The Celery Root, ugly, tasty and powerful
What is celery root
Often confused with the root of the celery, the celeriac is actually a variety of the celery that has a big, bulbous stem and it is grown for its round stem, often confused with the root, instead of the classic stalks. When peeled, this not particularly beautiful but fantastically versatile vegetable reveals a smooth, ivory white interior. The leaves and the thin stalks grow above the ground and can also be consumed. They are usually used for garnishing dishes.
Potential health benefits
The Celeriac is a nutritional powerhouse high in fibre, a great source of antioxidants and vitamins.
100 grams of RAW celery root provides:
9.2 grams of Carbs
1,8 grams of Fibre
1,5 grams of Protein
0,3 grams of Fat
13% of the daily value of Vitamin C
8% of the daily value of Vitamin B6
51% of the daily value of Vitamin K
12% of the daily value of Phosphorus
9% of the daily value of Potassium
8% of the daily value of Manganese
*Note that boiling the celeriac can reduce its vitamin C content by 50%! In order to benefit from all the nutritional values of this vegetable, it is best to consume it raw.
A very good friend for your health but also a great diet ally as a portion of 100 grams of crunchy, raw celery root provides 42 calories for 0.3 grams of fat!
Packed with antioxidants
Antioxidants are a powerful booster for our bodies and the celery root is kind of filled with them! An important amount of Vitamin C intake daily can considerably boost your immune system, not to mention the anti-inflammatory and anti-aging benefits of the antioxidant daily intake. Some studies even show the results of protection from Alzheimer’s disease by a regular intake of antioxidants through alimentation.
Benefits heart health
The celeriac is a vegetable very rich in vitamin K which is a very powerful prevention weapon against heart disease with 51% intake of the daily values for 100 grams. Vitamin K prevents calcium from building up the blood vessels which is very important as if it was the case the blood vessels would become hard and narrow.
Not to forget the potassium, a crucial nutrient which in high levels decreases considerably the risk of stroke.
The celery root is considered as one of the highest in fibre vegetables. A regular, good intake of fibre benefits to the body in many ways but mostly digestion wise. It helps digestion, metabolism, bowel movement and prevents colon cancer. PLUS studies show that regular and sufficient fibre intake through your diet is essential for feeding the beneficial gut bacteria, which protects us from a big range of diseases like diabetes and obesity.
Strengthen your bones
As the nutritional values show, for 100 grams of celery root we get a 19% intake of phosphorus which combined with the vitamin K can protect and strengthen your bones. Vitamin K promotes calcium in the body and reduces considerably the risk of fractures. As for phosphorus, it has been associated with strong bones and general better bone health.
Vitamin K is also a powerful ally against cancer cells and integrated and consumed sufficiently, it can have powerful anti-cancer properties.
Easy to add to your diet
How to peel the celery root
The celery root can seem a little intimidating and not quite attractive when seen at the supermarket or freshly harvested from the garden. To unlock the door to the heaven of flavour, you must first approach the monster and disassemble it.
It’s easier to peel celery root with a knife than a peeler. A bread knife more precisely could be ideal. Once you picked a knife, cut a slice off both ends of the root so that it stands straight. Then follow the curve of the root, to cut off the brownish skin which will expose the white flesh. If you don’t use celery root as soon as you peel and cut it, it will oxidate. To avoid this, soak it in acidulated water (1 tablespoon lemon juice or vinegar per cup of water) for a few minutes.
Celeriac’s flavour is in between the celery and the parsley with a nutty touch. It has a non-fibrous texture and is firm similar to the turnip. Its flavour is more pronounced when eaten raw and sweetens up after cooking it.
How to choose it
To pick the most flavourful monster of them all make sure the center of the celery root isn’t hollow and that the vegetable is firm, medium size and not the heaviest, discolored or with cracks.
For storing, if the celery root is peeled, it is crucial to soak it in acidulated water as the oxidation can start within minutes of the unused vegetable exposed to the air. In the fridge, store it in the vegetable compartment in beeswax wraps.
How to cook it
Before cooking it, the celery root has to be prepared meaning peeled, washed, seasoned, diced. The varieties for cooking this amazing vegetable are broad: raw, roasted, steamed or braised.
For eating it raw, we published on our blog F4A’s celery remoulade recipe, which is super easy to make and delicious.
Celery root can also be cooked in the same style as mashed potatoes. Mix the celery cubes you cut with garlic cloves and cover with liquid adding some salt. Bring up to boil and cook for about 25 minutes, strain, then in a mixing bowl mash while mixing with unsalted butter, freshly grated nutmeg, salt and pepper to taste. Decorate with fresh chopped parsley and enjoy!