Low-kJ celery will keep you healthy during these chilly winter months, says Laura Fudim.
Varieties: Australian celery is not sold by variety and is available all year round, although it’s most abundant in winter.
Buying: Look for celery that is pale green in colour with bright green leaves and crisp stems.
Storing: Celery will last up to one week in the refrigerator when stored in a plastic bag.
Preparing: Wash and eat raw, or slice and add to curries, stir-fries, pasta dishes, soups and salads. Celery is a natural flavour enhancer, so add it liberally to any savoury recipe. Don’t discard the white inner stalks – many chefs believe those have the most flavour!
4 quick ways with celery
Celery is a great low-kJ replacement for crisps or crackers – and still has that satisfying crunch. Try filling celery sticks with tuna, lowfat peanut butter, low-fat cottage or cream cheese, or pair it with your favourite dip.
Make a refreshing and healthy drink: juice celery, carrots, beets, ginger and apples. It’s an easy way to boost your fruit and veg.
Warm up with this delicious soup: Combine 4 peeled, chopped potatoes and half a bunch chopped celery with 500ml reduced-salt stock and 250ml water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 30 minutes, until potatoes are cooked. Add a chopped leek (white part only) and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, cool slightly, then purée until smooth. In a small bowl, make a paste with 2 tablespoons flour and 1/4 cup skim milk. Stir in 2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream and add to soup. Gently reheat, then serve.
Coleslaw makes a delicious, lowfat side dish. Combine shredded celery and carrot with thinly sliced cabbage. Mix in a generous squeeze of lemon juice, a heaping spoonful of low-fat mayo and a pinch of pepper.
Did you know? Celery makes for a filling, low-kJ snack – 100g has only 65kJ and is 95% water!