Celery root also named celeriac, turnip-rooted celery and knob celery, are literally the root of the celery plant. But it is not the root of vegetable you buy regularly for its leaves or stalk, called celery. This vegetable, celery root is specially cultivated for its root or base.
It is often neglected and misguided veggie. Celery root is the ugly duckling of the vegetable family. It is unattractive fruit but it is well worth and similar to potato both in texture and starchy nature but it is lesser in carbs as compared to potatoes which are the good thing about it. You can replace it with potato when you want to have a baked potato as it is less in calories.
The gnarled root of celery looks rough, thick, and light brown bulb root. It has a great variety of sizes from small to large but the average diameter is 10-14 centimeters. It has a round shape slightly flattened and is covered by small rootlets which form crevices on its surface.
When you remove the outer thick ugly layer of celeriac or celery root you will get a crispy, dense, and firm white flesh looking pretty. You can eat it raw or cut it in winter salads. The crisp celery root transforms into a tender and smooth texture when cooked, similar to the flesh of the cooked potato.
How to Peel Celery Roots
The hideous-looking celery root is difficult to peel or clean. So here I am giving how do I clean the celery root which shall be helpful for you and I hope you would try it next you buy it. Do not think of washing the dirt off the celery root.
It’s worthless because we are not going to use the skin. You should not use the potato peeler because the skin of celery root is very thick, very dirty, and oddly shaped for the peeler. Instead, you should use a knife. With a knife, remove the top and bottom of the celery root. With flat bottom on the cutting board, use your knife to take off about a ¼ inch of the peel, all around the root.
You are going to miss a bunch of spots and it’s still going to be very dirty but that’s ok. Once you have most of the peel off, trash the peel, and clean up the cutting board. Rinse the celery root under cold water to remove the dirt.
Take a look around the celery root and cut away any remaining peel or dark spots, where the peel has folded into the root itself until you are left with an all-white root. Rinse off the root one more time and you are good to go.
Aroma and Taste
You cannot judge a thing because of its appearance until your know-how is its inside so is that in the case of celery roots.
This celery root has a taste like a cross between a stalk of celery and parsley. It has a little nutty flavor making it a lovely roasting veggie.
Cooked celery root delivers nutty sweetness with a warm, buttery, earthy quality that is endlessly un-comparable.
Being a cousin of celery, celeriac or celery root smells much like earthy celery when fresh and it hardly smells at all when old. The smell of celery root is a little bit less than that of celery stalk.
Once you smell it you are going to love it.
Celery root is popular in Northern and Eastern European regions and Middle East Mediterranean as a winter root vegetable and is commonly used in salads, soups, casseroles, stews, and purees. It is also cultivated in North Africa, Siberia, Southwest Asia, and North America.
The records of celery roots are recorded in history. It was used by ancient Egyptians, Romans, and Greeks for medicinal purposes. The early Greeks called it Selinon and it is also mentioned in Hommer’s Odyssey (a poem by Hommer) in 800 B.C.
Celery roots did not gain the status of important vegetable until the middle ages. In 1623, it was first recorded in France as a food plant and by the end of the 17th century, it was commonly cultivated in most of Europe.
Seasons and Availability of Celery Roots
Celery roots are available throughout the year but you will find the best in winters from October to April.
You can buy the roots from vegetable outlets and shops. They are also available at grocery stores or easily buy it online at low prices.
When you are buying celery roots you should buy carefully and not take the soft, bruised, or wrinkled roots. You should select the roots that feel firm and heavy for their size. If stalks are attached they should look fresh.
Celery root is a great nutritional source having a lot of fibers and vitamins B6, C, and K. It is also a good source of antioxidants and important minerals, such as phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. It contains calories and no fats.
Celery root should be stored in a cool dry place. If you keep it loosely wrapped in a plastic bag in the fridge, it would last several weeks and even longer if it was harvested freshly. Before storing it you should be sure that stalks are removed off the root to store them safely for a long time.
Celery root is among the best providers of essential vitamin K. adequate amount of vitamin k is essential for making your bones healthy and strong. A sufficient amount of vitamin K in bones holds the calcium and there is a deficiency of vitamin K you could be prey to osteoporosis as the calcium would not be held by your bones.
Besides vitamin K celery root also contains other bones friendly minerals calcium and phosphorus which maintain bone strength and structure. Manganese another mineral in celeriac along with other bone supporting minerals improves the bone mass in women along with weak bones which naturally treats osteoporosis.
Vitamin C is essential for collagen synthesis and since it makes the wounds heal faster and makes your immune system strong.
As celery roots are fibrous they help and facilitate the healthy digestion of food. It controls blood sugar spikes and cholesterol levels. Iron is adequately present in celeriac and is one of the most important minerals which fights Anemia by helping the production of red blood cells. Rather than that, it is also equally important for your brain’s functioning and memory.
Vitamin B5 in celery root also called Pantothenic acid which acts as a moisturizer for your skin and helps it keep healthy, soft, and smooth.
Other Root Vegetables
Get discounted copies of my cookbook here.
Fortunately, because of the Ads on our website, readers and subscribers of Healthier Steps are sponsoring many underprivileged families.