7 Jan 2008

Crunchy Celery

Keeping in line with my Resolution to stick to a healthy diet in 2008 I realized I must add celery to it. Celery was originally used as a medicine and became popular as a food item in the Middle Ages. Nowadays people use it for both purposes.

Celery contains an excellent amount of vitamins C and K. It also contains good levels of vitamins A, B1, B2 and B6, folate, potassium, fiber, manganese, calcium, magnesium, tryptopan, phosphorus and iron. It is one of the richest sources of organic sodium.

Health wise celery is said to be useful in the treatment of arthritis due to its high sodium content, drinking the juice regularly prevents kidney and gallstone formation and as a diuretic it is useful aginst fluid retention and when detoxing, to flush the toxins. Celery juice when combined with carrot juice is beneficial in the treatment of nervous conditions, insomnia and blood disorders. On top of this, celery has compounds called Coumarins which help prevent free radicals from damaging cells and Pthalides which help reduce blood pressure. Certainly a useful vegetable to add to a healthy diet.

NOTE: Those on low sodium diets should use celery sparingly.

When purchasing celery make sure that the stalks are crisp and the plant is compact. The leaves should be bright to darker green in color with no yellow or brown patches on them. If not using on the same day of purchase celery can be stored in the fridge for a few days in a dry, sealed container.

Celery is an excellent addition to soups, stews, salads and stir frys but for quick energy boost add celery when juicing your vegetables. Always buy organic celery when available. Celery seeds are also available and a tasty addition to many recipes.


Spinach-Cucumber-Celery Juice
From Martha Stewart Living

Juice for one serving:
2 cups packed organic spinach (4 ounces)
1 organic cucumber
1 organic celery stalk

To combine several fruits and vegetables, alternate between soft pieces and hard ones. Finish with the latter to push through anything that's stuck.

Lymphatic Lift Juice
From Happy Juicer (visit the website for some excellent juice recipes)

Juice for one serving:
1/2 medium fresh organic beetroot (not pickled or tinned)
1 organic apple
1 organic pear
2 small organic carrots
2 sticks organic celery

(Recipe by Penny - a Happy Juicer reader who has used this recipe to successfully treat her Lymphoedema. For more info go HERE )

Tofu Salad Sandwich
From the Vegetarian Times
Enjoy this tofu spread as is, or add a personal touch.....capers, chopped onion, other fresh herbs, bell pepper or olives.

1lb/500gms firm low-fat tofu, well drained
1/2 cup soy mayonnaise
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp chopped garlic
1/8 tsp turmeric
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp chopped fresh tarragon or 1/4 tsp dried
Salt and ground black pepper to taste
1/2 cup diced celery
2 tbsps finely chopped scallions
8 slices whole-wheat bread
2 large carrots, grated (1 1/4 cups)
1 cup sprouts, such as clover or alfalfa

Put tofu into medium bowl. Using your hands, crumble until texture resembles mashed eggs. Add mayonnaise and stir to blend. Stir in mustard, garlic, turmeric, parsley, tarragon, salt and pepper. Then stir in celery and scallions until blended. On work surface, place 4 slices of bread. On each slice, layer tofu salad, carrots and sprouts. Top with remaining bread, cut sandwiches in half and serve. 4 Servings.

Black Bean and Salsa Salad

1 can sweet corn, drained
1 can black beans, drained (or chick peas)
1 cup chopped celery
1/2 cup chopped salad onions or spring onions
1/2 cup chopped fresh coriander (cilantro)
1/2 cup of salsa
2 tbsps cider vinegar

Mix salsa and vinegar, then combine all ingredients. Toss well, chill and then serve.

And for those in the middle of Winter there is nothing to beat the great Vegan soup recipes, like the one below, at the Cat-Tea Corner website.

