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Celery root is an incredibly underrated root vegetable that doesn't look or taste like celery at all.
But, what is celery root? How is it different from celery? And what does it taste like? Keep reading ahead to learn more about this mysterious vegetable.
What is celery root?
Celery root, or celeriac, is a round shaped bulb. It's not anything like celery stalks with green leaves.
Instead, it looks like a giant deformed turnip. For the resemblance part, it is also called a knobbly turnip. Some other names include celeriac (most commonly used) and celery knob.
So, what is celery root?
It's an edible root vegetable with a bulbous, lumpy, brown-skinned appearance that reveals white flesh with a crunchy texture when peeled.
Although not popular in the US, celery root is a part of Mediterranean and European cuisines. It has many culinary implications in soups, salads, stews, and sauces.
Are celery and celery root the same?
A big fat No. Celery and celery root are not the same. They belong to the same plant family, but they do not come from the same plant.
No matter how much you want to believe that celery root is the root growing beneath the celery stalks, they are not.
However, we cannot deny their mutual lineage — wild celery grown in the Mediterranean and carried to the US in the nineteenth century. The green celery stalks got famous, but this not-so-appealing celeriac couldn't make its place in the mainstream markets.
So, does it still not deserve some attention?
The taste and nutritional profile of the vegetable will overshadow the looks of celeriac. So before we talk about the differences between the two, let's talk about the taste of celery root.
What does celery root taste like?
Celery root has a mild, nutty flavor that blends well in most cuisines. It also has a peppery taste with an overpowering aroma resembling celery and parsley herbs.
While you may ignore the vegetable for its looks, you cannot ignore the aroma it imparts. Celery root stands somewhere between potatoes, radishes, and turnips on the taste profile. Raw celeriac has almost the same crunchy texture as turnips, but it lacks the sweetness of young turnips. Instead, it has a peppery flavor like radishes.
However, when you cook it, it gives off mild sweetness, just like cooked turnips.
Celeriac resembles the silky, smooth texture of cooked potatoes. Still, potatoes do not carry the sweetness or the aroma, so you cannot classify celery root as closely related to potatoes in taste.
The taste profile is quite complex, making it an excellent low-calorie substitute for many other vegetables.
Despite the name, celery root doesn't have many similarities in taste or texture to traditional celery.
Celery is fibrous, while celery root has a firm flesh that goes soft and smooth on cooking. However, both vegetables share the aroma.
Celery root nutritional benefits
Celery root has a unique nutritional profile that makes it fit for almost all kinds of diets. The root vegetable carries only 5.9 grams of carbs per 100 gm serving, making it an ideal choice for low-carb diets like keto.
Besides carbs, celeriac can supply 80% of the daily required value of vitamin K with a single serving.
Vitamin K is an essential micronutrient that builds proteins that help in blood clotting and the formation of bone tissues.
Apart from vitamin K, this vegetable is a good source of vitamin C too. Vitamin C produces a protein that makes skin tissues, ligaments, tendons, and blood vessels. Apart from vitamin C, the fiber content of celery root improves gut health.
Moreover, the phytochemicals present in this vegetable fight against oxidative stress in the body. If your body doesn't fight against oxidative stress, it can cause early aging due to cell damage.
So, vegetables with high antioxidants like celery root play an essential role in the overall health of any individual.
However, there's one restriction with this great root vegetable. Since it has a lot of vitamin K, it is not suitable for people who are taking blood thinners. They must consult their physician before starting a diet containing celery roots.
Celery root recipes
Curious what to make with celery root? Here are a few delicious recipes to try:
An amazing, crunchy, fresh salad made with celery root, apples, bacon, and an easy homemade dressing.
A simple side dish that highlights celery root.
Celery root or celeriac is a Mediterranean vegetable with many health benefits and various culinary uses.
Despite its not so appealing appearance, celery root has a unique flavor profile and an aroma that only some herbs carry.
So, if you're looking for a new option to include in your low-carb diet, select celery root.