Isn’t celery like celery or what else do you not know? Discover all its secrets!

Celery is an unsightly vegetable whose appearance deters rather than entices.

However, it works very well in many recipes, an honest sirloin sauce would not be honest and certainly not traditional without celery.

Not only that! In addition, celery is low-calorie and ranks among the most dietary ingredients in the whole world.

You think you know him, but is it really true?

Discover everything you didn’t know before!

What is celery?

Among the vegetables referred to as celery are all types of the plant that has the botanical name of celery ( Apium graveolens ). However, not all celery is celery, and there is considerable variation in the use of these plant species across the planet. This also leads to confusion of individual names and designations.

Apium graveolens var. rapaceum Apium graveolens var. dulce
in the Czech Republic known as celery in the Czech Republic known as stalked celery
in the US known as celery stalks, root,
(English celeriac, celery root)
known as celery in the US
(English celery)
grown for the root grown for petioles
used mainly in Europe and Asia used mainly in North and South America

Celery as you (don’t) know it

Celery (an unsightly white tuber) comes from the plant Apium graveolens var. rapaceum . It is commonly mistaken for celery root ( Apium graveolens var. dulce ), but it is not. Each of these celery is a completely different species.

Celery bulb sliced and whole

Celery ( Apium graveolens var. rapaceum ) is sometimes called celery stalks in the world, while specifically in Europe, the name “celery stalks” is used for the stem type of celery ( Apium graveolens var. dulce ). So, for example, if you ask for “celery stalks” in the US, chances are you’ll get a celery bulb.

Celery is classified as a root vegetable, similar to carrots. However, its tuber is not actually a tuber, nor a root, but a stem, or hypocotyl. Plant roots grow from it.

Celery as medicine: Why is it healthy?

Celery provides a high content of fiber, minerals and vitamins. It is especially rich in vitamin B6, C and K, minerals potassium and iron. It is also a source of several health-promoting antioxidants. Their effects are described later in the article.

Content of nutrients, vitamins and minerals in 100 g of celery:

Raw celery
100 g
recommended daily dose
1 celery (500 g)
Calcium 43 mg 21%
Iron 0.7 mg 35%
Potassium 300 mg 405%
Zinc 0.33 mg 11%
Manganese 0.158 mg 7%
Vitamin C 8 mg 40%
Vitamin B6 0.165 mg 58%
Choline 9 mg 4.5%
Vitamin E 0.36 mg 18%
Vitamin K 41 µg 215%

Celery antioxidants have a strong anti-inflammatory effect and protect human cells from damage by free radicals. For that reason, consumption of celery is recommended as a prevention of heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease.

Among other things, celery also contains a large amount of vitamin C, which significantly strengthens the immune system. It has anticarcinogenic, antioxidant and antiviral properties. It reduces the risk of stomach, colon and rectal cancer.

For an adult, one celery offers up to 215% of the recommended daily dose of vitamin K. It is very important for bone health. It supports the absorption of calcium and thus prevents the loss of bone mass. Studies have shown that people who regularly include vitamin K in their diet have a 22% lower risk of fractures. A daily dose of 45 mg of vitamin K has been shown to be effective in reducing the risk of hip fracture in the elderly by an incredible 77%.

Celery provides another important element – potassium. Consumption of higher doses of potassium is generally associated with a lower risk of stroke, according to some studies it reduces this risk by as much as 13%. One celery provides over 400% of the recommended daily intake of potassium. For that reason, it is a suitable diet for the elderly as a prevention of stroke.

When is eating raw celery dangerous?

Raw celery is one of the strong allergens, so it can cause a really serious reaction. Celery allergy symptoms include:

  • rash, hives
  • swelling in the neck and face
  • breathing problems, shortness of breath and cough

In case of breathing problems, it is necessary to seek medical help, as they can lead to a state of anaphylaxis. This anaphylactic shock is life-threatening and can be fatal.

Celery allergens are eliminated by heat treatment, thereby reducing the risk of an allergic reaction. Usually, the allergens are completely destroyed only after the celery has passed the boiling point.

What else to watch out for before eating celery?

At the same time, celery ranks 11th in the list of foods that are most often treated with pesticides. Unwashed celery can cause an allergic reaction just because it is covered in pesticides. They are also classified as allergens. In larger quantities, pesticides can also be toxic and can cause symptoms of mild poisoning.

Pregnant women should consume celery (both raw and cooked) in moderation and rather rarely. This is because it contains compounds that can stimulate the uterus and cause premature contractions.

