Celeriac, often overlooked in favor of other root vegetables, is making its way to the limelight due to its health benefits and unique flavor. It’s not just a root veggie to cook with, but also a nutritional powerhouse. As fall approaches and root vegetables come into season, consider adding celeriac to your grocery list.
What is Celeriac?
- Also known as celery root, celeriac is a relative of celery, parsnips, carrots, and parsley.
- It’s not the root of the common celery stalk.
- Scientifically known as Apium graveolens L. var. rapaceum.
- Its exterior is rough and bumpy, while its interior resembles a potato.
- Its leaves are not the typical celery you’re used to but are excellent for making veggie stock.
- Flavor: A mix of celery leaves, parsley, turnips with an earthy tone.
Key Health Benefits:
- Supports Immune Health: Packed with vitamins C and E, and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and combat free radicals.
- Boosts Heart Health: Contains vitamin C which reduces hypertension risks, vitamin K for blood clotting, soluble fiber to reduce cholesterol, and potassium to maintain heart rhythm and blood pressure.
- Champions Gut Health: Offers a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber which supports healthy digestion and the gut microbiome.
- Aids in Bone Health: Contains calcium, phosphorus, and manganese which are essential for bone health.
- Supports Metabolic Health: A good option for people with metabolic disorders due to its fiber content which regulates blood sugar spikes and energy levels. Also, it’s low in total carbohydrates.
- Rich in B Vitamins: Especially vitamin B6 which supports the body’s regular functions and helps treat and prevent anemia.
Cooking with Celeriac:
- When buying, opt for medium-sized bulbs that are firm, heavy, and free from cracks or discoloration.
- Store in the veggie drawer of the fridge for up to two months or a cool, dry place like potatoes.
- Clean thoroughly and peel the tough outer skin before using.
- Can be eaten raw in salads or slaws, or cooked in various dishes like soups, stews, pies, and even as a potato alternative in mashes.
- Famous dishes featuring celeriac include the French celeri remoulade.
Celeriac is a versatile and nutritious root vegetable that deserves more recognition. Its myriad health benefits and unique taste make it a worthy addition to any kitchen. As you embrace the fall harvest season, don’t forget to give celeriac a chance!