“ Food / Vegetable „
Yum yum, celery. Its one of Gods great gifts to man especially if you're on an extreme diet and only want to eat if you can cut down the calories during the meal.
I usually buy it from the local deli so its fresh it's healthy and it's tasty. Though hard to say tasty seeing as it is mainly a sold water mineral tube. Each sick is around 30cm long and at the bass is around 3 inches thick but gets gradually thinner towards the top to about a mere half inch. The shape is a crescent like moon shape and you can see veins up and down the sticks. I usually get around 11 sticks in each bunch and if you keep them in the fridge they are fine for around 10 days. They do start to get a bit old and the taste becomes horrible if left too long.
The great thing about celery is that there are barely any calories and the rumor is you work off the little amount they have just by chewing it. There is a lot of water so you can hydrate yourself; there are minerals and vitamins to keep you strong and healthy (as my mother used to say). If you make a salad they are great for a crunchy and different texture and they work wonders in coups!
As a whole they are a super food and although a light color doesn't worry they are still packed with goodness for you. A great snack for everybody (unless you are allergic)
it is crunchy from the bottom to the tip and as you bite into it, it can break up and the viens rip and tear which means that the cells are not destroyed. however, if you were to cut the celery it would ruin the cells and would not keep for as long as if you were to rip or snap it yourself. The colour begins do fade into a bright white near the root and here is where you should wash it if you eat it as there is most likely to be dirt and small animals hiding.
it is a vegetable that is widely eaten through-out the world and in fact the seeds are used more comently for its volatile oil which it can produce and is used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industries
Sitting eating our evening meal yesterday which was salad based due to some nice weather I decided that I would write about one item that is always in my salad but has a love / hate relationship with most people - good old celery.
What a really boring thing to write about some may think but celery is actually an extremely versatile vegetable with many uses and is good for you also so lets have a look at my friend celery in a bit more detail.
Most people seem to associate eating celery as being on a diet as it is very low in calories only 6 calories for every 3 sticks you eat approx and apparently you consume more calories eating it than it contains. It is also very high in fibre and water content and eating a couple stick of celery does give you a 'full' feeling.
Celery has been around for about 3000 years and you may be interested to know that originally it was not considered as a food but as a medicine (some may agree that it tastes like a nasty medicine) in Asia used to treat high blood pressure. Celery is also apparently good for your blood pressure due to the high potassium content which can counteract the effects of too much salt in your diet, so does this mean if I cover my stick of celery in salt is has no effect on anything at all - hmm one to ponder over.
From an article in the timesonline I also noted that researchers have found that celery generates compounds that may fight mental health problems such as Alzheimers and other degenerative diseases. Apparently if this research is proven over time this will put celery into the super food category.
Enough about the health benefits, what can I do with a stick of celery?
Starting with the obvious chop a stick of celery and add it to a salad, fresh celery is extremely crunchy and can an interesting texture to a boring plate of lettuce, tomato and cucumber. Personally I like to add peppers, radish and beetroot to a salad also not only because I like the taste but they also add colour and texture and feel that my salad is a lot more interesting this way.
You can of course just sit an munch on a couple of sticks of celery as a snack, a friend of mine likes to do this but does sprinkle with salt first. You could have a dip to accompany your celery but if you are on a diet take care here as shop bought dips are high in fat and calories - make your own using plain low fat yoghurt and add your own flavour- chilli flakes or garlic for eg. Spreading with cream cheese is delicious but again high fat and calorie value.
Is celery just a summer food? No it isn't celery is much more versatile that you may think and can be cooked as well as eaten raw. Some ideas for your celery are:-
Braised celery - chop into pieces and braise for 10 to 15 minutes and have as a side dish, the firmer outside stalks are best for this as they keep their shape.
Chop the stalks diagonally and add to a stir fry, again use the outside stalks for this as they will retain their crunch once cooked - max 6 minutes for stir frying, there is nothing worse than soggy vegetables in a stir fry.
Use in a soup or stew, my children will eat celery if they can't see it or don't know that a soup or stew contains celery so this is a good way to sneak in that extra vegetable for the fussy eater, of course the same applies to most other vegetables also.
Where can I find celery? Celery is normally available in most supermarkets or grocers store though the price will vary from store to store. To get the best shelf life from your celery you need to keep in your fridge and this way will keep fresh for 1 to 2 weeks.
