Celery is a biennial vegetable that belongs to the Umbelliferae family, whose members include carrots, parsley and dill. Besides celery stems, its leaves, roots and seeds are also used as spices and food, as well as a natural remedies.
Celery grows to a height of 12 to 16 inches and is made of leaves along the stems and arranged in a cone shape. Stalks of celery have crunchy and delicate texture, but a slightly salty taste. Celery can be found in various shades of green, and the variety that is cultivated in Europe is white.
Celery has been cultivated from wild celery. Its origin goes back to the Mediterranean regions of North Africa and Southern Europe, but also from areas east of the Himalayas.
Celery has a long history of use as a medicine first, and later as a food. Ancient Greeks used the leaves of celery to make laurel wreaths for their athletes and the ancient Romans used them as a condiment. It was not until the Middle Ages that the use of celery extended beyond medicine and use as a spice, but also as food. In Europe, it became popular to the 18th century. Celery was introduced in the U.S. in the early 19th century.
Composition of celery
Celery is an excellent source of vitamin C. It is a very good source of dietary fiber, potassium, folate, molybdenum, manganese and vitamin B6. Celery is also a good source of calcium, vitamin B1, vitamin B2, magnesium, vitamin A, phosphorus and iron. Celery contains about 35 milligrams of sodium in it’s stems, so those who are sensitive to quantities of salt, should accept it with caution. 1 cup / 120 g / of Celery contains 19 to 20 calories, 0.90 g protein and 0.17 g fat.
Selection and storage of celery
When choosing celery, choose one that looks fresh and breaks easily. It should be relatively robust and compact with its stems bent. The leaves should be pale to bright green in color and have no yellow or brown spots on them. Celery sometimes has a condition called "black hearts", which is caused by insects. To check for damage, it is necessary to separate the stalks of celery and look for brown or black spots. Celery with seeds on its stems is often with a bitter taste.
Celery is stored by placing it in a sealed container or wrap in a plastic bag or damp cloth and put in fridge. When storing peeled and sliced celery, it needs to be dry.
Culinary use of celery
Celery is used in cooking in it’s full entirety. Like all vegetables, celery can be boiled, fried, or baked. To avoid discoloration of the celery stalk, it must undergo minimum heat treatment. Note that the fibers of the stems do not get soft after cooking, so you need to remove them carefully, starting with the narrow end of the stalk.
Celery can be eaten in a variety of salads, cooked in broths and soups. Lovers of good nutrition can drink freshly squeezed celery juice. As a spice, celery is used fresh or dried, applied in a delicious marinade for winter pickles.
Celery perfectly complements the taste of dishes with meat and potato dishes. The U.S. melting a celery stalk into blue cheese dressing, combined with chicken wings and other appetizers or entrees, is very widespread.
Celery seeds are very rich in essential oils and therefore have a very pungent smell. If you want a more intense flavor for your meal, grind salt and add it to the celery.
Fresh celery root is complemented by wonderful apples and carrots. Since from the blended, we root can prepare useful paste. Grated root is an ideal addition to vegetable juices.
Benefits of Celery
The health benefits of celery can be summarized as follows:
- Celery is rich in vitamin C. Vitamin C helps to protect the immune system from symptoms of the common cold. Vitamin C also protects the body from damage by free radicals. It reduces the severity of inflammatory conditions such as asthma, osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis;
- Celery has potential benefits for reducing high blood pressure;
- Celery helps to lower the levels of cholesterol in the blood;
- Celery has a diuretic effect. Celery is rich in potassium and sodium, minerals that are important for regulating fluid balance and stimulates urine production, thereby helping the body to get rid of more fluid;
- Promotes optimal health. Celery contains compounds called coumarins that help prevent the damage that free radicals cause to cells, thereby reducing opportunities for mutations in the cells and the appearance of cancer.
Weight loss with Celery
Celery is a plant from which dietary meals and cocktails during a diet can be prepared. It is known for its diuretic and laxative properties, and is low in calories - only 33 per 100 grams, making it an ideal dietary product. Experts recommend that detoxing, or dietary days with celery should not be more than 3.
When the vegetable is an additional component of the dietary regimen, time constraints of dieting will not matter. Mix cocktails with celery, tomato juice and apples and it will provide your body with a real vitamin bomb.