Celery…do you need convincing?

I find celery is a love it or hate it food, nature’s version of marmite! Some people just cannot stand the taste, others are indifferent take it or leave it and those who love it, keep on loving it!

As the weather gets colder I am drawn to making soups, stews, casseroles and one-pots! I will be sure use celery as a base ingredient in all these dishes. Chopped, finely sliced or even grated celery has many health benefitting reasons to use it.

The good news is that it is at its best from early Autumn & throughout Winter, up until February.

What to like about celery…

Celery has long been regarded for its healing powers, used to cure stomach complaints, as a general tonic, lowering blood pressure and soothing digestive ailments. It also counteracts acidosis and keeps the blood pH levels balanced preventing the build up of acid in the joints.

Is also a natural diuretic, this aids the elimination of toxins from the body, particularly when paired with parsley and green leafy vegetables.

It is a good source for Vitamin A, C, K, B2, B3, B5, B6 and B9 and Minerals: copper, manganese, phosphorus, magnesium and calcium. It contains key nutrients to support the immune system, reduce inflammation, stimulate/ soothe the digestive system and replenish electrolytes.

Best Ways to Eat It

– raw is best when it comes to celery keeping all its nutrients in tack especially the water soluble vitamins plus its essential oils, enjoy it juiced, as crudités, sliced into salads, or nut butter boats!

Cooked– steamed celery retains nutrients up to 90% but cooking celery reduces nutrients by a third, however it can make it easier to eat it regularly by adding it to sauces, soups and stews.  To reduce the taste try grating it and pairing it with carrots and peppers. No need for salt when using celery as it is a good source of sodium and potassium, essential electrolytes to be replenished after exercise.

Dirty Dozen

Celery is 95% water and is on the dirty dozen list. What does this mean? Celery is likely to be contaminated by chemicals & pesticides used to help it grow and due to its high water content these chemicals have been found within celery. Therefore it is best to buy organic, spray free and celery in season at its best (July through to February source BBC).

Please don’t use this as the reason to not eat celery, just buy organic instead. There are 11 other vegetables that you might like to consider buying organic from now on, these are:

  1. Strawberries
  2. Spinach
  3. Nectarines
  4. Apples
  5. Peaches
  6. Pears
  7. Cherries
  8. Grapes
  9. Celery
  10. Tomatoes
  11. Sweet Bell Peppers
  12. Potatoes

Clean 15

There is also a list called the Clean 15, these are least likely to be contaminated by pesticides:

  1. Sweet corn
  2. Avocados
  3. Pineapples
  4. Cabbage
  5. Onions
  6. Frozen Peas
  7. Papayas
  8. Asparagus
  9. Mangos
  10. Aubergine
  11. Honeydew
  12. Kiwi
  13. Cantaloupe
  14. Cauliflower
  15. Grapefruit

(Source: Dr Axe)

I am digressing from the topic of celery somewhat, if you do have fussy eaters then grating celery into dishes is one of the easiest ways to get it into food. Whether it be finely sliced in casseroles or grated into chickpea burgers or coleslaw with some vegan mayo– this makes spotting celery even harder for any fussy eaters who don’t need or want to know they are eating celery!!!

I like to pair celery with onion, leek, carrot, peppers, garlic (small amount of me!) and ginger, for it lends a hand with its sodium content to naturally enhance herbs and add flavour to dishes without the need for adding any extra salt.

Get experimenting with celery I think you will be pleasantly surprised.

Recipes to try:

Super Immune Boosting Soup– has had a seasonal addition for Autumn & Winter vegetables.

Super Immune Boosting Soup

Veggie Casserole