A dieters staple is celery and over the summer we tend to eat a lot more salad; inevitably there is always some left over in the bottom of the fridge at the end of the week.
It is a great “diet” food as it offers bulk for very few calories (about 10 calories per 100g). Many people believe that eating celery gives them “negative calories” thinking that eating celery burns more calories than there are in the celery itself. Apparently this is a bit of a myth, but only in that we use so few calories in eating and digesting that it is impossible to accurately record any truth in the idea.
So, what to do with leftover celery:
Firstly, if stored carefully in the fridge is will keep for up to 2 weeks (sometimes longer). In fact I will often buy one reduced on its sell by date and it keeps perfectly well and crisp in the “chiller drawer”
Celery can sometimes continue to “grow”, so if you have room in the fridge it is sometimes possible to store upright in a tall jar with a tiny bit of water in the bottom and you will see the center continue to grow and provide some tasty little leaves.
You can even replant the center part and regrow another plant (although our attempts at this have not yet been successful)
As well as numerous ways of serving celery raw in salads, dips or healthy nibbles it can also be used as a very cheap vegetable.
When cooked it has a salty flavor enabling you to use less normal salt (great if you are watching your sodium intake)
When making a bolognese or lasagne, finely chop a stalk or two of celery and add to the sauce. This adds some more bulk as well as giving some extra seasoning and flavor and a little bit of texture.
I like to use celery in casseroles (especially chicken) as the flavors seem to blend together very well and again gives a natural seasoning and adding bulk and fibre to the dish.
It is also a great addition to soups and stocks.
If you are doing something like boiling a piece of ham; add some chopped celery, onion, carrot, bay leaf and some pearl barley to the water and you will create the base of a soup at the same time.
A look on the internet provided a myriad of recipes for celery so we can enjoy this healthy vegetable all year round.
A note of caution though: in my search on “tinternet” I noticed that celery is apparently one of those foods that in some people will cause a severe allergic reaction, which I didn’t know – so worth remembering if cooking for guests