How to prepare celery

  1. Wash the celery properly.
  2. Cut off the roots (“tails”) with a sharp knife.
  3. Cut off the hardened (so-called lignified) lower and upper part.
  4. Peel the whole celery with a peeler, cut the peel from hard-to-reach places with a knife.
  5. Well-peeled celery will lose about ¼ of its weight.

After the skin is removed, the white pulp begins to react with air (oxidize) and turns brown. So if you are not going to process the celery immediately, soak it in water with a drop of lemon or vinegar.

How to eat celery, processing tips and recipes

Not only is celery high in fiber, but it’s also low in carbohydrates. It is thus a perfect substitute for potatoes in low-carb diets. Its use in keto diet recipes is becoming more and more popular, because celery can be substituted not only for potatoes, but also for sweet potatoes or turnips.

In addition, it is low-calorie, contains almost no fat, which is why it is also suitable for children from six months of age.

Comparison of the nutritional values of celery and potatoes:

Raw celery
100 g
Boiled celery
100 g
Boiled potatoes
100 g
Energy value 42 kcal 27 kcal 78 kcal
Proteins 1.5 g 0.96 g 2.86 g
Fats 0.3 g 0.19 g 0.1 g
Carbohydrates 9.2 g 5.9 g 17.2 g
Fiber 1.8 g 1.2 g 3.3 g

Can you eat raw celery?

Raw celery is exceptionally crunchy and juicy. It has a nutty taste, but it disappears with cooking. For this reason, many cooks prefer to use raw celery rather than cooked. This is not unusual, especially if the goal is a fresh and light dish.

Celery salad with apples is commonly prepared from raw celery, grated or finely chopped. This sweet and salty combination is not only a great and healthy snack for children, but also serves as a light and crunchy side dish for lunch. For example, in France, celery is mostly used uncooked due to the traditional Céleri Rémoulade salad, which consists only of raw celery and dressing.

Traditionally, fresh celery is also used to prepare healthy and light spreads, be inspired by the top recipes for celery spreads and try the popular version with carrots or with cheese.

How long does celery cook?

  • Cut the thoroughly peeled celery into 3 cm pieces.
  • Place them in a pot and cover with water so that they are completely submerged.
  • Cover and cook on low heat for 15 minutes until soft.

Celery cooked in this way can be served straight, just lightly salted and with butter. It can also be mashed and flavored with herbs, similar to mashed potatoes.

Another popular option is to blend the cooked pieces into celery puree. If you are not a fan of pure celery taste, combine it with potatoes and serve potato-celery mash, with Dutch schnitzel, for example.

In Europe, celery is generally used mostly as an ingredient in soups. Due to its pungent taste, celery soups are especially popular in winter, for warming up. Not only are they extremely healthy, they are also quite filling. Test one of the recipes for celery soup , you will be pleasantly surprised.

When you hear “svíčková”, most people immediately think of a traditional and honest sauce, on cream. The kind our grandmothers’ grandmothers used to cook. True sirloin, however, is not sirloin without celery. Take a look at traditional and non-traditional recipes for sirloin sauce and you will see for yourself that celery is a part of almost every version – both real and fake sirloin.

How long does celery cook?

  • Preheat the oven to 240°C.
  • Cut the celery into pieces and coat with olive oil.
  • Bake for about 40 minutes. During baking, it is advisable to stir the celery several times so that it is roasted on all sides.

Baked celery can be served as a side dish to meat, for example instead of so-called “American” potatoes.

If you cut the celery into thin slices, you can bake healthy chips from them in the same way in 15-20 minutes. Don’t forget to try the recipe for celery fries , which are also baked in the oven and look much better on the plate than celery pieces as a side dish.

Celery patties are also very popular in many variations. Either in the healthier version – baked in the oven, or in the less healthy version – fried in oil. Get inspired by the best recipes for celery meatballs aka schnitzels and discover patties suitable not only for vegetarians and vegans, but also for carnivores!

Use in recipes: What to combine celery with?

Celery works great with rosemary, thyme, coriander, parsley, basil, chives, ginger, chilli, turmeric, curry, blue cheeses, walnuts, apples, pears, pineapple, carrots, parsley, cauliflower, peas, corn, seafood , fish, poultry and pork.

How to store celery?

If celery is stored in a dry place and at temperatures up to 10 °C, it will last well for up to five months. But keep it without stems and leaves so that it does not tend to rot from the center.

Processing the remaining leaves and stalks of celery

Celery leaves do not necessarily need to be thrown away. They can be dried, like other herbs, and then seasoned with them. Compared to other spices, however, celery leaves lose their aroma over time.

