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Celery: I Promise This Isn't Boring!

Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Celery

Celery is one of those foods that are difficult to eat before it goes bad. To make it last much, much longer in the refrigerator, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and refrigerate it. I've had celery stay crisp for weeks this way. According to an old issue of Cook's Illustrated, this method works because foil allows the ripening hormone #ethylene to escape. Or buy smaller packages, be sure to plan meals that you will include celery in before purchasing so that you ensure it being consumed.

Write your produce vegetables down and keep it posted on the front of your refrigerator so you don't forget they are in there and need to be consumed.

If you do not buy #celery because you think it’s just bitter air, think again. First of all for your best tasting raw celery stick:

Cut into stick, and be sure you have rinsed well. Place in a glass dish that has a lid; like Rubbermaid or Pyrex. Cover with water and cover with a tight lid. Place in refrigerator the night before serving, or the morning of serving that evening. Your celery will look fresh and vibrant and will be much tastier; not bitter.

Celery is also a part of the cook’s trio: celery, onions, and carrots. So necessary in so many dishes. Using this trio is as much about seasoning and texture of your dish as it is about adding vegetables. I buy fresh and use fresh regularly, but I also keep a bag of frozen diced mixed vegetables (the trio of onions, celery, and carrots) and use that often.

Celery is also a good substitute for green pepper in some dishes. For those of you avoiding green pepper due to it being a #nightshade, give celery a try in your meatloaf or salad. Do the overnight water marinade for the best tasting celery!

Celery really does have nutritional value. Celery is a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Pantothenic Acid, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of dietary fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium, and Manganese. Be mindful that a seven inch stalk of celery does have about 32 mg of sodium. Keep in mind a mere teaspoon of table salt has over 2,000 mg, so quite low compared to that; but, if you are counting your daily mg's of sodium... The American Heart Association recommends limiting daily consumption of #sodium to 1,500 mg or less for those with high blood pressure and other health concerns.

Celery has been known to

  • Reduce inflammation
  • Help in weight loss
  • Helps in digestion: chew well!
  • Assist in keeping your gums healthy
  • Boost sex drive (who knew!)
  • Can help to reduce bad cholesterol
  • Celery is one of the most affordable foods!

Ways to get more celery into your diet:

  • Celery is still an excellent vessel for peanut butter
  • Celery is always good added to soups and stews
  • Snack on celery when you feel you need something crunchy
  • Sautée celery, apples, and onions for a healthy side dish
  • Shaved Celery, Fennel and Cucumber Salad
  • Celery goes great diced up into chicken salad
  • Celery is also perfect for egg salad
  • Add some celery juice to your next smoothie!
  • How about a Bloody Mary?

Celery is mentioned as far back as the 16th century! So it definitely has some roots! According to this.

“Celery was eaten as food in France in the 1600s. By the middle of the 17th century, the plant was sometimes eaten with an oil dressing.” For hundreds of years in America and Europe, it was believed that one had to blanch celery before eating.

However you enjoy it, just know that you are doing something healthy for your body. If celery is a food you have not had in a while, I encourage you to revisit it and give it a chance!

by Paula C. Henderson

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