Can You Eat Celery Raw?

There are three types of celery that differ in appearance but are all spicy, aromatic, and healthy. But is it safe to eat them raw? We reveal that here.

The wild form of celery (Apium graveolens) has its roots in the Mediterranean region. It reached our latitudes via the coastal areas of Europe and found its way into gardens, kitchens, and medicine. From the wild species, three different cultural forms have developed over time. These have in common the species name “graveolens”, which characteristically translates to “strongly smelling” and can be found in the spicy scent of all parts of the plants.

The strong aroma so typical of celery is created by the high content of essential oils. These stimulate metabolism and digestion and, thanks to their draining, diuretic effect, are said to help with gout or high blood pressure. The vegetables also contain health-promoting phytochemicals, plenty of minerals, and a variety of vitamins. Eating celery raw is best for your health because many valuable nutrients are lost through the heat of cooking. Celery is known as a crunchy raw food snack. But celeriac and cut celery can also be eaten raw without hesitation.

Eating celery raw: The most important things in brief

The species name “graveolens” can be translated as “strong smelling” and can be found in all cultivated forms of celery in the spicy scent. Essential oils are responsible for this, which stimulate metabolism and digestion and are said to help against symptoms of gout or high blood pressure. In addition to secondary plant substances and minerals, vegetables contain plenty of vitamins. Many ingredients are lost during cooking, so it is healthiest to eat celery raw – whether celery sticks, bulbs, or celery stalks.

Celeriac – how does it taste best raw?

As the name suggests, celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapacious) forms rounded tubers with yellowish-white to greenish-brown skin and white flesh. The tubers protrude halfway out of the ground and merge into the heavily branched roots below, and densely packed green stalks with heavily serrated leaves above. In addition to carrots, leeks, and parsley, celeriac is also an integral part of soup greens. It is used in the preparation of soups, stews, and sauces and, with its crispy breading, is a popular vegetarian alternative to schnitzel. Together with apples and walnuts as well as mayonnaise, cream, a little lemon juice, and salt, the classic Waldorf salad is made from raw celeriac. The healthy root vegetables are also enjoyed in the form of smoothies – for example in combination with ginger, apple, carrots, lemon, and baby spinach.

Tip: Smaller tubers are more tender and less fibrous, while older tubers develop a stronger aroma.

Celery – the raw food classic

Celery (Apium graveolens var. dulce) is often also referred to as white celery, stem celery, or celery. Instead of a large root bulb, it forms about 60 centimeters long, grooved, light green leaf stalks, which are popular as a crunchy snack and are often used, especially when losing weight. Celery decorates raw food plates and is well suited for dipping yogurt, quark, cream cheese, or all kinds of dips. Cut into small pieces, it also spices up various salad recipes. Individual sticks add an aromatic touch to the hearty cocktail classic Bloody Mary made from tomato juice, vodka, and spicy ingredients such as pepper or Tabasco. Freshly juiced, celery is also said to help detoxify the body and balance the water balance. The high magnesium content nourishes the muscles after exercise and has a calming effect on the nervous system.

Our tips: Fibrous stalks are easy to get rid of with a vegetable peeler. In order to get the freshest possible celery, you should make sure when you buy it that the leaves are not hanging limp and that the stalks hardly or only slightly give way when you bend them.

Cut celery – an aromatic herb

As with celery, the root tuber of cut celery (Apium graveolens var. secalinum), also known as leaf celery, is hardly or not at all developed. The stems are significantly thinner than the other cultivars, but they are even more aromatic and flavorful than the leaves. Their shape is very reminiscent of parsley and they are used as a spice in many hearty dishes. Sliced ​​celery goes well with meat, but is also good in salads or stews and refines rather mild vegetable dishes such as mashed potatoes with healthy seasoning.

Tip: If you dry the leaves, they lose some of their aromas. To preserve it, for example in the wintertime, you can use finely chopped slices

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