I used to walk past those ugly big knobby root ‘things’ in the grocery store but I never really knew what they were used for. Celeriac is not the prettiest of vegetables, but it certainly is tasty!
Celeriac is a root vegetable that is closely related to celery but is not the actual root of celery stalks that we purchase at the store. It came from the Mediterranean and belongs to the same family as carrots, actually. Celeriac comes in different sizes, but it looks like a really ugly, brownish, misshapen turnip with a lot of little knobby roots. Inside, it has smooth white flesh, kind of like a turnip.
Beneath its knobby and gnarly exterior is a firm-textured root vegetable with a nutty, slightly sweet and mellow celery-like crunch. Celeriac, or celery root can be eaten raw or cooked. Celeriac is super versatile. It can be grated and added to slaws and salads or used as a crudité for dipping. Cooked celeriac is awesome mashed, baked, roasted or mixed with mashed potatoes. It’s mild flavor brings out the flavor of fish and chicken dishes, but it actually tastes great with most everything!
Celeriac contains some powerful nutrition worth noting. It is packed with great fiber, which is great for gut health. It’s also full of vitamins B6, C, and K along with phosphorus, potassium, iron, zinc and manganese—not to mention a few important antioxidants. Celeriac only contains 5-6 grams of carbohydrate per 100 grams of cooked vegetable, which makes it a great low-carb alternative to potatoes. It is also a source of antioxidants lutein and Zeaxanthin.
The antioxidants in celeriac fight free radicals in the body, helping to prevent heart disease, strengthen the immune system, improve moods, fight cancer, lower inflammation, fight diabetes and obesity, and slow the aging process.
Helps Banish Anxiety and Depression
B vitamins can help calm your nervous system, helping to prevent anxiety and depression, and easing stress. B vitamins are water soluble so they can easily wash out of your system, so it’s important to replace them frequently. Celeriac contains a healthy dose of B vitamins to help soothe your nervous system, helping the brain and nerves function better.
Great for Digestion and Healthy Gut
The high fiber in celeriac feed your gut bacteria and keep them happy. Eating lots of healthy fiber also keeps your digestive system functioning well, filling you up and making you feel satisfied—so you eat less.
Fiber is also essential in preventing colon cancer, eliminating waste and toxins, and improving nutrient absorption. Because the fiber helps to fill you up, celeriac is a great food to eat when trying to lose weight as well.
Helps Fight Diabetes
Almost 1 out of three people either have diabetes or pre-diabetes, but a healthy diet, low in carbohydrates and sugar can help fight or reverse this serious condition. An interesting finding for a recent study found that for people who ate the most root vegetables, their risk of diabetes was 13% lower than those who did not. And a high intake of all types of vegetables lowers all types of chronic disease.
Celeriac’s antioxidants including the powerful vitamin C, provide nutrients that keep the heart and blood vessels healthy. Vitamin C has been found to moderately lower blood pressure—even in smaller doses. In addition, the potassium in celeriac has also been found to help regulate blood pressure and balance out too much sodium in the diet. Potassium lowers the risk of strokes as well.
Other potential health benefits of Celeriac including helping to suppress Parkinson’s symptoms, improve bone health, and soothing indigestion.
It Tastes Amazing!
Oh, and did I mention—celeriac tastes delicious! Chop it up and add it to a roasted root vegetable mélange, or cook it up and add it to your mashed potato recipe to extra flavor and nutrition. Try this celeriac fries baked in the oven, or grate it and make it part of your next coleslaw recipe.
First, chop your celeriac into 1cm width fries. Lightly coat them with some smoked paprika and a sprinkling of Pink Himalayan salt. Roast for 30 minutes at 200 degrees Celsius – and that’s it!
Celeriac fries are also delicious roasted with a little salt and pepper, then scattered with a grating of parmesan.
Check out this celeriac soup recipe, adapted from Mark’s Daily Apple. It’s amazing—warm, tasty, filling and delicious—especially topped with bacon.
• 1/3 stick butter
• 4 celery stalks, chopped
• 1/4 cup finely chopped shallot (or 1 leek, sliced)
• 2 pounds celery root, (about two large roots) peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
• 6 cups bone broth or chicken broth
• salt and pepper to taste
• 1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
• 1 teaspoon chopped thyme
• 4 slices of bacon crumbled
Over medium low heat, melt the butter in a deep pan. Add celery and shallot/leek and sauté until soft but not overly browned, about five minutes. Add celery root and sauté a few minutes more, then add 6 cups of broth or water and turn up heat slightly. Bring to a boil then turn the heat lower and simmer with a lid on for 35-40 minutes until the celery root is easily pierced with a fork.
Working in small batches puree the soup in a blender, or with a hand blender, until very smooth. If you prefer soup with more texture, only puree half of the celery root and leave the rest in chunks. Use the remaining 2 cups of broth or water to thin out the soup to your desired consistency. Add salt and pepper to taste. Garnish with generous amounts of bacon!