antioxidants, B vitamins, vitamin C, potassium, copper, magnesium, manganese, zinc, iron, and calcium. These seeds also provide a moderate amount of protein and fat, although they would need to be eaten in large quantities to have a notable effect on those intake levels. The smell of coriander comes from its antioxidants and volatile oils, which include linoleic acid, oleic acid, Linalool, alpha-pinene, and terpene, among others.
Coriander Seed Benefits
The active ingredients in these seeds are known to improve skin health by neutralizing the effects of free radicals and lowering levels of oxidative stress, which can prevent symptoms of eczema, psoriasis, and rosacea.
The rich mineral composition of the seeds, in addition to the protein and healthy fats, can help to boost hair strength and growth, when consumed or topically applied in a medicinal salve or hair wash.
Aids in Digestion
Improves Heart Health
Boosts Immune System
Unlike many spices, coriander seeds are packed with vitamin C, a stimulant for the immune system that can improve the body’s defenses against foreign pathogens and infections.
How to Use Coriander Seed?
There are quite a few ways for people to use coriander seed in their daily diet, both in their whole and ground form. When you grind the seeds, it is best to use them quickly, so many people choose to incorporate them into doughs and batter for bread and other sweet dishes. The ground form can also be used as an additional spice in curries, soups, stews, and certain sauces to add some extra kick. The whole form of coriander seeds is popularly used in condiments, marinades, and rubs. Whole coriander seeds are also great for a simple snack. Simply pour some seeds into a frying pan with some olive oil and salt, heat them up a bit, and then enjoy a nutrient-dense snack.
How to Select & Store Coriander Seed?
Before you can cook with coriander seed, you need to know how to select and store them. After the coriander flowers blossom and fade, the small, green coriander seeds will begin to appear. You can pick them when they are young and green if you plan to use the seeds soon. The greener the seed, the stronger the flavor. Green seeds will keep fresh in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 weeks.
If you wait until most of the seeds turn brown, you should then trim the seed heads, keeping them attached to a few inches of stalk. These can then be hung upside down in a brown paper bag. When the seeds are fully mature, they will simply drop into the bag. These seeds can be stored for months in a lidded glass jar. Wait to grind these seeds until you are ready to use them.
Coriander Seed Side Effects
Despite the many benefits, the side effects of eating coriander seeds include allergic reactions, liver problems, and stomach issues. If you are allergic to coriander, cilantro, parsley or any other Apiaceae plants, you could have a negative reaction to these seeds. Also, excessive consumption can lead to problems with liver function and upset stomach. It can also cause an unhealthy drop in blood pressure, so be sure to moderate your intake.