15 Sep 2023
Before it was a vegetable, it was an herb: Celery is native to the Middle East and the Mediterranean areas. The ancient forms resembled smallage - a leafy herb of the Apiaceae family alongside parsley, dill and coriander. Celery with stalks was developed in the late 18th century.
Traditional uses: In traditional medicine systems, the root, leaf and seed are used in various preparations for regulating digestion, calming the nerves and treating urinary and kidney problems.
Is celery celeriac? They are actually the same plant: Apium graveolens. Celeriac is a type of celery cultivated for its fleshy bulb rather than for its stalks. There is also a leaf celery that produces an abundance of leaves.
Seed to plant: To grow, celery needs high levels of moisture and lower temperature. It’s ready to harvest from midsummer to autumn before the first hard frost. Now is the time to buy fresh-picked celery from a farmer’s market or local veg box.
Celery’s Health Potential: To date, small human studies found promising benefits for:
Being such a commonly consumed vegetable, human studies are surprisingly sparse. Undoubtedly, there is a need for more research investigating the health benefits of celery.
Celery’s Beneficial Compounds: To your plate, it adds:
Apige-what? Apigenin is a flavone - a subclass of flavonoids - primarily found in plants. It appears to suppress proinflammatory cytokines and slow glucose absorption in preclinical studies. Luteolin is another flavone with promising benefits in pain management.
Why does it taste like that? The aroma profile of celery is created by an assortment of compounds, such as terpenes and phthalides.
In daily life: One portion is 1 celery stick. Cooking inspiration heading your way…
Around the world
Celery often forms the foundational flavour trio in various culinary traditions. In France, it’s the mirepoix, in Italy, the soffritto, and in Louisiana, the Holy Trinity, where it joins forces with onions and carrots or peppers.
5 ways to enjoy celery
Pair it: Celery goes well with apple, walnut, peanut, carrot and contrasting ingredients like blue cheese.
Don’t throw away the leaves : Use them like herbs in a pesto instead of basil, in salads or as a garnish. A great way to use up what you have in the fridge.
Recipes to try: