By Tori Taylor, March 27 2019 —
Buying healthy food can be expensive. But it doesn’t nece-celery have to be. Fruits and vegetables are super affordable and can be prepared in many ways. There’s one nutrient-packed vegetable that offers a ‘bunch’ of health benefits and is well worth ‘stalk’-ing up on. It asks very little of your wallet and can keep for over a full week in your fridge.
Atrocious puns aside, I’d like to talk about why celery is a strong addition to your diet. Some of us may fondly remember ‘ants on a log’ as a childhood snack. Our parents may not have even known the nutritional benefits of that dressed-up log.
Celery is a wonderfully shaped dipping stick for hummus, tzatziki and almond butter. While almost non-existent calorically, it is also full of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients — natural compounds thought to reduce the risk of cancer, heart disease, stroke and Alzheimer’s. Celery retains up to 99 per cent of its nutritional value when cooked or steamed. In contrast, most vegetables lose between 38–41 per cent of their vitamins, minerals and antioxidants when they are boiled or blanched.
It’s important to note that produce should be eaten within about seven days from the date of purchase. Fruits and veggies should be eaten as freshly as possible in order to keep the antioxidant count up. Celery lasts slightly longer than most other veggies.
Since celery is so phytonutrient dense, it works as an excellent anti-inflammatory. Celery contains several antioxidant properties that fight hard against chronic and day-to-day inflammation.
Digestive issues are a real problem among a significant portion of the population. Celery combines fibre with antioxidants to ease constipation, keep the bowels functioning smoothly and support a healthy stomach lining.
In such a dry and cold climate our skin can take a daily beating. Staying on top of hydration and moisturizing is a full-time job. Adding celery into your diet has shown to positively impact your skin. Celery’s micronutrients and vitamins work hand-in-hand with strong antioxidants for a clearer complexion.
Celery can be eaten hot or cold. For a steamy soup, sauté around six cups of celery, a few garlic cloves and an onion with a bit of olive oil and salt and pepper. You can add whatever additional seasonings you want. I always add a bit of lemon and cayenne pepper. Boil 475 mL of peeled sweet potato and then, in a big blender — or small portions at a time in a smaller blender — add 475 mL of vegetable broth, 15 mL of coconut oil and your celery sauté. Blend into a purée. Then, blend your sweet potato with another 475 mL of vegetable broth. Mix both purees together in a big bowl. You can keep your soup in big Mason jars in the fridge for 10–14 days.
For a cold drink, blend several stalks of celery, lemons, pineapple or apple with any green leafy things you’d like. Feel free to add any other vegetables or fruits to this mix. It’s refreshing and your body will thank you.