When I was a kid I was always hungry. I’d yell out, “Hey Ma, what do we have to eat?” She’d say, “go get some celery out of the crisper and slap some peanut butter on it, that should hold you to dinner!” I can say with great delight, that I fell in love with celery, and to this day, I love a few stalks of celery with cream cheese, dip, some hummus, or just a dash of salt. I’m in heaven when I take that first bite, it just takes me back to when I was a kid and the love I felt. Thanks, Mom, I love you.
Celery contains tannins, flavonoids, alkaloids, and volatile oils that are beneficial. It is loaded with vitamin B6, calcium, vitamin C, potassium, vitamin A, vitamin K, fiber, and protein. Every part of celery, including the stalks, seeds, and leaves, are edible. It is used to treat many conditions. It lowers inflammation, reduces high cholesterol, treats high blood pressure, and helps prevent liver disease. It also helps fight irritable bowel and urinary tract infections. It can help in weight loss, remove toxins from the intestines, and improves cognitive health. Celery has so many health benefits. Celery is our symbol for the good life.
Think about it, where would we be without celery? No mirepoix, no gumbo, no tasty soups, stews or braises. No crudité. None of the health benefits and no smiles on anyone’s faces.
So, what’s the best part? Celery! It’s how we say, Love!
~ By Frank Buck ~
Tips for Buying and Storing Celery
- Sturdy stalks. Look for celery that has sturdy, upright stalks. They should snap easily when you pull them, not bend.
- Crisp leaves. Leaves should be crisp and fresh, ranging in color from pale to bright green. Avoid celery with yellow or brown patches.
- Wait to chop. Chop celery just before cooking or serving to maintain nutrients. Even celery that has been chopped and stored for just a few hours will lose nutrients.
- Steam it. Steamed celery will retain flavor and almost all of its nutrients.
- Eat in five to seven days. Eat fresh celery within five to seven days to enjoy its maximum nutritional benefits.
- Eat the leaves. Don’t discard the leaves — that’s where celery has the most calcium, potassium, and vitamin C. But because they don’t store well, consume celery leaves within a day or two of purchase.
In addition to its many health benefits, celery is a versatile veggie. You can eat it raw or cooked, and it makes a great addition to smoothies, stir-fries, soups, and juices. Celery can also be steamed or baked.
——-New Spin on a Classic Recipe——-
Ants on a Log
Keep it classic by using peanut butter and raisins or mix it up with this alternate combination.
- 3 tbsp cream cheese
- 2 celery stalks, trimmed
- 1/4 cup assorted dried fruit
Spread cream cheese into the hollow side of each celery stalk and then sprinkle with dried fruit.