Celery is always a staple in home kitchens. But how can we stretch this one veggie for many options?
It’s estimated that the average family of four spends around $1,000 a month on groceries — if not more.
But you already know how high inflation has risen. When you almost have a heart attack at your weekly grocery checkout as you see the dreaded total, you know how much it costs to feed your own family.
But there’s one ingredient that may not have crossed your mind to stretch your family’s food budget.
It is ideal for stretching your budget because it’s:
Here’s an example.
Let’s say you make a stir fry for dinner that calls for celery. Slice some extra pieces to have on hand for after-school snacks with peanut butter or as a side in lunches with hummus.
See? Now you’ve got dinner and snacks. It’s like a two-for-one special.
Let’s look at a few ways you can include celery in your recipes.
Money Savin’ Celery Recipes
Maybe soup recipes or ants on a log recipes immediately come to mind. But there’s a whole world of opportunities to sprinkle celery into your meals and stretch the food budget for your family.
These are some of our favorite out-of-the-box ideas.
Make this beverage for a nutrient-packed drink that your whole family will love. Matcha, lemons, and celery juice make this drink refreshing and help with digestion and staying alert. Perfect for an afternoon pick me up before running everyone to ballet, karate, and mathletes.
That’s right, celery ice cream! As moms, this recipe blows us away because of all the veggies in this dessert — corn, radishes, and celery. A soft, fluffy bread pudding with a vibrant red marmalade, and creamy ice cream. At the very least, try the celery ice cream for a hidden veggie dessert.
Look for sales on meat, and this dish comes together with a few ingredients, lots of spices, tons of flavor, and less money. It gives off Thanksgiving dinner vibes with the homemade stuffing inside the pork tenderloin. Serve it with a side salad and mashed potatoes for a satisfying meal for all.
Pair this gratin with a protein like chicken, beef, or pork for multiple sides. Onion and celery are coated in a cheese sauce and topped with crispy, buttery panko for a crunchy, creamy, and delightful side. Bake it for 30 minutes while you prepare the protein, and you’ll have a balanced meal on the table that won’t break the bank.
Celery, corn, avocado, and tofu make a well-rounded soup with good-for-you ingredients. Fiber, protein, and healthy fats make this gazpacho an easy weeknight meal — perfect for warmer days. Gazpacho is a cold soup, so you pop all the ingredients in the blender, and it’s ready to go. Easy peasy and so tasty.
When you add celery to simple recipes, it helps stretch out the meals you have planned for the week. That means you’ll get a few more leftover meals and snacks without more work and less moolah.
A few other traditional recipes to incorporate celery into are meatloaf, spaghetti sauce, soups, and packaged meals.
Related: Celery Pesto Pasta
Celery is fat-free, gluten-free, and high in fiber. It’s been known as a quote-on-quote “diet food” for years. But it has other beneficial properties as well.
Did you know celery is made up of about 95% water?
It’s great to have on hand to keep water intake in check and prevent dehydration. When your kids are active during the warmer summer months, or you don’t think about drinking water during the cooler months, celery can give you an H2O boost.
Related: Celery Benefits for Skin and Hair
Since it is fibrous, it may be linked to lowering the risk of heart disease and supporting digestion. It can also be an anti-inflammatory and aid in improving age-related memory loss1. As an antiseptic in nature, celery has been known to help women avoid bladder disorders, kidney problems, and urinary tract infections.
All these benefits in a little bag of leafy green stalks. And it’s affordable — only a couple of dollars for a 20 oz. bag.
Not too shabby.
Is It Safe to Eat the Leaves?
Yes. The leaves have very tiny amounts of toxic compounds, but they’re safe to eat in small quantities and actually have more nutrients than the stalks. The leaves also have a more intense, bitter flavor compared to the stalks.
Wash and dry the leaves to use them as an herb or garnish in:
You don’t need as many leaves as chopped stalks to add flavor to your recipes. And it’s cheaper than fresh herbs to add some color and nutritional value to your plate.
Use It All Up
When you get a new stalk or two, dice half and slice the rest. This makes it easy to toss a few in a ziplock bag for lunches, the juicer for breakfast, or into the crockpot stew for dinner. Having it prepped and ready to use makes it easy to include it in your meals all week long.
Add celery to leftover meals.
Freeze any celery you may not use during the week.
Be sure to use the leaves.
Produce Moms Tip: An easy rule of thumb is when a recipe calls for onions, add celery too.
Look for celery that’s firm and light green in color. If it is soft or bendable and fans out, away from the center of the stalk, it’s starting to go bad. The darker it is, the more salty and bitter the taste. If you like a subtle flavor, go for a light green stalk.
This depends if you plan to cut your celery as soon as you bring it home or not.
If you decide to dice and slice your celery ahead of time, it loses moisture quicker. Store it completely covered in water, in a sealed container in the fridge.
If you leave it whole, wrap it in aluminum foil, and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge. It will stay fresh for up to four weeks.
It’s completely up to you if you want to have it prepped and ready to use or keep it fresh longer. Neither way is necessarily right — it depends on your preference.
The Dandy® Celery Difference
Andrew Duda started farming on 40 acres of land almost 100 years ago. He decided to grow celery because it’s 100% usable, which means no waste. With six generations of growers, they care about the quality of the produce they feed their families. And they want you to have the freshest, crunchiest celery on your table too.
From seed to shelf, they pay attention to using as little land as possible to give you the best celery while reducing water usage by a third. Dandy is on a mission to help more families like yours enjoy affordable produce at premium quality. They’re a family-focused company you can trust.
Look for the Dandy label in the produce section of your grocery store and start making your food budget work for you.
More Celery Ideas
Psst… There’s another ingredient to stretch your food budget.
Find out what it is here.
The post Celery — How to Use This Affordable Ingredient to Stretch Your Family’s Food Budget appeared first on The Produce Moms.