“Fresh2U” Nutrition Program for Kids and Parents
Celery originated in the Mediterranean countries where early plants were very primitive and were used primarily for medicinal purposes. The first use of celery as a food was for flavoring and was recorded in France in 1623. Celery grows wild in wet places all over Europe. Florida is one of the top areas for commercial production of celery today, where it is available from November through June.
When selecting celery, look for crisp, firm stalks that are brittle enough to snap easily. Choose light to medium stalks with a glossy surface, and avoid wilted celery with cracked, bruised, loose, or broken stalks. One medium stalk of celery weighs about 1-1/2 pounds and yields four to five cups of chopped raw celery or three to four cups of chopped cooked celery.
Wash celery with cold water. Remove any damaged or old-looking parts, but trim as little as possible. Slice across the entire stalk at one time like a loaf of bread. Slice down to within inches of the base. Cut only the amount you will use in one day. Dice stalks or cut into slices or strips.
Celery is a low calorie snack that doubles as a good source of fiber. It provides useful amounts of vitamins A and C, and folic acid. Celery is also an excellent tooth cleanser.