Cream of Celery Soup

1 tsp light oil (peanut, sunflower, etc.)
1 small onion, chopped (about 1/2 cup)
2 medium cloves garlic, pressed or finely minced
4 cups celery, coarsely chopped
2 cups vegetable stock or bouillon
1 large sprig fresh dill, or 1/4 tsp dried dill weed
1 cup plain soy milk
salt and pepper to taste
additional dill for garnish (optional)

Heat the oil in a large, heavy saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and celery, and sauté for about five minutes, or until onion begins to soften; be careful not to burn the garlic. Pour in the stock, lower the heat, and simmer until all vegetables are soft, about fifteen minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly, and pour into a blender. Blend until creamy. Return the soup to the pot and stir in the dill, soymilk, and seasonings. Heat through, stirring occasionally, but do not boil. Serve hot or chilled, optionally with chopped fresh dill to garnish. About 8 servings
(Recipe copyrighted - Posted by kind permission of Cat-Tea corner.)


Davey D said...

Hey I found your nice blog through GetRef. I'm a vegan but I cannot cook very well. I will have to try some of your awesome recipes. Thanks

Anonymous said...

I had no idea how good celery was for you! I munch on it every day and use low-cal salsa to dip it in.

Marsha said...

I put celery in almost everything I cook. And I love it slathered with peanut butter.

Vegan Baker said...

I never knew that people on low-sodium diets should limit celery. I always learn so much from your posts.

I have to say that I always leave out the celery when it's called for in recipes. It's just too crunchy (I know, I'm weird).

Sheila said...

I love celery but had no idea it was high on sodium which probably accounts for why I love it so.

urban vegan said...

Not my favoriate raw, but I love it cooked. It's a flavor pwoerhosue.

Shinade said...

Hi jackie, I was so glad to see you come through my site. Thank you for doing so. So I am back here again at your lovel blog.

I am surprised as well that celery is such a healthy item to eat. I knew it was good for you, but, had no clue that it was this good.

I use a lot of celery...I simply love the stuff. So this is one item that I now know to definitely keep using.

Thanks for the infornation.

have a great day!!:)

ChocolateCoveredVegan said...

I love how you always have so many good recipes and interesting information on your blog :o)

South African Scenic Beauty said...

Thanks, tried the black bean recipe, as well as being Vegan Im really fussy, so Thanks.

Naomi said...

I love celery Jackie. It's such a versatile vegetable. Great in soups, salads and used as a crudite with dips at parties. Thanks for sharing the great recipes. Didn't know it was high in sodium though Jackie. I've learnt something there.

Astra Libris said...

I'm so glad you brought me to your fantastic blog! Your posts are so informative! May I please add a link for your blog in mine?

Wow, I had no idea that celery and carrot juices were good for insomnia... A very useful tip for stressful school semesters... Thank you so much for the information!

dreamy said...

the Tofu salad sandwich and cream of celery soup looks very appealing, i keep seeing dijon mustard appearing in many recipes, i guess i shld hunt for it.

Janey Loree said...

Now I have a wonderful reason to buy Jack Lalanne's Power Juicer as seen on TV! I love celery!!!

Dirty Butter said...

Hmmmmm. I never did like celery, but maybe I should try sneaking a little into a smoothie. I can always count on you to get my mind working on new ideas!

david santos said...

Hello, Jakie.
Thanks for your menu and have a good weekend

Allie B said...

Mmmm I love celery, especially in stuffing and soup! Its texture always makes things taste better.


Anonymous said...

everytime I cook with celery I save a bit to eat raw....and I remember just how much I love the taste of it. I need to eat more of it too!

dreamy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
dreamy said...

I love celery :) but I read it somewhere that non-organic ones are full of pesticides, I rarely eat them now :(
(though I still find the soup appetizing)

Gary said...

Is the celery there in South Africa sweet or slightly bitter?

Jackie said...

Neither that I know Gary. It has a fresh, clean taste to me.

garyb said...

Jackie, the celery sounds good. Here in SE Asia it's skinny and bitter, but we like the kind that comes from Australia and the US. Maybe what you have there is similar.

Is it possible to buy pecans there? Are they common?

Also, I'm wondering if you can tell us what fruits are in season there? Do you have peaches, blueberries, avocados, plums and other fruits? Any info you can provide will be greatly appreciated.