Let’s See If We Can Drool Over Celery!

Yesterday’s blog got more than one set of salivary glands working overtime. Imagine being in Nova Scotia right now with those big, fat lobsters just asking for a wee bit ‘o’ butter! It’s enough to make you join a kitchen  céilidhEnough of that!

Celery! Let’s talk about celery. Personally, I really like celery and it does have the reputation of being one of the foremost diet foods for the Zero Calorie set! I was brought up with a Mom who believed in a “relish plate” at special dinners like Thanksgiving and Christmas.

A “relish plate” has pickled onions, sweet mix pickles, pimento stuffed olives, sometimes pickled beets but always pieces of celery stuffed with Cheez Whiz.

Back in those days celery was a little bit different. It was much paler – “blanched” it was called. That just meant that celery farmers buried the plants up to their leaves in sawdust or mulch. It resulted in a sweet mild taste. That’s what the lighter “hearts” are like in modern celery.

It turns out that celery is really good for you and even has a couple of wonderful myths attached. Have you ever heard that celery is a “negative calorie” food? “Negative calorie’ foods take more calories to eat that you consume. It is true to a certain extent. It’s the same thermal principle as drinking cold or ice water burns calories as it warms in your body. But since there are less than 6 calories in a stalk of celery it may only burn 7.

The other one is from ASKMEN:

“For a long time, people believed that celery’s aphrodisiac properties were a myth. Today we know that it contains androsterone, a hormone naturally produced in males that stimulates sexual arousal in females. Whether or not this hormone found in celery actually affects the body is still unclear. But hey, the vegetable has it so it’s a plus, and further studies are being conducted in the matter.”

I’m not going to test that one but let me know if it works, OK?

Celery Juice

I found out some other health benefits from another website called: Health, Fitness, Sex and Glamour (great name, eh?). It talks about how it boosts your immune system with vitamin C, is a mild diuretic (reduces water weight), has cancer fighting compounds, reduces cravings for sweets and many more. Mind you, after a snack of celery I truly do not want a chocolate bar. So, does this mean it works?

So, how do we eat it.now? I like it raw and cooked. It is essential to my world-famous (self-labelled, of course) turkey stuffing. It is an important part of the mirepoix (meer pwah) used as a base for all types of cooked dishes. A mirepoix consists of onions, celery and carrots. I love adding celery to my kitchen sink omelettes and most one pot dinners. It is amazing in stir-frys and perfect for salads. I save all the leaves for soups and they make very tasty garnishes instead of parsley. I am not a big parsley fan, I don’t really like food that tastes like green (kale, alfalfa sprouts, parsley, spinach etc.). Celery leaves on the other hand are yummy and really cool deep-fried (I saw it on the Food Network, really!).

My kids grew up with celery stuffed with peanut butter. And if we got really fancy, “Ants on a Log”. Yes, just celery, peanut butter and raisins – the food of young godlings. Celery is one of the main ingredients in raw veggies and dip. I even had it as a side dish once – Creole Braised Celery, I couldn’t find that one but this one looks really good.

Sedano e Pomodori Brasati (Braised Celery and Tomato)

INGREDIENTS SERVES 4-6

3 oz. pancetta, cut into 1″ matchsticks
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, cut in half, cored, and very thinly sliced
2 lb. celery stalks, trimmed and cut diagonally into 2″ lengths
¾ cup whole, peeled canned tomatoes with juice, crushed by hand
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Put pancetta in a 6-qt. saucepan and place over medium-high heat. Cook, stirring occasionally, until its fat renders, about 12 minutes. (If the pancetta begins to brown too fast, reduce the heat to medium-low.) Using a slotted spoon, transfer the pancetta to paper towels to drain, and set aside.

2. Add the olive oil to the pan, and return to medium-high heat. Add the onion, and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and light brown, about 10 minutes. Add the celery, tomatoes, and ¼ cup water, and season with salt and pepper. Cover pan with lid, and cook, stirring occasionally, until celery is very tender, about 1 ½ hours.
3. Divide the celery with its juices between serving bowls, and sprinkle with the reserved pancetta. Serve hot or at room temperature.
WOW!!! And just one more hint from Martha Stewart, and it really works. To keep celery fresh in your fridge: wash it, cut off the root end and wrap the whole thing in aluminum foil. Use as needed!

A guy has celery sticking out of one ear, lettuce out of the other, and a zucchini up his nose. He goes to the doctor and asks him what’s wrong. “Well, for one thing, you’re not eating right”

Thanks for listening. ;D Diane

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~ by 1fatgirlshrinking - Diane Kirby on July 13, 2012.

5 Responses to “Let’s See If We Can Drool Over Celery!”

  1. I love celery! I always add it to soups – yum!

  2. Motivating blog

  3. I’ve never been able to get into celery. Even as a kid, when my mom gave me ants on a log, I’d lick out the peanut butter and munch the “ants” but leave the celery behind. Bleck. I don’t care for the flavor, for one, and the stringy-ness is a sort of textural thing for me. Eating it raw is just a no-thank-you. I can eat it cooked, and don’t mind it in stir fries and soups much, but if I have my druthers, I just leave it out.

    Which is too bad, because I know it’s actually pretty good for you and so I wish I could make myself like it!

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