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Celeriac: The Underrated Root Veggie with Impressive Health Benefits

Overview:
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.

Conclusion:
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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