Celery is one of the finest vegetables out there, having both fantastic health benefits and a delicious taste. Nevertheless, some people outright can’t get themselves to eat it. While it’s true that it isn’t replaceable without making a few sacrifices in terms of flavor authenticity, it is possible to use any of the numerous substitutes that give equally excellent results.
So, if you want to learn how to make recipes that cite celery as one of their main ingredients without using it altogether, then grab your Dining Chair, get a cup of Tea, and read on this article as it will be a major help to you!
The Greatness of Celery
It’s true that celery looks like any other plain green leafy vegetable, but actually, it has many distinctive traits that make it that much more desirable. These include a combination of:
The Nutritional Value
Like all green veggies, celery is no different in having outstanding health benefits that, on their own, make including in any meal highly worth it. First of all, it’s one of those excellent antioxidants that immensely help those who have issues related to blood pressure.
Moreover, it has very few calories, making its integration in diets really easy. Other than that, it has loads of vitamins ranging from vitamin C and K to B6.
Finally, a good percentage of potassium and water makes it great against dehydration.
The Unique Flavor
The distinctive taste that celery gives when combined with other vegetables is truly exquisite. If you have ever tried adding it to sauces, whether it be an Alfredo Sauce, Canned Enchilada Sauce, or even Canned Pizza Sauce, soups, or other recipes, then you must have admired the results, no doubt. Its aroma is genuinely delightful, and it’s quite a nice addition even on its own.
The Crispy Feel
Celery has that unmistakable crunchy texture that only a few veggies have. Additionally, it’s not too hard, like carrots for example, so chewing on it is a pleasant experience. This is what makes it a perfect fit for a healthy snack, either in the middle of the day or even while watching TV. Needless to say, it’s a whole lot better than an unhealthy meal like Popcorn Kernels prepared in your Popcorn Popper (Still, popcorn isn’t bad if consumed reasonably).
For these reasons, celery is, without a doubt, a versatile component that has a lot of good traits. Thus, it is extremely hard to replace without affecting one of these categories. However, not all hope is lost, as there are other vegetables that can stand up to the competition and perform comparably in certain situations. So, without further ado, let us go through them!
The Five Best Celery Substitutes
Now we’re going to tell you the 5 best celery substitutes!
#1 – Bok Choy – The Chinese Cabbage:
In terms of texture, this is one of the most faithful celery substitutes, as it has the same crispiness so it can be equally consumed raw as a snack. Moreover, even if it looks a bit different from them, it belongs in the same category as cabbage and broccoli. Thus it can be used in the place of any of them as well.
Other than the really close flavor, it also has comparable nutritional value, so it does an excellent job in this area too. Particularly, it contains vitamins K, A, and C, as well as many minerals such as iron, magnesium, and potassium.
The only minor drawback is that it is a bit troublesome when it comes to cutting, so maybe you should consider getting a good Japanese Knife and Cutting Board nearby. However, it replaces celery, as well as lettuce, smoothly in salads. Keep Bok Choy veggies around next time you pull out your Salad Dressing Shaker and Salad Spinner.
In conclusion, this is a lovely substitute that can be used for roughly the same purposes as celery while retaining its main characteristics.
#2 – Fennel Stalks – The Overlooked Part of Fennel:
The stalks of fennel are an overlooked part by the vast majority of consumers, who mostly use either the bulb or the seeds. So instead of throwing them and losing out on their benefits, you can easily replace celery with fennel bulbs for good results.
The first thing one can deduct from what meets the eye is that it pretty much looks the same. However, that is not the only similarity, since it has that same distinct crunchiness so it can be equally used in salads or as a snack.
Basically, the only real difference here is the flavor, since it contrasts the taste of celery. It is actually a bit stronger and has a subtle sweetness to it. Another thing to note is that it takes a bit longer to cook, so you should adjust your cooking process accordingly.
All in all, this one is a handy substitute for those who don’t eat celery, since it can do its job in the majority of cases, without sacrificing neither the texture nor the benefits.
#3 – Celeriac – Celery’s First Cousin:
If you’re not keen on celery, then why not use another member from the same family? celeriac, although a bit different yet close in taste, does a good job overall replacing its relative. Moreover, people who are allergic to celery are absolutely not affected in any way by it.
For maximum effect, you especially need to make use of the dried leaves, as this specific part has the most celery-like taste. You can replace it smoothly in many dishes, including soups and sauces, without being detected in most cases.
Although none of the parts have the exact texture of celery, the root and the stalks are to be avoided because they have unique flavors of their own, that are far from celery’s. The first has more of a bitter taste, while the latter has a nutty one.
#4 – Jicama – The Mexican Potato:
From the name and shape of this unique vegetable, one would think that this is a potato-onion hybrid. However, in terms of taste, it is far from both of them. No need to get your Potato Ricer nor your Onion Chopper. It’s strangely closer to an apple, and it even has that crispy texture. Thus, when it comes to snacks, it does an excellent job of replacing celery.
It even has plenty of health benefits, just like the element it’s replacing, providing essential vitamins and minerals such as vitamin C, potassium and magnesium, etc.
You can even use them in salads in place of celery, although you won’t have the same outcome. Nevertheless, it keeps the unique crunchiness of the dish, while being distinct enough so that anti-celery people would have nothing against it.
#5 – Cardoon – Sweet Spiky Celery:
Of all the choices available, this is the one that resembles celery the most, even though it has a bit larger and spikier leaves. Moreover, it is also similar in terms of texture, as it has the usual crunchiness we associate with celery.
You can use cardoon for healthy snacks, but they’ll show a strangely bitter taste in that case. It’s preferable to properly cook them, as it will have a hearty sweet flavor. For more guaranteed goodness, you may soak them in salted water for an hour before that process, in order to eliminate their undesirable aftertaste. Nutrition-wise, it is equally as healthy as celery, having a good number of vitamins, namely A and C, in addition to minerals, such as magnesium and calcium.
BONUS – Substitutes for Celery Seeds
Celery seeds are becoming more commonly used today for their unique flavor that works well in many dishes. This is unfortunate for people allergic to celery, so here are a few substitutes that you can use for similar results:
These are comparable in terms of taste, as they give off the same effect and work well with the same combinations. Moreover, you may use roughly the same quantity as celery seeds.
Known also as kalonji or black cumin, these provide a more nut-like taste than our original ingredient. Nevertheless, this spice of Indian origin will make for a good replacement and give similar outcomes, so consider adding it to your Spice Grinders and Spice Racks.
These taste incredibly similar to celery seeds, even though they have an undoubtedly stronger flavor. This is why if you are considering them, you should be aware that you must use a lower amount to achieve the desired result.
Through this article, we have provided you with five outstanding replacements for celery, and you can choose whichever you like. Why you should pick one or the other will depend on your personal preferences, as well as the type of dish you want to make. Moreover, you can even switch between them from time to time, so don’t limit yourself.
Even though these are the top picks according to our experience, we encourage you to experiment with other similar vegetables and test the results, until you find the best one that will fit your preferences.
While you’re here, be sure to check out our kitchen product reviews!
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