Nice stems
Credit: Photo by KatarzynaBialasiewicz via Getty Images

The moment I started adding fresh cilantro to my breakfast on a regular basis, my life improved. Recently, however, I’ve started using more than just cilantro leaves. Guys, we should all be eating cilantro stems. Crunchy yet tender and not at all stringy or woody, cilantro stems taste just like the leaves with a little extra zip. Plus, if you plan to eat the stems you’re more than doubling the amount of edible parts of the herb , getting way more bang for your buck, as well as cutting back on trash.

To eat cilantro stems, you don’t need to do much more prep-wise than you normally would as when you planned to eat only the leaves. The main thing is that since the stems can be attached to roots when purchased, they tend to come in contact with a bit more dirt, so stems need to be washed more thoroughly. But to be fair, you should always wash herbs well. I wash mine in a small salad spinner with a few spritzes of fruit and vegetable wash, then rinse and dry them well.

Here are just a few ideas for using cilantro stems in breakfast, but I bet you’ll discover more as you experiment.

Puree them into a sauce: Blend cilantro stems and leaves with a few tablespoons of tahini, a spoonful of miso paste, lemon or lime juice, and lots of black pepper for an addicting sauce you’ll want to spoon on everything from fried eggs to kale salad.

Use them in salad: Tear off a handful of cilantro leaves, then finely chop stems and toss with your salad greens. This will work with any lettuce, but I think pairs especially well with peppery arugula.

Blend into smoothies and juice: Cilantro is bright and citrusy, so it works well in fruit smoothies and juices without adding sweetness. Try it in a pineapple coconut smoothie or in ginger-carrot juice.