First attested in English 1664, the word “celery” derives from the French céleri, in turn from Italian seleri, the plural of selero, which comes from Late Latin selinon.
It is commonly known as celery (var. dulce) or celeriac (var. rapaceum), depending on whether the petioles (stalks) or roots are eaten: celery refers to the former and celeriac to the latter. Apium graveolens grows to 1 m tall. The leaves are pinnate to bipinnate leaves with rhombic leaflets 3–6 cm long and 2–4 cm broad. The flowers are creamy-white, 2–3 mm diameter, produced in dense compound umbels. The seeds are broad ovoid to globose, 1.5–2 mm long and wide.
Apium graveolens is a plant species in the family Apiaceae.It is also commonly known as the parsley or carrot family. In addition to celery, carrots, and parsley, this plant family also includes dill, fennel, cilantro/coriander, parsnip, anise, caraway, chervil, cumin, angelica, and asafetida.
The direct ancestors of Pascal celery were cultivated in parts of Europe and the Mediterranean as early as 1000 BC, and we have evidence of celery being used as a medicinal plant in ancient Egypt. There’s also evidence that ancient Greek athletes were awarded celery leaves to commemorate their winning.
In this genus/species of plant (Apium graveolens) are also found two other important types of celery. The first is celeriac (also called root celery, turnip-root celery, or knob celery). Just like the name suggests, root celery is characterized by a large root ball, which is especially prized for its unique somewhat nut-like taste. (The scientific name for celeriac is Apium graveolens var. rapaceum.) The second type of celery is leafy celery (Apium graveolens var. secalinum), which looks very similar to parsley but tastes like celery!.
Root and leaf celeries are valued worldwide for their unique flavours and aromas; they are often “main plate” vegetables rather than salad or soup additions.
Pascal celery is larger than most other celery types, with firm, solid stalks and leafy ends. Yet even within this particular scientific type of celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce), there are many other options including Matador, Red Stalk, Tango, and Sonora.
Celery actually comes in a variety of colors from sheer white to vibrant gold to rich red and deep green.
Regardless of which celery variety you choose to buy or grow, there are nutrient benefits to be found in all parts of the plant, including the leaves, stalks, roots, and seeds. “Celery hearts” usually refers to the innermost stalks of Pascal celery. These stalks are typically the most tender.
Ripe seeds, herb and the root are all used.
Odour characteristic and agreeable; the smell comes from the oil apiol. Celery seed contains two oils – one heavy, the other lighter; it also contains apiol, but not so much as is found in parsley.
Health Benefits of Celery
Carminative stimulant, diuretic, tonic, nervine, useful in hysteria, promoting restfulness and sleep, and diffusing through the system a mild sustaining influence. Good combined with Scutellaria for nervous cases with loss of tone. On this account it is recommended to eat the cultivated fresh root as well as taking the oil or fluid extract. Is said to be very good for rheumatism, when it is often combined with Coca, Damiana, etc. Dose: fluid extract, 3 to 7 drops every four hours.
In addition to well-known antioxidants like vitamin C and flavonoids, scientists have now identified at least a dozen other types of antioxidant nutrients in celery. These antioxidants include dihydrostilbenoids like lunularin as well as furanocoumarins like bergapten and psoralen. The antioxidant support we get from celery is largely due to its phenolic nutrients that have been shown to help protect us against unwanted oxygen damage to our cells, blood vessels, and organ systems.
Celery is an excellent source of bone-healthy vitamin K. It is a very good source of heart-healthydietary fiber, potassium, and folate; immune-supportive vitamin A and vitamin C; and enzyme-promoting molybdenum and manganese. Celery is also a good source of bone-building calciumand magnesium as well as energy-producing vitamin B2 and vitamin B5.
Celery also contains approximately 35 milligrams of sodium per stalk, so salt-sensitive individuals can enjoy celery, but should keep track of this amount when monitoring daily sodium intake.
Buying and storing
Seeds are actually very small fruits. They yield a valuable volatile oil that is used in the perfumeand pharmaceutical industries.
They are also a popular spice, either as whole seeds or ground and mixed with salt.
The leaves are also dried and used as a dried herb; stored in airtight containers this will keep upto 6 months.
Fresh CELERY from based studies involving nutrient changes in stored, refrigerated celery, we recommend a period of 5-7 days as a window of time for consuming fresh celery. While some nutrients appear to be stable in whole, refrigerated celery for longer periods of time, several studies show greater losses of phenolic antioxidants in celery after this week-long period. In addition, based on changes in flavonoid content, we also recommend that you wait to chop up your celery just before you are adding it to a salad or cooked dish (rather than chopping it up the night before and leaving it stored in the refrigerator overnight). This will help to preserve its maximum nutrient potential.
Ideas with cooking with Celery
Add chopped celery to your favorite tuna fish or chicken salad recipe.
Enjoy the delicious tradition of eating peanut butter on celery stalks.
Use celery leaves in salads.
Braise chopped celery, radicchio and onions and serve topped with walnuts and your favorite soft cheese.
Next time you are making fresh squeezed carrot juice give it a unique taste dimension by adding some celery to it.
Add celery leaves and sliced celery stalks to soups, stews, casseroles, and Healthy Stir-Fries.
Consider the purchase of celery in its non-Pascal varieties. Root celery can be served as a major plate vegetable all its own, and leaf celery can be substituted for parsley in almost any recipe.