Celery stalks can be processed immediately after harvesting into a broth or into a stewed mixture of root vegetables. It is edible and completely safe to use. However, it spoils or wilts very quickly and thus becomes unpleasant in taste.

Both the cut stalks and the leaves can be safely frozen, so they retain their typical taste and you can use them all year round.

Growing and harvesting

Because it is not frost-resistant, celery is first planted in the second half of May, when the ground has already warmed up. Celery is not one of the undemanding crops, but on the contrary, it requires nutritious soil and plenty of water. Celery is normally harvested as early as July, even if the bulbs are not yet fully grown. The full harvest of ripe celery then only takes place in September.


Celery ( Apium graveolens var. dulce ) is one of the staples of American cuisine, where it is referred to simply as “celery”. In the Czech Republic, its popularity has also grown considerably in recent years. Compared to the tuber, the petioles are more watery, so they do not have as much pulp. For that reason, they hardly retain their specific celery flavor after processing.

Celery several pieces

What is a petiole? The individual stems of the plant are mistakenly referred to as petioles, but they are called ribs. The petiole is then a whole bunch of these ribs/stems. So one petiole is one entire petiole of celery.

Celery stalks and the effect on human health

Because celeriac is 95% water, it does not contain as many vitamins, minerals and antioxidants as celeriac. Nevertheless, it is still a good source of potassium and vitamin K, offering up to 40% of the recommended daily dose.

Vitamin content in 100 g of celeriac:

Raw celeriac
100 g
Recommended daily intake
Water 95.4 g X
Calcium 40 mg 4%
Magnesium 11 mg 3%
Potassium 260 mg 70%
Zinc 0.13 mg 1%
Vitamin C 3.1 mg 3%
Niacin 0.32 mg 2%
Lutein and zeaxanthin 283 μg 4%
Vitamin E 0.27 mg 3%
Vitamin K 29.3 μg 40%

Crunchy scallions offer many health benefits as they contain approximately 25 anti-inflammatory compounds. These, as the name suggests, act as a prevention of inflammation in the body. They prevent, for example, the onset of arthritis and osteoporosis.

The petioles provide unique protection for the digestive tract, mainly the stomach. Studies have shown that their compound apiuman reduces the incidence of stomach ulcers and helps restore the healthy state of the stomach wall. Celery also dilutes gastric juices, which is why it is commonly included in diets that eliminate problems with esophageal reflux.

In general, celeriac is also recommended to relieve menstrual pain. Due to its high water content, it relieves flatulence and intestinal problems during menstruation. Consuming the petioles promotes blood flow to the uterus, so in some cases it can help start menstruation. However, due to this property, it can cause much heavier bleeding during menstruation.

How to prepare, cook and eat celeriac? Great summary!

With its 9 calories per whole stalk, celeriac is considered not only a low-calorie food, but even one of the most dietary. It does not contain any cholesterol and fats, and carbohydrates in an absolutely negligible amount.

Nutritional values of raw and cooked celeriac:

Raw celery
1 piece (bunch)
Boiled celery
1 piece (bunch)
Energy value 8.96 kcal 11.52 kcal
Proteins 0.44 g 0.53 g
Carbohydrates 1.9 g 2.56 g
Fiber 1.02 g 1.02 g
Fats 0.11 g 0.10 g
Calcium 25.6 mg 26.88 mg
Magnesium 7.04 mg 7.68 mg
Sodium 51.2 mg 58 mg
Selenium 0.26 μg 0.64 μg
Vitamin C 1.98 mg 3.9 mg
Niacin 0.205 mg 0.238 mg
Lutein and zeaxanthin 181 μg 210 μg
Vitamin K 18.8 μg 24.2 μg
Vitamin E 0.173 mg 0.223 mg

During heat treatment, celeriac not only preserves its nutrient content, but on the contrary increases it! For example, the amount of vitamin C is doubled by cooking. So boiled, stewed, baked, grilled is even healthier and more beneficial to the body.

How long does celeriac cook?

The best way to cook celery stalks so they don’t overcook is to slow-simmer.

  1. Line the bottom of a pan or pot with individual ribs, salt and pepper and add about 2 tablespoons of butter and a cup of water.
  2. Cover with a lid and cook on low heat for 30 minutes.

Celery stalks are a truly indispensable ingredient in some parts of the world. It is popular not only in American, but also Vietnamese and French cuisine. It becomes an irreplaceable basis for sauces and especially broths and soups. Try one of the celery stalk soup recipes and enjoy it like the French, or learn how to make Mirepoix and create your own celery stalk soup recipe!