Can I grow celery myself? Yes but you need to be patient as celery takes about 5 months to grow. Celery is grown from seed and you need to have a good fertile soil with plenty of manure, once seeds have germinated and your junior plants reach a height of 8cm you can then plant out. Seeds should be planted in March for the UK climate in order to get best growing results. When planting out remember that your celery does not like really hot sunny positions and will be tough an stringy as a result, soil needs to be kept moist. Caring for your celery plant is not as hard as caring for some others, you just really need to ensure that it is well watered and you keep it weed free. Once your plant is ready to be cut, you harvest by cutting near the bottom of the plant above the soil line so that all stalks stay as one unit, however, if you are not going to use the whole plant you can just remove the stalks that you need immediately, this way you have fresh celery every time.
Personally I love celery in salads or as a crunchy snack with some humous right throughout the summer months. In the winter I will use in soups sometimes but don't eat as much celery as I do in the summer.
Celery is a fantastic vegetable that's great in snacks and has been eaten for years by people trying to lose weight and those who just like to eat it for it's taste. It's great as a snack and not at all bad for you. Here's some fun facts.
* Celery is part of the same family as carrots, parsley, dill and hemlock which is a deadly poison
~ It contains a pheromone which is also in men's sweat glands and attracts women
* The first record of it was in 1623 in France
~ It only takes an ounce of celery seeds to make an acre of celery
* There is a town in Ohio called Celeryville
~ One stalk of celery only contains 10 calories
* It is thought that you burn more calories eating a stick of celery than it contains
~ Those who are allergic to celery are normally also allergic to mugwort pollen
Enjoy and keep burning those calories by eating it!
Celery is grown as a vegetable. It is actually a plant, called Apium graveolens. Just as a curiosity, on the island of Minorca, in the Balearic island, there is a local variety which is now down to 72 plants at the past count!
Going back tot he celery you find at your local supermarket, as I said, we normally eat the plant, but the seeds are also used in the perfume and pharmaceutical industry.
Within the French cuisine, celery is meant to go together with 2 other vegetables, Onions and carrots, in the preparation of many sauces.
I like to eat celery raw with olive oil. It is important to know that celery should not be eaten by pregnant women and in general should not be eaten if you plan to stay under a warm sun, since it causes negative effects to your skin.
In Uk we do not have many weeks of warm sun, so you can eat your celery with no worries!
i love celery, although i am not usually a fan of anything grean as they usually taste realy nasty.
I dont realy know what to say celery would come under in terms of food as it is neither a fruit , veg or salad item it is actually a plant.
I suppose i will have to say salad as even though i love celery i wouldnt want to see it on my sunday dinner.
Celery doesnt have a nasty strong taste to it it has a very plain bland taste that you cant realy describe as it is like water.
I love celery on salads, in pasta salads aswell as chopped up on macaroni cheese pasta to add some colour.
I have a realy bad habbit of making anything healthy unhealthy so it is a good job i dont have to watch what i eat or how i eat it.
I love to eat sticks of celery which actually burns more calories than you consume wholst eating it so that sounds realy good untill i tell you i like to dip the celery in salt which just blows the whole health thing out of the window.
i dont know if i an the only weird person who likes salted celery but i just cant get enough of the stuff.
In a cobbled street in Nottingham, not far from the castle, sits 17th century Newdigate House, with it's little blue plaque attached to the wall. Now home to the World Service restaurant, it was once home to the French general Marshall Tallard, whose forces were defeated by the Duke of Marlborough in 1704 at the Battle of Blenheim.
Monsieur Tallard was captured t and paroled to Newdigate house , where he settled down quite happily, teaching the housewives of Nottingham how to bake good white bread, how to breed roses, and eventually , how to grow and prepare celery, a vegetable he sorely missed from French cuisine that he found growing wild in Lenton Marshes, just outside central Nottingham.
Celery is a bushy vegetable from the same family as Celeriac, Parsley, and Parsnip. Consisting of numerous ridged crescent shaped stalks, topped with green leaves, clustered around each other, it has a crunchy texture, with high water content and a fresh, somewhat parsleyish taste.
Celery has a bit of a reputation as being hard to grow, mainly because of the work involved in 'blanching' the plants - keeping the sun out in order to keep the flavour sweet. Generally, celery needs to be planted in deep trenches, and have soil regularly added to keep the sunlight away from the stems. However, you can buy self blanching varieties nowadays - which, if you use them, will involve skipping certain steps in the following process.
Celery likes rich soil that retains moisture yet it well drained, in sunny spots. Soil needs to well prepared, with any large stones, roots, etc removed, and adding a generous amount of well rotted manure is a good idea.
Plant seeds during March and April into a pot or seed tray filled with fine compost. The seeds are tiny, so just take a small pinch and spread evenly across the surface of the soil in the tray. Direct watering tends to disturb the seed, so it's a good idea to water by spraying with a misting bottle regularly, and occasionally dipping the entire seed tray into a bowl or container of water. Cover the seeds with a thin layer of vermiculite, and put in a propagator (large pop bottles cut in half are good for this, but only if in pots) and leave on a sunny windowsill.
