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The history of celery 

The celery plant can be traced back to the Mediterranean region. Celery was first recorded by the Greek philosopher, Pythagoras, about 500 B.C., who reportedly used it in his daily diet.

The Romans are believed to have later developed this taste for celery when they invaded Greece around 146 B.C. The ancient Romans are also said to have believed that celery had medical powers. The Roman soldiers carried celery stalks instead of money, calling them “vegetable purses.” When they reached the borders of their land, the soldiers would trade these stalks for coins.

Celery traveled across Europe with both pilgrims and explorers. It wasn’t until the late 1700s that Thomas Jefferson planted celery at Monticello, his plantation in Virginia. George Washington was also known to grow celery in his garden.

The use of celery didn’t reach America until after the Civil War, when German and Swiss immigrants brought their knowledge and taste for it with them. At this time, prosperous families were growing celery in their gardens and serving it at formal dinners. Eventually, however, these formal dinners became rare, and by 1925, people had stopped eating celery during dinner.

It wasn’t until the mid-1900s that Americans began to eat celery again [for dinner]. After World War II ended, many housewives entered the workforce and needed places to store fresh vegetables. This led to the convenience of packaged celery in the 1950s, which helped contribute to its increased popularity.

Celery Recipes

Now that you know a little bit about the history of celery, it’s time to try some recipes!

Celery and Apple Salad

Ingredients:

1 celery stalk, diced

1 diced Granny Smith apple

1/4 cup of raisins

3 tbsp of mayonnaise

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

a quarter teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, combine the celery, apple, raisins, mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, salt, and black pepper. Combine thoroughly.Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving, covered.Enjoy!

Celery and Peanut Butter Dip

Ingredients:

6 stalks celery, chopped

2 cups cottage cheese (fat-free)

1 cup of peanut butter

three tablespoons of honey

1 tsp. garlic powder

Instructions:

In a food processor, place the chopped celery. Pulse for 30 seconds or until it is finely chopped. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl, then pulse for 45 seconds, or until everything has combined well. Serve with vegetables, crackers, or pretzels!Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Enjoy it!

Celery and potato soup

Ingredients:

1 pound potatoes, cut into cubes

3 stalks of celery, finely diced.

2 cups of milk (use soy milk to make it vegan).

1 tsp. garlic powder

season with salt and pepper to taste

Instructions: Boil the potatoes until soft. After they are cooked, pour off some of the water or drain them completely. Add the remaining ingredients to a blender or food processor and puree until smooth. Return the contents of the pot to the pot and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the soup has thickened slightly.Enjoy it!

Celery and apple juice

Ingredients:

1 celery stalk, chopped

1 apple, granny smith, chopped

1 cup of water

Instructions:

Combine all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a fine mesh strainer to remove any chunks. Serve immediately or store in the fridge for later!

Today, celery is enjoyed in many forms, but mostly in salads and soups. Due to its high water content and crunchy texture, celery is also used as a meat substitute. It has no fat or cholesterol and is high in fiber, vitamin A and C, iron, calcium, magnesium, and phosphorus. With all these nutrients, it’s no wonder celery is a popular vegetable!

So, the next time you’re at the grocery store, be sure to pick up a stalk of celery and give one of these recipes a try! You’ll be glad you did. 🙂

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