Celery is a vegetable a member of the apiaceae or umbelliferae family that includes carrots, parsnip, coriander, and parsley; they are a group of plants with hollow stems.
Celery has been cultivated for over three thousand years, its use can be traced back through ancient Greece and Egypt; it grows in temperate climates.
There are many health promoting benefits to be derived from the eating of celery both cooked and raw, but like peanuts there may be allergic reactions that can be as severe as anaphylactic shock; cooking does not appear to neutralise the allergen.
Celery is a great source of fibre to support the digestive process, also a source of vitamin A to support eyesight, it contains a compound called phthalides that supports circulation reducing blood pressure. It also helps balance cholesterol as it contains Butylphthalide. It is generally accepted that celery reduces cancer risk as it contains a powerful flavonoid called luteolin that inhibits cancer cells, especially in the pancreas and may also offer protection against breast cancer. Celery is also a natural anti-inflammatory, anti-depressant and may support weight loss.
Recipe - Celery Cheese
3 celery hearts (about 700gm)
3 cups White Sauce
1 cup grated tasty cheese
1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
A little extra grated cheese for on top.
Wash the celery and chop into pieces no smaller than about 1.5 inches and cook in boiling water (add a little salt for taste) for about 15 minutes until they are tender (do not overcook).
Make a white sauce and stir in the tasty cheese and some grated nutmeg. Mix well.
Drain the cooked celery and mix with the sauce (add some chopped ham if you want to make a more filling dish)
Place in an ovenproof dish and sprinkle with grated cheese and dobs of butter and pop in oven until nicely browned on top.