Let’s Celebrate Celery

Over the years, Florida has consistently been ranked second in celery production in the United States. Celery is mainly produced in the Everglades region of Florida. This crunchy veggie can be found fresh from Florida from December through May. Celery is a difficult vegetable to grow in Florida because it requires cooler temperatures, lots of moisture, and has a longer growing season. The best varieties to grow in Florida are Conquistador, Giant Red, Golden Pascal, and Giant Pascal because they are faster maturing. All of these varieties will reach maturity within approximately 80-110 days of planting.

There is no waste with celery! All parts of this veggie are edible, including the seeds, stalks, and leaves. Celery is a low-calorie snack that is high in fiber and contains antioxidants. It also contains vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, potassium, and folate. The nutrients in celery are beneficial for your digestive system and can help combat inflammation and prevent coronary heart disease.

When shopping for celery in the grocery store, it is best to buy celery with the leaves still attached to the stalk because it provides a good indicator of freshness. The outer stalks of the celery should look green and be firm, with no signs of browning or limpness. You should store celery in the refrigerator in a plastic bag. This vegetable will stay fresh in the fridge for about a week. Celery is very versatile as it can be eaten fresh or incorporated into soups, salads, stir fries, and much more. It pairs well with lettuce, sage, rosemary, dill, and different soup stocks. A fun way to prepare celery for your kids (or yourself) is to make ants on a log! This easy and yummy snack is just long stalks of celery, filled with peanut butter, and topped with raisins.

For your enjoyment, try out a celery recipe courtesy of Fresh From Florida!

Did You Know?
• Celery is composed of 94% water.
• Unlike most vegetables, celery retains most of its nutrient value after being cooked.
• Celery is part of the Apiaceae family, being closely related to parsley, carrots, and fennel.
• The ancient Greeks served wine that was made with celery as an award at their athletic games.

Content courtesy of Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumers Services and UF/IFAS.

Information compiled by: Avianna Liuzzo

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