Mirepoix or boiled celeriac is the basis of the kitchen

Celery stalks are part of the so-called Mirepoix, which is the basis of several hundred recipes for soups and sauces. This is a traditional technique to prepare a flavor base. Mirepoix comes from France; however, it is also well known in the Czech Republic.

How is French Mirepoix prepared?

  • Mirepoix consists of onions, celery and carrots in a ratio of 2:1:1.
  • These vegetables are chopped and then “cooked” in a large amount of butter at a really low temperature. Stir constantly for about 12 minutes until soft and golden (it must not turn completely brown).
  • It might appear that these are sautéed vegetables, but the intention of the Mirepoix preparation method is not to caramelize as in sautéing, but to cook.

Mirepoix is convenient to prepare in large quantities, which after cooling it is sufficient to divide into individual portions and freeze, which absolutely every cook will appreciate for future (very quick) use.

Mirepoix raw chopped

Other known variations:

  • The Holy Trinity: butter + onion, celeriac, green pepper in a ratio of 1:1:1
  • Soffritto (Italian base): olive oil + onion, carrot, celeriac in a ratio of 1:3:3, a glass of white wine is poured over the last 5 minutes of cooking
  • Sofrito (Spanish base): olive oil + garlic (whole head), onion, tomato, pepper in a ratio of 1:2:2:3
  • Pinçage: butter + onion, celeriac, carrot, tomato puree (canned) in a ratio of 2:1:1, the puree is cooked from the beginning with the other vegetables
  • Chinese base: sunflower oil + spring onion (bundle), garlic, ginger in a ratio of 2:1:1
  • Indian base: ghee + onion, garlic (whole head), ginger, chili in a ratio of 2:1:1:1

Baked celeriac

For many chefs, celeriac is primarily a vegetable for cooking, or, conversely, an ingredient for raw use. Baked is not so common, but it is all the tastier for that! Plus, it looks really cool on a plate.

Important rules for preparing baked petioles:

  1. Always wash and clean the petioles properly. Cut off all the leaves that would burn unnecessarily and split the petioles lengthwise.
  2. Bake slowly. Celery stalks are cooked longer to caramelize and sweeten.
  3. Place the petioles on the baking paper, cut side up. Brush each piece thoroughly on all sides with olive oil. Salt it.
  4. Bake in a well preheated oven at 180°C for about 50 minutes.
  5. During baking, turn the petioles several times so that they are toasted on all sides.
  6. Celery stalks are cooked when they are soft enough to pierce easily with a knife and are golden brown all over.

Serve the roasted petioles as a snack, perhaps with your favorite herb, garlic or cheese dip. Greek sauce with dill, aka tzatziki, also goes well with them.

Eating raw celeriac

Using the petioles raw is the most popular processing ever. For example, it is usually consumed just like that, on its own as a healthy snack or late dinner. Chopped, it is also added to vegetable dishes or salads, or used to prepare spreads. Get inspired by celery spread tips and try something unusual, like a recipe for celery stalk spread with peanut butter.

As it has immense health benefits for the digestive system, it is an integral part of mixed drinks aka smoothies. It is most often combined with carrots, apples, cucumber, spinach and strawberries. Check out all the recipes for a healthy celery stalk smoothie and choose one that will not only taste good but also start your day!

Types of celery stalks

According to archaeological evidence, celery stalks were purposefully cultivated as early as around 850 BC for their medicinal effects. Several hundreds (perhaps even thousands) of varieties were bred during the modern era. Only the Italians bred several dozen cultivars, because they found the original stalked celery too strong and bitter in taste.

Among the three absolutely basic types are: stalked celery green, pink and white.

Pink stalked celery

As the name itself suggests, the petiole and ribs of this celery are pink in color, both light and dark fuchsia. Compared to the classic green cultivar, pink celery is smaller but more aromatic. It has a strong herbal taste, which becomes weaker and sweeter after heat treatment.

It comes from Asia and is most likely a direct descendant of an ancient wild type of celery. To this day, it is considered a unique and special ingredient in China, which is only served in luxury restaurants.

Excellent with fermented soy products, almonds, sesame and rice oil, rice, potatoes, oysters, shrimp, poultry, pork and beef, ginger, chili, garlic and mushrooms.

Pink stalked celery

White stalked celery

White celery was deliberately bred for a milder taste. It is less aromatic, more fresh and sweeter. White varieties are less available on the market, as they are essentially a relatively young species among the celeriacs.

