Monday, 13 January 2014

For The Love Of Celery Root

I have no idea why North Americans ignore this amazing vegetable.  Celery root, or celeriac, smells great, tastes delicious, is chock full of fibre, minerals and vitamins and perfect for restricted diets! In fact, it smells so good that I'm pretty sure they talk about me at my grocery store as, "The weird lady who sniffs the ugly root vegetable."  I love it!

It's a mainstay in European cooking, grated into salads, enhancing gratins, soups and stews and to give potato dishes a dash of celery flavour.

Maybe, it scares people off because of it's appearance. ~

French chefs aren't afraid of it and you shouldn't be either.  Once you cut 'er open, she looks like this. ~

This one was a little on the large side and shouldn't have that soft spot.  Look for ones that are no bigger than a baseball to avoid that.

Here's the deal.  Outside of all the health benefits, which you can read about here, celery root is a great way to cut back on calories.  You can use it any way you would use potatoes and, at 45 calories per cup, is 1/3 the amount of calories you would normally get in potatoes.  It's an ideal substitution for dieters and diabetics.

Here's a simple way to get started incorporating it into your diet. I've cut the thick outer skin off, leaving only the inner white part, and cut that into big chunks.  Put those in a pot with potatoes and cook as you normally would.  Celery Root cooks at about the same rate as potatoes and there is no reason to cook it separately.

Mash as you normally would.  I only added a bit of butter.  The celery root retains a bit more water than potatoes and no liquid was required. ~

It looks like mashed potatoes.  It tastes like mashed potatoes, with a bit of a celery zing.  The texture is the same as mashed potatoes.  You just cut the calories on a nice big serving of mashed potatoes by two thirds!  Wait a minute.  That was faulty math.  One half has the usual potato calories and the other half has 1/3 the calories.  My brain hurts so you do the math! ~

You can sneak this one right by kids that don't like vegetables, too!

I think it may lose some of the dieting value when you put this much butter on it. ~

I'm absolutely certain Weight Watchers would frown on the piece of Cajun blackened loin pork I had with it. ~

But, it sure was good!

So, stop discriminating against ugly vegetables and invite celery root into your kitchen!

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