This little-known root vegetable is not only delicious, but packed with nutrients that support our health. This may be why celeriac has such a deep (no pun intended) history as both a food staple and a medicinal plant. Learn here what exactly celeriac is, how it benefits our health, and how to start experimenting with it in your kitchen!
What is celeriac?
“Celeriac, also known as celery root, is closely related to celery, but it’s probably not the celery root you’re familiar with,” he explains. Bianca Tamburello, RDN in fresh communications. Celeriac is another species of root vegetable that is also a relative of parsnips, carrots and parsley. “It’s also called celery root, knob celery, and turnip root celery,” she says.
Celeriac is Also known by its scientific name, Apium graveolens L. var. predatory, has a characteristic bulbous appearance reminiscent of an irregularly shaped turnip. This light beige softball-sized root is covered with small rootlets, giving it a bumpy texture. Inside, the white interior looks like a potato. Above ground is a leafy stalk that resembles celery, but it’s not the celery you’re used to soaking or juicing in hummus. Most people throw away this stem, but it’s actually great for homemade vegetable stock.
The bulb itself can be enjoyed raw, which provides a very satisfying crunchy texture, or, like other root vegetables, can be cooked to bring out the subtle nutty sweetness. Its taste is very similar to that of celery leaves, parsley, and turnips, but with an earthier flavor. Like many other root crops, celeriac’s harvest season is usually from September to he April, but you can find it year-round in many grocery stores. “Look for celeriac near other root crops in the produce department,” says Tamburello.
Historically speaking, this grapefruit-sized root first cultivated in Europe, Celeriac has been used for thousands of years around the world.in fact it was used in Roman, Egyptian, and Greek cultures For both medical and religious purposes. In Ayurvedic medicine, an ancient Indian health practice, it is often used as an antidote to lower blood pressure and as a diuretic. traditional chinese medicine for similar purposes.
6 Impressive Health Benefits of Celeriac
But what does the evidence actually tell us about the health benefits associated with celeriac? nutritional profilethere are quite a few – here are the highlights:
1. Celeriac Supports Immune Health
This root vegetable is packed with immune-boosting vitamins C and E, plant compounds Including phthalides, terpenes, polyphenols, etc. pigment chlorophyll and carotenoids. All of these micronutrients are certified antioxidants, which help reduce inflammation and target free radicals throughout the body. Free radicals Labile molecules can cause everything from minor inconveniences such as wrinkles to chronic diseases such as cancer and neurodegenerative diseases.
2. Celeriac Promotes Heart Health
The vitamin C in celeriac not only benefits the immune system, but along with the potassium, fiber, and vitamin K in the root, promotes optimal heart health. Vitamin C, also known as ascorbic acid, Reduced risk of high blood pressure, or high blood pressure is an important factor in heart disease. Vitamin K, on the other hand, plays a key role in blood clotting, another important component of heart health. The soluble fiber in this vegetable binds cholesterol in the small intestine, helping it to be removed from the body rather than being absorbed, and may contribute to plaque buildup in arteries. And finally, potassium is an electrolyte that supports heart rhythm and maintains heart rate. Check blood pressure level.
3. Celeriac Protects Gut Health
The fiber in celeriac also helps with gut health. A mixture of soluble and insoluble fibers treats and prevents both constipation and diarrhea, while also helping to avoid bloating and cramping (a very common problem in the United States) associated with inadequate fiber intake. Additionally, the soluble fiber it contains acts as a prebiotic, a food source for healthy bacteria in your gut microbiome, helping them grow. The gut microbiota supports healthy digestion and overall health, so this benefit should not be underestimated.
4. Celeriac Helps Maintain Strong Bones
Thanks to the calcium, phosphorus, and manganese found in celeriac, this unusual root vegetable is also beneficial for bone health. All three of these minerals play essential roles in the formation and maintenance of bone health and density. These benefits help prevent bone diseases such as osteoporosis and osteopenia.
5. Celeriac Helps Metabolic Health
Celeriac can be a beneficial supplement for those with metabolic disorders or those who want to prevent them. This is partly due to the fiber they contain, as this type of carbohydrate slows down digestion and helps to dampen the blood sugar response. So, after enjoying this veggie, you’ll experience less spikes and dips in blood sugar, as well as increased energy levels. However, this benefit may be most important for people with metabolic concerns, such as those with type 2 diabetes, as glycemic control is much easier. And unlike many other root vegetables in celeriac, it has relatively low total carbohydrates, doubling its effectiveness in controlling blood sugar levels.
6. Celeriac is rich in B vitamins
Finally, our favorite celeriac is rich in vitamin B6, especially vitamin B6. “Celeriac’s B vitamins support the normal functioning of the body and the immune, brain, and nervous systems,” says Tamburello. Vitamin B6, also known as pyridoxine, provides all of these benefits in addition to helping treat and prevent anemia.
All this information about celeriac sounds tempting, but how do you actually use it in your kitchen?
When choosing celeriac in the market, choose medium-sized bulbs (between 3 and 4 inches in diameter) rather than particularly large bulbs. Because celeriac usually tastes the best. We also recommend avoiding those that are excessively discolored, cracked, or hollow. Test for hollowness with a little knock, and the bulb should feel solid and heavy.
Once home, celeriac is best stored in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator and will stay fresh for the better part of a month, if not two. Alternatively, you can store them in a cool, dry place, similar to potatoes, but humidity levels can shorten their shelf life by several weeks.
To prepare this bulbous vegetable, be sure to scrub it well with cold water to remove any remaining dirt. Then use a paring knife or vegetable peeler to remove the hard outer skin. Now you are ready to cut and slice meat for various recipes. Be sure to prepare immediately before use. Otherwise, soak it in hot water with a few drops of lemon or vinegar or it will tarnish.
From here, celeriac adds an interesting flavor to salads and coleslaw if you choose to prepare it raw. However, while it “doesn’t pull strings like celery,” it’s very chewy, so slice it thinly or grate it to make it easier to eat. says Tamburello. Otherwise, there are nearly endless ways to cook this vegetable, and it pairs perfectly in soups, stews, savory pies, sauces, casseroles, and even rake riffs.
“Like other root vegetables, celeriac is often roasted, boiled and pureed into soups, or boiled and mashed like potatoes,” says Tamburello. It can also be spiralized into a low-carb pasta alternative. But perhaps the most famous dish that uses celeriac is French. celery remouladeA bright salad of fresh celery with a zesty mayonnaise-based dressing.
There are many reasons why we love celeriac, from its taste to its impressive health benefits. Experimenting in the kitchen is always a worthy end in our book, so give celeriac a try this fall harvest season.