So here we are on the verge of spring, the planting season is almost here! Some of us no doubt are already planning our gardens and herb gardens by planting in small indoor planters or maybe some of you are fortunate enough to have a greenhouse. If you do then you probably already know what this article is about to teach.
When we grow or buy our organic celery most of us probably cut the bottoms and the leafy parts off and keep the celery hearts. After all it is the stalk of the celery that is the most nutritious isn’t it? Not true. In fact it is the celery leaf that has the most Vitamin C, calcium and potassium. The stalks are good and easy to eat but it’s the leaves that are where all the nutrition is.
So what can you do with the leaves then? If you have ever tried the leaves you will see that they are very bitter but that they do taste like celery. The best way to change this is to cook the leaves in a soup. The leaves can be added to any soup where you would use veggies. Once it is cooked the bitterness is removed and the leaves take on a very good flavor.
Some people have reported putting the leaves in salad because the bitterness balances the flavors in the salad with the dressing. For those that do not like cilantro, as there is understandably a good percentage, you will be happy to know that celery leaf is a cilantro replacement and does a great job at it too.
Always remember to wash your celery, all parts of it, before eating it. Whether it is organically grown or not it will still have residue of stuff from the air, bugs excrements and dirt from being grown outdoors. Most people are in that mind frame that you do not eat certain parts of plants and animals and just are used to throwing certain parts away.
The problem here of course is that we live in a perfect society, we want the tomatoes to be spotless and we want the cantaloupes to be perfect round. So when the celery is grown we want to throw out what is not something that you usually see for sell in stores. Here lies the issue of ignorance, more times than not we are tossing out all the best parts of our food.
For example, most people were taught as children that you should peel the potato and apple before you cook with it or eat it. That is farther from the truth than we can all afford in today’s nutrient deficient world. Most of the vitamins and minerals are in the vegetables and fruits outer skins. Even bitter orange peel is saved and dried to be used as a mix in herbal teas.
A lot of people are going green now that means they should be looking at more ways to use up things instead of waste. When it comes to growing a garden or buying organic produce you should start asking the question, “Is this waste or is this food?” If you do not know about something then the internet can be a source to be reckoned with in gaining knowledge. Just look it up.
Another idea is to simply experiment, since it grows in your garden and is a common food source then there is no part that is dangerous. All you will encounter is bitterness most likely. Let’s make this year the year that we all learned a little more about our gardens and the food we eat and comment below so we can all share our ideas of using certain parts of produce that is usually thrown out as nonedible.
For more information:
Tips for growing the sweetest celery
Recipe for using ¼ cup of celery leaves