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Celeriac: The Underrated Root Veggie with Impressive Health Benefits

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:

  1. Supports Immune Health: Packed with vitamins C and E, and antioxidants that reduce inflammation and combat free radicals.
  2. 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.
  3. Champions Gut Health: Offers a mix of soluble and insoluble fiber which supports healthy digestion and the gut microbiome.
  4. Aids in Bone Health: Contains calcium, phosphorus, and manganese which are essential for bone health.
  5. 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.
  6. 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!

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