Celery: Crunchy, Tasty and Nutritious

March is here and it’s National Celery Month, a reason to cheer!  Many folks think of celery as a veggie that you add to soups, stews or salads–kind of like a supporting role.  However, celery is a star in its own right.  Each serving is low in calories, fat and cholesterol free, a good source of Vitamins A and C, and provides you with dietary fiber.

Think about that tasty crunch you get when you add celery to your favorite tuna or chicken salad recipe.  How about sautéing it with some onion as a base for your bread stuffing?  It’s also delicious when added to a stir fry.  Of course an old favorite are celery sticks for snacking.  This low calorie option can be enjoyed alone or with a reduced fat dip.

For a snack “upgrade” I’m sharing this recipe from Fruits & Veggies–More Matters for Celery Stuffed with Apricot Blue Cheese Spread.  You’ve probably seen celery stuffed with various spreads (cream cheese, peanut butter, etc.).  This version uses fat-free cream cheese, fat-free yogurt, a bit of blue cheese, dried apricots, dried figs and chopped pecans for its spread.  The end result is a snack that is packed with flavor and only 140 calories per serving!

stuffed celery

Here is a unique side dish featuring celery that is simple to prepare.  Pan-Cooked Celery with Tomatoes and Parsley uses only five ingredients to create a delicious dish that can be enjoyed alone or served over pasta.  If you love Italian flavors, you’ll love this blend of garlic, olive oil, diced tomatoes and parsley blended together with the steamed celery.

celery with tomatoes
Photo courtesy of Andrew Scrivani for The New York Times

Need more ideas for using celery?  Let Michael Marks, Your Produce Man, show you what you can do in this short video–you might be surprised how versatile this veggie can be!  I’ll be back next week with some ideas for brown bag lunches that will save you money, keep you healthy and taste so good you’ll never want to buy lunch again.

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