Celery

Year-Round

Health Benefits

Celery is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is also a high source potassium, folate, and vitamins K, A and C. Despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. Celery contains a flavonoid called luteolin; researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties. Other possible benefits include: lowering blood pressure, treating join pain, reducing inflammation, and soothing the nervous system.

History

Ancient literature documents that celery seed was cultivated for medicinal purposes and was considered a holy plant during the classical period in Greece. Ayurvedic physicians used celery seed to treat colds, flu, water retention, poor digestion, arthritis, and liver and spleen ailments. The Italians farmed celery as a vegetable in the 17th century. Careful selection and domestication eliminated some of celeries bitter and overpowering flavors.

Recipes to Try

How to Store

Refrigerate in an unsealed plastic bag. Celery will keep for 2 to 3 weeks. Leaves will keep for up to one week. Celery can be dried, canned, or frozen. You can also store the seeds as an herb. If the celery has gone a little limp, simply slice the stalks into sticks and place them in a glass of ice water and place the glass in the refrigerator for a few hours.

How to Prepare

Separate stalks from the bunch by gently prying them out from the bottom until they snap off. The tougher outer stalks are the best to cook with; the inner, more tender and are better for eating raw. Trim leaves and root end. The leafy tops can be used in salads and you can save the root end for stalk. Wash the individual stalks under cold running water to remove dirt. Large chunks of celery are primarily used for stocks and sauces. Grate or cut into thin sticks for serving raw. For fine dice, use the tip of your knife to slice the stalk lengthwise, keeping it attached at the leaf end. For medium dice, split once in half. For finer dice, split into quarters. Rotate the stalk and cut crosswire.

Ways to Enjoy

Enjoy celery raw with peanut butter and dried cranberries or simply tossed in a salad. Celeries leaves make for a fantastic salad when fresh. Try braised and served as a side. Try it in your next stir-fry or throw it into a stock, soup, or stew. Sautee garlic, onion, celery, and tomato to make a delicious celery salsa. Just pour the mixture into tomato juice and bring to a boil. If thicker salsa is desired, add a little flour.

Health Benefits

Celery is a rich source of antioxidants and phytonutrients. It is also a high source potassium, folate, and vitamins K, A and C. Despite being mainly water, celery also provides a fair amount of dietary fiber. Celery contains a flavonoid called luteolin; researchers believe that this particular flavonoid may posses anti-cancer properties. Other possible benefits include: lowering blood pressure, treating join pain, reducing inflammation, and soothing the nervous system.

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