Celery is a biennial plant - that means it flowers in its second year of growth. We eat celery in its first year – before it has got to the flowering stage. It is a member of the Umbelliferae family, which includes carrots, parsnips, and fennel. All parts of the plant are edible, including the leaves, stalks, roots and seeds. Celery has been prized medicinally for centuries. It has established properties of reducing high blood pressure.

Nutrionally, celery is a high scorer. It has abundant Vitamin C plus Vits A, B6, B2, B1, calcium, sodium and potassium, other trace elements including iron. 

Celery has been shown to reduce blood pressure, reduce cholesterol, have anti-oxidant and anti-cancer properties, and due to its abundant natural salts, is extremely good at regulating body fluid balance.

Celery juice is an excellent drink after a sweaty work out! Combined with apple, and maybe some cucumber, it is perhaps the best recovery aid you could find. It will replenish your system with Vits A B and C, sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.

Celery basics

  • Store in the fridge in a plastic bag. If limp, sprinkle with water and pop back in the fridge.
  • Use the leaves – they have the highest levels of Vit C, Calcium and potassium. Add them to a mixed leaf salad.
  • Chopped celery stalks can be added to tuna or chicken salads.
  • Braise chopped stalks with onions and garlic, serve topped with walnuts and soft cheese.
  • Add chopped leaves and stalks to soups, stews, casseroles and stir fries.
  • Blanch or cook lightly, then freeze to be cooked or added to a recipe at a later date.

Celery recipes

Tuna / chicken Salad

  • 1 Can Tuna, or 250 gm cooked diced chicken.
  • 2 stalks chopped celery.
  • 100 gm chopped walnuts
  • 1 onion – minced or finely chopped.
  • Mayonnaise

Mix all ingredients together – quantities can be varied to suit. Serve on a bed of  Lettuce and Tomato.

Curried Lentils

  • 250gm lentils (any sort will do!)
  • 1 pint stock 
  • 1 onion
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 250 gm kale
  • 2 carrots - diced
  • 2 stalks celery - diced
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • chopped fresh coriander

Sautee gently the onion in a little stock – or use oil if you prefer. Add the other vegetables, then the curry powder. Sautee to bring out the curry flavour. Add the lentils, stock and tomatoes. Simmer, uncovered, until cooked. The vegetables should be tender – the nutrients will not be lost as they will remain in the stock. Add more stock if required to cook the lentils fully. Finally, just before serving, add the chopped coriander.

Quantities are approximate. Curry paste can be used instead of powder.

Serve with rice, with cous-cous, quinoa, or potatoes!

The flavour will improve if left overnight, or re heated.

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