Fustini's Oils and Vinegars

Winter Feature: All About Celery

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When you’re looking for a crunchy, versatile veggie that pairs well with just about any kind of dip, a celery stick may just be your go-to solution. 

As part of the Apiaceae family, which includes other great veggies like carrots and parsnips, celery is well-known for its fibrous stalks and watery bitterness. The combination of crunch and balanced flavor makes it a great pairing in a variety of dishes, whether raw or cooked. 

And while winter season may mean the wrapping up of fresh, seasonal crops like zucchini or green beans, it also is prime time for veggies like celery. 

Love it or hate it, celery packs in some amazing health benefits you just can’t overlook. As we continue celebrating what our local farmers’ markets have to offer throughout the year, this time we’re focusing in on the versatility of celery. 

Why Eat Celery? 

When it comes to approving of celery, people typically either like it or they don’t. But with such incredible health benefits and vibrant flavor, it may just be a veggie you learn to love and appreciate. Here we share a few quick reasons why you should pick up a stalk or two at your local farmers’ market this week. 

Its Flavor is Complex

From a simple veggie with a low-calorie count, you may expect a simple flavor. But celery stalks actually pack in an intriguing combination of mild water and lingering bitterness that balances well. Eat it raw or soften the bitterness by sautéing or baking it, along with some other flavorful veggies. 

It’s Low in Calorie 

At just 10 calories per stalk, celery has often been known as a low-calorie snack dieters shoot for.  Whether you’re looking to lose weight or just promote a healthy lifestyle, adding celery sticks into your snacking routine can be of great value. Next time you’re looking for something to accompany a dip or salsa, choose a celery vessel rather than chips or processed crackers. 

It’s High in Fiber 

If you’re intentional about incorporating more fiber in your diet, for whatever reason, celery can help. With both soluble and insoluble fiber, eating celery can help you and your stomach feel well and regular. In fact, just one cup of celery has 5 grams of fiber!

It’s Rich in Antioxidants 

Like other veggies, celery comes with a long list of healthy components, like antioxidants, that support your health. The antioxidant properties in celery are great for protecting cells and blood vessels. It also helps to reduce inflammation in places like the digestive tract and blood vessels. 

It’s Hydrating 

Foundational to its distinguishable flavor is celery’s high water content. In fact, celery is about 95 percent water! If its a struggle to drink your recommended daily water intake, use celery as a supplement to stay hydrated and healthy. 

It’s Got a Nice Crunch

Have you ever been in a “snacky” mood and just wanted to crunch on something? Rather than reaching for a bag of chips or handfuls of popcorn, celery can satisfy that need to crunch but at just a few calories per stalk. Celery stalks should be sturdy and snap when you break them apart. 

Eat the Leaves 

Not most often thought of, but celery leaves can be eaten, and also contain a wealth of vitamins and nutrients you don’t want to miss out on. It’s in the leaves where the most Vitamin C, potassium and calcium is found. Just be sure to use them up quickly after purchase as they don’t last quite as long as the stalks. 

It Keeps Its Nutrients, Even When Cooked

Unlike some vegetables, celery holds onto the majority of its essential vitamins and nutrients when they’re boiled or roasted. This is great news especially if you’re not the biggest raw celery person. While steaming will keep in the health benefits the most, you can also boil or blanch them and still maintain a majority of the antioxidants.

Top Celery Recipes to Try

Whether you’re new to exploring recipes with this particular ingredient or are ready to move beyond just dipping sticks into a jar of peanut butter, we’ve got you covered. Here we share some of the top celery recipes to make the most of this healthy snack. 

Soups & Chilis

If you’re not into the bold, pronounced celery flavor, one of the best ways to use it is by throwing it into a soup or chili. As it cooks, the celery softens and loses some of its characteristic bitterness.

Cheddar Ale Soup - Add in some celery with a long list of other great veggies and ingredients. And with all the bacon and cheese you’ll add, your celery-haters may not even realize it’s in there. 

Game Day Chili - Warm up with a tomato-based soup filled with veggies like vibrant celery and sweet peppers. 

Minestrone - Get your veggie count up with this classic favorite. 

Paella 

Embrace the celery component in this traditional Spanish rice dish with sausage, chicken and veggies.

Salads 

Slice up your celery and add some fresh crunch to your lettuces with these great salad recipes. 

Waldorf Salad - combine your celery with a chicken-salad topping with apples, grapes, walnuts and raisins. Amp up the flavor with Michigan Apple Balsamic and Sicilian Lemon Balsamic

Mediterranean - Slice up some celery stalks and top off a salad that also includes ingredients like feta cheese, black olives, roma tomatoes and sliced red onions. 

Endive, Apple & Celery - Add some extra crunch to each bite of this salad with celery, which also includes sliced apples, chopped almonds and thin endive. 

Apple, Celery and Blue Cheese - With these basic ingredients, you can toss this salad together quickly and easily. Perfect for a lunch at work or a side at dinner.

Chicken Pot Pie 

Add in an extra veggie into this traditional comfort food favorite. This recipe brings in rich flavor from Herbes de Provence Olive Oil for an extra savory bite. 

Gumbo

Spice things up with this Andouille and Oyster Gumbo recipe that brings together veggies like celery in with a spicy kick. 

See many more recipes on our website by clicking here

Easy Ways to Celebrate the Celery 

Whether you’ve long put it on your “don’t like” list or have limited its potential to peanut butter and raisins with “ants on a log,” celery offers a wide range of opportunities to amp up your dishes. Whether raw or steamed, baked or broiled, celery is a healthy food you don’t want to miss out on. And in these winter months, fresh celery is easily found by just going to your local farmers' market or the grocery store. 

What’s your go-to way to prepare celery? Let us know here in the comments or on our social media accounts!  

 

 

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