With its very low calorie content, celery has long been one of the most popular ingredients for dieters. However this vegetable is more versatile and delicious than its reputation might suggest, and is healthy to boot. Check out below for all there is to know about celery.
- ...is great for your stomach. The essential oils and bitter substances contained in celery can neutralize an excess of gastric acid, making it a good antidote for an irritated stomach.
- ...is a natural antibacterial. The essential mustard oils in celery can render potentially pathogenic malefactors such as bacteria, viruses or fungi in the body harmless.
- ...stimulates digestion. Celery’s numerous bitter substances can help stimulate the digestive system, activating the digestive juices and enzymes in the liver, bile and pancreas. Celery leaves contain a particularly large portion of bitter substances.
- ...can help alleviate gas. Celery is a great way to get rid of gas or cut down on bloating. ...strengthens your nervous system and brain. Celery and especially its leaves contain plant hormones which support the health of the nervous system and brain.
- ...isn't for everyone. Because of its strong diuretic effect, people with kidney problems as well as pregnant women should consult a doctor before integrating celery into their diet.
What You Should Know About Celery
Celery only contains a few calories per serving, making it one of the lowest-calorie ingredients available. However its low calorie count doesn’t make celery any less delicious or nutritious. There are many different ways to prepare celery, including using its leaves and roots. celery can be prepared in many different ways. This applies to both celeriac and celery root (also known as celery stalks or pale celery). At first glance, they have nothing in common. Only when you sniff or taste them do you quickly notice the close relationship between the two varieties.
Celery originally comes from the Mediterranean region, however is grown today throughout the world, from the Netherlands to Israel.
Celery season begins in July and continues through the end of November.
Celery has a very mild, peppery flavor. Celeriac, a celery variety that has a large swollen root at its base, has a more intense, hearty taste.
How Healthy is Celery?
With its negligible fat and calorie counts, among some of the lowest of any ingredient, celery is a no-brainer ingredient for dieters. Celeriac has a similarly low calorie and fat content.
Celery’s taste comes from its abundance of essential oils, which also stimulate the metabolism and aid in digestion. In general, celery also has considerable amounts of vitamins A, B, C and vitamin E, as well as a high dose of fiber. Research has proven that celery can help keep blood fat and blood sugar levels in balance and that its antioxidants can help protect cells from damaging free radicals.
Celery does contain the substance limonene, which can irritate skin for those with sensitivities. It’s also important to make sure not to consume any rotten parts of the celery, as it can contain carcinogenic substances.
|Celery Nutritional Info (100 g)|
Shopping and Cooking Tips
If you eat celery very often, make sure to buy from organic farmers, as this will lower the amount of nitrates contained in the vegetable. Look out for celery that has a light to dark green color and no spots, with leaves that are as flawless as possible.
A great way to test freshness is be bending the celery stalk slightly. If it feels elastic, don’t buy it. Fresh celery should be very firm and snap under pressure.
Celeriac remains fresh and crunchy for several weeks or even months when kept in the refrigerator.
Celery is particularly easy to wash: simply run warm water over it, pat dry, and cut off the rough, discolored ends with a knife or with a quick snap by hand.
Celeriac, on the other hand, requires a little more effort in preparation. It must be cleaned, peeled, washed, and then cut into cubes or strips, depending on the recipe. The bigger and heavier the knife, the easier the task.
What To Make With Celery
Celery is an incredibly versatile vegetable. It’s great in crudite plates when paired with a flavorful dip, and adds a wonderful crunch in salads. Many of the most classic sauce bases call for chopped celery as a foundation, and it’s a great addition to vegetable soups. Celery’s delicate light green leaves are a fantastic ingredient in their own right-- just wash and finely chop them for a flavorful, unique herb.
Celeriac is a great ingredient as well, and is often used in soups, or can be breaded and crispy fried as a protein stand-in for fried meat dishes. slices as a kind of schnitzel substitute. Mashed celeriac is also a wonderful low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.
Crushed celery seeds aren’t to be thrown away either. Finely crushed they become celery salt, which goes great with eggs and cheese.