Celeriac: Health Benefits and How-To

It is probably fair to say that celeriac is one of the most ignored root vegetables in North America. Also known as celery root, soup celery, celery knob, and turnip rooted celery, celeriac is a special type of celery that was originally grown in Northern Europe and the Mediterranean, and is still a popular ingredient for Europeans. Roughly the size of a turnip, celeriac has a large, bulbous root that is covered with thick, rough skin that is marked by brown patches. Its unglamorous appearance does not do its flavor justice – its crisp texture, as well as its celery and parsley-like flavor, is a great addition to any dish that goes well with celery. October is the time to try this strange-looking root vegetable, as it is generally available from October through April.

Nutrition Tidbits for Celeriac

  • 1/2 cup of celeriac contains:
    • Calories: 33 kcal
    • Fat: 0.2 g
    • Carbohydrates: 7.2 g
    • Protein: 1.2 g
    • Fiber: 1.4 g
    • Glycemic Index (GI): low (below 55)

Compared to other root vegetables, such as potatoes and carrots, celeriac is very low in calories, as it is only 5-6% starch by weight. It can therefore be used in place of other starchy root vegetables to cut down on calories, or as a carb option for people with diabetes. Celeriac is rich in potassium and is also a good source of Vitamin C.

It is best to pick celeriacs with small to medium-sized roots, which tend to be more flavorful and less fibrous. Although the stalks and leaves are usually not eaten, the sprouting green tops should be bright green and the root part should not have brown soft spots. Celeriac can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week, wrapped in a perforated plastic bag with its stalks and leaves removed.

Ways to Include More Celeriac in Your Diet

  • Raw celeriac can be julienned and added to any salad to add crunch.
  • You can bake the entire celeriac with its skin, and enjoy its delicious inner flesh.
  • Cooked and mashed celeriac can be served as a side dish.
  • Celeriac can be sliced and cooked as an accompaniment to an entrée.Pureed celeriac can be added to stews, casseroles, and soups

3 thoughts on “Celeriac: Health Benefits and How-To”

  1. Christine it’s a great question. I had previous done searches for it but didn’t find it. I mistakenly believed it was similar to celery. Only after I received the dismaying results of my glucose tolerance test I discovered the cause. Once cooked it has a VERY HIGH Glycemic index:
    Celery root 35 (raw), 85 (cooked)2

    https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3650508/
    It was in: Adv Nutr. 2013 May; 4(3): 356S–367S.
    Published online 2013 May 6. doi: 10.3945/an.112.003509
    PMCID: PMC3650508
    PMID: 23674805

    Reply
  2. On the line “Celery root 35 (raw), 85 (cooked)2” I realize the footnote number was listed. It should be removed.

    Reply

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