Modern cuisine has redefined celery as more than just an edible utensil used for transporting peanut butter. Whether chopped up in a Creole stew, slow braised or eaten whole, one classic celeriac notion holds true over time- celery is chock-full of dietary fiber with very few calories. Celery has long been regaled as a "negative calorie’ vegetable- a food that burns more calories to digest than you absorb as you eat it. Indeed, a stalk of celery has less than one calorie per inch, all of which are burned (and then some!) as your body chews and processes the fibrous plant.
Considering that the average person eats 9-10 lbs of celery a year, we’re all lucky that celery is such a great source of dietary fiber and vitamin C. As innovative cuisines evolve to incorporate different parts of the celery plant, celery presents us with even more nutritional benefits. Celery seed and celery salt- often used in seasoning- are both great ways to consume calcium. Likewise, the white and bulbous celery root, which can been beautifully layered into a gratin, can also give hungry diners a good dose of iron.
Even the traditional stalk can be a welcome addition to your everyday meals, so try cooking some celery to blend into your next batch of mashed potatoes. Boiling celery, onion, white wine and a bay leaf in canned vegetable stock will transform the processed broth from bleh to seasoned bliss. Use that stock to braise even more celery in our Fall Vegetables in Red Wine Sauce or take advantage of its valuable place in Cajun cooking with our Gumbo.