You might have heard that celery is good for you because you burn more calories chewing it than you do consuming it. Although this is a myth, celery is still a healthy snack and addition to meals.
It was first used in cooking in 16th century Italy. Before that, celery was used in ancient Chinese medicine and during the Middle Ages to treat conditions like insomnia, hypertension, and arthritis. People back then thought it purified the blood. Celery belongs to the same plant family as parsley and carrots.
Why is it beneficial?
Celery is full of nutrients to be so full of water. In fact, it is 95% water, so it makes the perfect snack for staying hydrated in the warmer months. It has vitamins K, C, B6, and B9 (folate) and minerals like potassium. Because of these nutrients, celery has antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Eating celery regularly can detox the liver, reduce bloating, prevent infection, and even protect against cancer.
When is it in season?
You can usually find celery in July and August in Tennessee. Sometimes it comes early or later depending on the weather. Try to buy organic celery whenever possible.
How long will it keep?
Fresh celery stalks will last 5-7 days in the refrigerator. Only wash the stalks you are about to use. Celery leaves are also edible and have the same health benefits.
How can I prepare celery?
There are many ways to eat celery besides the traditional ants on a log snack. Here are a few ideas:
- Chop up the stalks and the greens and add it to soups. This is especially great when you’re sick.
- Add the stalks to a juice. It goes great with cucumber and lemon or lime. (Don’t try adding celery to a smoothie because the stalks are too tough. They might tear up your blender.)
- Sliced celery makes a great crunchy addition to stir fries.
Weekly Fig is a private membership association for local sustainable foods.