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Health Food of the month - Celeriac

September 2016


(BBC Good Food)


Previous Health Foods of the Month...

Sea Bass

Figs

Quinoa


 

Diet & Supplements Index

Waitrose Recipes

Life seems a lot more complicated today than when we were kids. As a child, most of us will have been familiar with celery…apart from use at home, it also used to be chopped up into little squares for many a dreaded school dinner!

But times move on and today when you go past the veggie aisle in the supermarkets you will not only see celery but also celeriac. At this time of year celeriac will be coming into its prime, so it is worth knowing a little bit about it.

And the first thing to know is that it is not simply an odd form of celery. Celeriac is basically the same plant, and the two are related botanically, but apart from that, they are very different and can’t usually be interchanged for the same results in recipes.

For a start, celeriac has its own very individual flavour. While there is a touch of celery taste for sure, celeriac also adds a hint of fennel plus a parsley flavour with some nuttiness and other undertones that easily identify it as a very different vegetable.

Celeriac also looks weird compared with the long thin stalks of celery. Celeriac is cultivated for its roots rather than its stalks and comes in the size and shape of a grapefruit in a dense knobby root form, in a creamy, pale yellow colour –it doesn’t look particularly appealing but don’t let that put you off.

You need to remove knobs and roots and peel it to reveal its creamy coloured flesh and, like apples, this needs to be used right away or it can start to discolour.

Celeriac is mainly used in soups, casseroles and other savoury recipes – cu tinto cubes it cooks in about 15 to 20 minutes. A more modern trend is to roast, stew or even mash celeriac for a different side vegetable; and it can be used grated as a gratin or even raw in a salad. Celeriac can be made into chips and in France cubed pieces are added to mayonnaise with Dijon mustard to make Celeri-rave remoulade, a very popular dish. The leaves and stems also have good flavour and are sometimes used as a garnish, especially in restaurants.

The good thing about celeriac is that it is relatively low in calories and contains all sorts of goodness while being low in fat. For 100 grams, it contains just 42 calories but also offers thiamine, riboflavin, niacin and panthothenic acid (B5) plus vitamin B6, Vitamin C and Vitamin K.

Celeriac also brings small levels of calcium, iron, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and even 300 mg of potassium in a 100 gram serving plus a small level (0.33mg) of zinc.

If you haven’t tried celeriac before, it is coming into season now and there are some great recipes available on the website including 32 recipes on the BBC Good Food website.


 


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