Celeriac

From WikiMD's Wellness Encyclopedia

Celeriac (Apium graveolens var. rapaceum), also known as celery root, turnip-rooted celery or knob celery, is a variety of celery cultivated for its edible roots, hypocotyl, and shoots. It is a biennial plant that belongs to the family Apiaceae, which includes carrots, parsley, and parsnips. Celeriac is notable for its distinctive flavor, which resembles that of celery stalks, and its versatility in cooking. It is used in a variety of culinary dishes, ranging from salads and soups to roasted vegetable medleys.

Description[edit | edit source]

Celeriac has a large, globular root that is typically rough and brownish on the outside with a creamy white interior. The plant's green leaves and stalks resemble those of common celery but are more robust. Celeriac roots can vary significantly in size but generally weigh about 1-2 kilograms (2-4 pounds). The plant thrives in temperate climates and is harvested when its root reaches a desirable size, usually in the late summer or fall.

Nutritional Value[edit | edit source]

Celeriac is low in calories but rich in dietary fiber, which is beneficial for digestive health. It also contains essential vitamins and minerals, including Vitamin K, Vitamin C, phosphorus, potassium, and manganese. These nutrients contribute to bone health, immune system support, and overall well-being.

Culinary Uses[edit | edit source]

Celeriac can be consumed raw or cooked. When raw, it is often peeled, then grated or thinly sliced and added to salads for a crisp, refreshing texture. Cooked celeriac can be boiled, mashed, roasted, or used as a flavoring in soups and stews. Its subtle, celery-like taste pairs well with a variety of foods, including meats, other vegetables, and legumes.

Cultivation[edit | edit source]

Celeriac prefers a well-drained soil rich in organic matter. It requires a consistent supply of moisture throughout the growing season and benefits from mulching to retain soil moisture and control weeds. The plant is relatively slow-growing and may take up to 200 days to reach harvest size. Celeriac is more tolerant of cold temperatures than common celery, making it a suitable crop for cooler climates.

Health Benefits[edit | edit source]

In addition to its nutritional value, celeriac has been associated with several health benefits. Its high fiber content can aid in weight management and promote a healthy gut microbiome. The antioxidants present in celeriac, such as Vitamin C, may help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of chronic diseases.

History[edit | edit source]

The cultivation of celeriac dates back to the 17th century in Europe, where it gradually became popular as a root vegetable. Its use has since spread globally, and it is now featured in various cuisines around the world.

See Also[edit | edit source]

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Contributors: Prab R. Tumpati, MD