Soy and Worcestershire sauce, avocado, apples, pears, lemongrass, ginger, garlic, tomatoes, lentils, chickpeas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, mushrooms, Parmesan, Balkan cheese, mozzarella, thyme, bay leaf and cumin – these ingredients combined with the stalk they taste delicious with white celery.

White stalked celery

(Traditional) green stalked celery

Green stalked celery is a common and native species. The most commonly sold varieties are Pascal , Utah and are available year-round. An interesting fact is that these varieties were bred from varieties imported from Europe, although in European countries it is more common to have bulb celery than petiole.

It tastes best in combination with cream, onions, apples, white wine, wine and balsamic vinegar, edamame, gouda, white pepper, vanilla, cinnamon, mushrooms, peanuts, capers, salmon, tuna, pork, lamb and beef.

Green stalked celery

Celery was first described as a culinary ingredient in 1623 in France.

How to store stalked celery so that it lasts a really long time?

Storage in plastic bags will cause early rotting of celery stalks. The best way is to store in aluminum foil. Wrap the whole stalked celery in aluminum foil. You will only be successful if you wrap it really thoroughly and tightly. That is, so that moisture and air do not get to the celery through any cracks.

Celery wrapped in this way will stay fresh and healthy for up to four weeks. In contrast, wrapped in a plastic bag, it will probably start to rot after just one week.

Growing petioled celery

Growing celeriac is generally considered problematic. It has a relatively long growing season and zero tolerance to high and low temperatures. Celery is planted when outside daytime temperatures do not fall below 10 °C, nighttime temperatures below 4 °C.

Like celeriac, celeriac needs a lot of water throughout its growth. In addition, it does not tolerate higher temperatures of 32 °C very well.

Celery stalks are harvested from July until autumn. Young, barely ripe celery tastes exactly the same as fully ripe. However, the more ripe it is, the darker it gets.

Wild celery, the ancestor of all celery and an ancient medicine

Wild celery has its original place of growth in the Mediterranean region. It is similar to celeriac, but its stalks are not commonly consumed. The leaves and seeds of wild celery have a very distinct flavor, much stronger than celeriac and celeriac. They are used as spices.

Although the seeds are small, they are not actually seeds, but whole fruits. In ancient times, liver and intestinal diseases were treated with them.

Wild celery

The taste of wild celery resembles a combination of anise, coriander, fennel and mint. It is usually used to flavor grilled or roasted vegetables, broths and vegetable purees. Goes great with carrots, pumpkin, potatoes, beetroot, chicory, nuts, butter, olive oil, basil, dill, parsley, bacon, bacon, cheddar and parmesan.

Unlike celery, wild celery is not a common allergen.

Health benefits of wild celery

  • Wild celery seeds have antioxidant, antifungal and anti-inflammatory effects.
  • They relieve the symptoms of skin problems including psoriasis.
  • It has a beneficial effect on digestive and menstrual problems.
  • The essential oils pressed from the plant stimulate the nerves, thereby blocking panic and hysterical attacks and inducing calmness.
  • They are also suitable for lowering blood pressure and high cholesterol levels.
  • They rid the body of uric acid and prevent arthritis.

Traditional Ayurvedic cures or natural medicine from wild celery:

  • Gout disease:
    3 tablespoons of seeds + 6 cups of water;
    boil under the lid for 2 hours, then strain and drink 1 cup at least 3 times a day.
  • Kidney stones:
    2 cups wild celery leaves + 4 cups water;
    boil under the lid for 30 minutes, strain and drink 1 cup a day.
  • Wrinkles:
    2 cups leaves + 2 cups stems + 1 cup water;
    mix and apply to skin cooled from the refrigerator, 3 times a week.
  • Stomach ache:
    1 cup of dried leaves + 2 tablespoons of rock salt;
    crush the leaves and mix with salt, take one teaspoon 3 times a day, after meals.
  • Joint pain:
    dried wild celery seeds;
    mix into a fine powder and use a teaspoon mixed in a glass of water, once a day.
  • Anemia:
    2 cups leaves + 1 carrot + 1 cup water;
    mix and drink when red blood cells are low.
  • Loss of appetite and anorexia:
    0.5 cup dried ginger + 0.5 cup dried wild celery seeds + 1 teaspoon pepper + 1 teaspoon cumin + 1 teaspoon salt;
    mix into a powder, take 0.5 teaspoons immediately after meals, but no more than 2 times a day.

Milan & Ondra

We are both fans of good food and enjoy cooking. On this website, we want to inspire you with traditional, but also less common recipes. We will be happy if you try our recipes and let us know how you liked them. Bon appetite! :)