Always a bridesmaid, never the bride! Celery

How can something with effectively negative calories have an impact on your health? Well I´ll tell you. Commonly found slathered in peanut butter, standing to attention in a Bloody Mary, nestled alongside carrots in crudités platters, celery often plays a supporting role when it comes to snacks and meals. Always a bridesmaid, never the bride! But if you stop to think about it, it does kind of make sense on the surface level, there really isn't that much to celery. For example, one celery stick contains just half a calorie, you don't feel too naughty when you have one. To put that in perspective, the same amount of carrot contains three times that amount .How is it then that a food can be so low in calories? It's because celery is over 95% water. The rest of it is fibre, sugar, and then minuscule amounts of protein and fat. So the next logical question is, If there's not much to celery, why do we even eat it? I am sure a lot of you don't, and think its the devils food.
There are actually some surprising side effects of eating celery, one major one is that you'll get a solid dose of inflammation-fighting antioxidants.There also seems to be a cultural obsession with celery these days. With the Kardashians touting the health benefits of the veggie's juice, who says that there is some truth to what influencers have been claiming? Sometimes it may be  worth Keeping up with the Kardashians, a family that has "no real skills beyond being famous for being famous". Maybe before long 
the birth will be announced of of Celery Kardashian? Anyway what benefits might those be?Apium graveolens L (aka celery) provides a potent antioxidant cocktail which helps tackle
inflammation, lower harmful blood lipids, temper blood sugar, and many other potential health 
benefits. So, yes, there really is more to celery than just being crunchy water. You can reap these antioxidant benefits by including celery in your daily diet, but you may be better off sipping it. Drinking celery juice will provide a more concentrated source for getting all of the benefits from celery.
If you're not interested in green juice, don't worry. While you may not be able to chew through enough raw celery to consume the same levels of antioxidants, you can still benefit from celery's low-calorie, high-fibre properties. As a crunchy snack, you can reap some serious weight-loss benefits if you choose celery to dip into your hummus or make into a ranch style mayonnaise dressing for your chips  or salad.

Celery leaf and almond pesto
Celery and almond I thought sounded like a perfect pesto combination, so I combined salted Marcona almonds in place of the  usual pine nuts to make an even richer and creamier celery leaf and almond pesto. The celery leaf was very fresh tasting. It’s a great way to make use of every part of the celery. Just think bottom for mirepoix and top for pesto.
All you have to do is blend together in the food processor: 4 cups of fresh celery leaves (Chinese celery if you are lucky enough to find it is more leafy, darker in colour, and has a more pronounced celery taste), 1/3 cup raw blanched almonds, 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil, 2 large garlic cloves (peeled), 1/3 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, and 1 teaspoon salt. 
Some other more unusual ways of using celery

My grandmother used to serve braised celery (recipe below)
That's I think where my taste for it stems from. You've got a bundle of celery in the back of your salad drawer. 
(Go check. You do?)
This is what you could do with it
Enjoy my peanut butter with celery and cream cheese in a sandwich as tried and tested by James Ramsden in the Guardian
Use celery leaves in salads.
Next time you are making a smoothie give it a unique taste dimension by adding some celery to it.
Add celery leaves and sliced celery stalks to soups, stews, casseroles, and healthy stir fries

Quick braised celery 
1 head of celery,trimmed,de-stringed and cut into 7.5cm pieces (3 inch)
25g (1 oz) butter
1 medium onion,peeled and thinly sliced
75g (3 oz) carrot,peeled and thinly sliced
225ml (8fl oz)  marigold vegetable bouillon
1 tablespoon chopped fresh flat leaf parsley,celery leaves for garnish
salt and freshly milled black pepper 
First of all melt the butter in the frying pan and begin to cook the onions for 3-4 minutes over a medium to high heat, until lightly golden, then add the carrots and cook for a further 2 minutes.
Now add the celery and continue to fry for 5 minutes more, or until everything is slightly browned at the edges. Season with salt and black pepper, then pour in the hot stock and place a lid on the pan.
Turn the heat down and simmer gently for 20 minutes, until the vegetables are almost tender, then take the lid off and increase the heat to medium and continue to simmer till the liquid has reduced and become slightly syrupy – about 5 minutes.
Serve the celery with the juices poured over and sprinkled with the parsley.
......and finally
I found this unusual recipe for "celery on celery salad" by Rick Martinez on Epicurious and Bonappétit


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