Sunday, April 10, 2011
Celery, Is It Worth the Hype
A friend of mine asked me to do a post on celery because he wondered if it was worth eating so I told him lets see what I can find out. The thing I found most interesting is celery can be found referenced in as far back as The Illiad. The book talks about the horses of Myrmidons grazing on wild celery in the marshes of Troy. This is pretty cool but lets see if it has nutritional value.
Did you know that celery is in the same family as parsley. I didn't. According to the New World Encyclopedia, celery is not only food for humans but also food for animals. Celery's stalks are probably what most of us eat, but the leaves, root, and seeds are also used. As I was reading about celery, I found out that in the past, the seeds were used in pills to relieve pain. World Encyclopedia also discusses that the root is used as a diuretic and can help with urinary disorders. It is said that by juicing celery, it can be used to reduce inflammation, such as arthritis, cystitis, gout, or nervous exhaustion. Boy do I need to eat more celery if all of this is true.
I have also heard that celery has negative calories. What this means is that it takes more calories to eat a piece of celery than the celery has in the first place. Dang, I am going to eat more celery. Maybe these negative calories will deduct from that hot fudge sundae I just ate. Just kidding!
I also like using celery in recipes especially soups. This is probably were most people think to use celery. My friend likes it with pimento cheese and I know lots who enjoy peanut butter on a little stalk of celery. No matter what you like about celery, remember that it is easy to prep this vegetable once you bring it home. I usually go ahead and break the stalks apart, then wash them. After washing and drying with a paper towel, I take half the stalks and cut them down for snacks and the other half I dice up to use in recipes. One recipe that I love to use celery in is Turkey Meatloaf Muffins. There are so many recipes that celery can be used in and enjoyed. I encourage you to try one today. Here are a couple to check out:
Cream of Celery Soup
Wild Rice Salad with Celery and Walnuts
In another post, I will talk about selecting and cleaning celery in more detail. If you have a favorite recipe, please share or a creative idea on using celery as a snack, I would love to hear it.