Celery is the perfect veggie to add to almost any dish. It goes fantastically in salads and is one of the stable ingredients in almost any soup. I also don’t know where the world would be today without a celery stick to add to a Bloody Mary cocktail. Celery stalks are very popular in the Unites States but in Europe the celeriac root is more prominent. Both have a fantastic flavor and have very similar uses.
I must share a small warning though, celery is one of a very small group of foods (including peanuts) that can cause severe allergic reactions. It is very important that if you do not eat it often or you think you might be having a reaction that you avoid it. I personally have a slight sensitivity to raw celery but seem to be fine with cooked. This is not the case for all people however so I urge you to eat with caution! Let’s all eat responsibly :).
Varieties: There are four main varieties of celery: leaf celery which has a thinner stalk, celeriac which is the root bulb, Pascal which is what we know to be regular celery (photographed above and below) and wild celery which is typically grown in personal gardens.
Season: Celery is known to be a year round vegetable and is available year round in grocery stores and farmers’ markets. It however is typically at its peak from October- December and is best bought and eaten during this timeframe.
Heath Benefits: Celery is known to be rich in anti-oxidants such as phytonutrients that reduce inflammation in the joints along with potassium. The potassium levels in celery and celery seeds is known to reduce high blood pressure and protect the body from risk of stroke or heart disease. It also has high levels of folate which helps to protect a fetus during the development process during a pregnancy. Celery contains a flavoid called luteolin which research has shown may have some anti-cancer properties.
Nutrients: Contains vitamins A, B, C, E and K as well as calcium, folate, iron, magnesium, potassium, sodium and zinc. One stalk contains about 6 calories.
How to store them: Make sure to select crisp, fresh and tightly formed stalks which in the grocery store or farmers’ market. Avoid ones that have brown spots or yellow leaves. It can be kept in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.