Once seeds germinate, remove them from the propagator, Once they have their first proper leaves, they are ready to be put into their own pots, and again you need fine, well watered but well drained soil, and pots should be about 9cm diameter.
Once the plants reach 8cm tall (and celery is pretty slow growing!) they are ready for transplanting outside, but should be toughened up a little first by placing in a sheltered and shaded place outdoors.
Celery grows bigger then you see in the supermarkets, so needs lots of space when planted out. What you see in the supermarket is only the heart with the outer stems taken off and the head trimmed. Plant celery at least 27 cm apart, in a sunken trench area of a flowerbed *. Keep plants well watered, and feed with liquid fertilizer once a month.
*Blanching - If you buy a self blanching variety, you do NOT need to plant celery in a trench .Nor do you need to read the next paragraph.
As the stalks grow, pack soil around them to stop the sunlight getting to the stalks - leave just the topper most part of the stalk, and the leaves, showing. The reasons for this are that exposure to sunlight makes celery taste bitter and have a stringier texture.
Celery will be ready for harvesting in August, once the plants reach 2-3 inches across at the base. Cut celery from ground level of below, taking care not to damage neighboring plants. A head of celery will store for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Celery- a few alternative uses
Celery was thought to purify the blood, and Romans would wear crowns of celery to prevent hangovers. Chinese medicine also believes it to have a positive affect in helping with hypertension, and use celery for lowering blood pressure and stress. And in ancient greece, winners of races were awarded bunches of celery in much the same way they might be given flowers today.
Celery boats with mackerel pate
2 celery hearts, cleaned
150g cooked smoked mackerel
3 tbsp crème fraîche
1 tsp horseradish
freshly ground black pepper
Separate the stalks of celery, and cut each one into 10cm long pieces, until you have about 16. Cut off any leaves and put to one side, and finely chop the remaining celery (not the prepared pieces, just what's left)
Remove the skin from the mackerel, and mash in a bowl with the crème fraîche, horseradish, and black pepper to taste. Mix the ingredients thoroughly until it becomes spreadable in texture, and then mix in the finely chopped celery. Use this mixture to fill the celery lengths, then finely chop the celery leaves and sprinkle over as a garnish.
(Celery stalks are also delicious simply filled with cream cheese, cream cheese and smoked salmon, or cream cheese mixed with a little horseradish, hummus etc, and make a quick and easy snack)
Miso Noodle Soup
3 pints of water
1 onion, chopped
4 carrots cut into thin inch long strips
4 sticks of celery cut up in thin inch long strips
10 pak choi leaves
4 square of dried rice noodles,
2 tablespoons of fresh Miso.
Boil the water with the vegetables for about 10 minutes, then add in the noodles and cook until soft. Dissolve the Miso in a cup of hot water, and then add to the soup, and add a little sea salt and pepper to taste. This recipe is not only cheap, yummy, and low fat, but is also vegan .
150ml tomato juice
Dash lemon juice
2 dashes Tabasco
2 dashes Worcestershire sauce
a pinch of celery salt
salt, cayenne pepper
a celery stick, to garnish.
Whack everything into a cocktail shaker, shake it all about, and pour over ice. Yummy! Also yummy without the vodka.
Frozen Bloody Mary
(Can be made in bulk and then taken out as needed!)
1 litre tomato juice
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp Tabasco
Juice of 1 lemon
Freshly ground black pepper and salt to taste
Shove everything into a large airtight freezable container, put the lid on, and shake vigorously. Remove the lid, and freeze until just starting to get firm. Then whisk it up to get more air in, and freeze again. To serve, place scoops of the sorbet into tall glasses, and serve with celery sticks to garnish.
(As you can tell, I LOVE my Bloody Mary's - you can also adapt these recipes to make a Bloody Mary pasta sauce, Bloody Mary soup , and even a Bloody Mary salad (simply piercing cherry tomatoes, and soaking in vodka, Tabasco, and Worcestershire sauce overnight before serving with lettuce, cucumber, and celery salad ^^ )
Pink Passion Smoothie (Made up name!)
300g tomato - this is a great way of using up ones that have gone too squishy for sandwiches or salad
2 mint leaves
1 stick celery
Whack everything except the lemon juice into a food processor, and pulse until smooth. Add in the lemon juice, mix well, and serve over ice.
In conclusion, I'd recommend celery any day - so low in fat it takes more calories to chew than it contains, tasty, crunchy, fresh tasting, and cheap. It can be used in so many recipes, and more importantly gives me something to stir my Bloody Mary with!
5/5 - Thanks for reading!
Also known as celeriac.