Wondering if celery is a fruit or a vegetable? In this article, we’ll explain everything you need to know.
So is Celery a Fruit or a Vegetable?
Celery is a vegetable. Celery, as we typically define it here in the US and probably most places around the world, consists of stalks with leaves on top and roots on the bottom. This makes it a plant, which translates to the definition of a vegetable. We eat the leaves and the stalks of a celery plant. We do not eat any fruit from this plant though, so it is, therefore, a vegetable by definition alone.
What Makes Celery a Vegetable?
Celery is a vegetable because the root, stem, and leaves are used as food. Taste-wise, vegetables are any plant product consumed by humans as food that is not sweet enough to be considered a fruit. Celery does not have any seeds in it, nor does it grow from flowers. Therefore, celery can only be classified as being a vegetable.
What Makes Something a Fruit?
Fruit is an edible plant structure that comes from the flower of a plant. A fruit contains seeds and may be fleshy or dry, depending on if it also has an ovary wall. An ovary wall is the part of the flower that becomes a fruit and also gives rise to the seeds.
For example, an apple is a fruit because it has both ovaries for reproduction and seed-bearing structures. The sweet taste of fruits comes from sugar produced by photosynthesis in plant leaves or stored starch that was created during cold seasons when little energy was available for food production.
What Makes Something a Vegetable?
A vegetable is defined as any plant part eaten whole or in part for food. This typically means leaves, stalks, roots, stems, seeds, and tubers. We typically only think of the plant part as being edible, but they may also have an added skin or shell that is consumed. Vegetables are any plant product consumed by humans as food that is not sweet enough to be considered a fruit.
The Benefits of Eating Celery
Celery is a great source of vitamin K, which helps with blood clotting. It’s also low in calories and sodium so it’s great for people watching their weight or trying to manage blood pressure. Celery is also a good source of other vitamins and minerals which are important in the body, including vitamin C, folate, potassium, manganese, dietary fiber, calcium, etc.
Celery has been used medicinally for centuries because it contains phytonutrients, which are plant compounds that have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties. A compound in celery called butylphthalide has been found to reduce the risk of heart disease by blocking an enzyme necessary for its development.
Celery is also used in traditional Chinese medicine to help treat muscle pain, spasms, arthritis etc. It’s often used by people suffering from digestive issues, including gas and bloating.
Celery is used as a diuretic because it contains compounds that help the body expel excess water through urination. Celery can also be helpful for individuals who are trying to lose weight or maintain their current weight because of its low-calorie content due to the fact that it’s mostly water.
Cooking With Celery
Celery has the ability to absorb flavors from other ingredients while maintaining a crisp texture. This allows for a lot of versatility when it comes to recipes that use celery as an ingredient. It’s great for soups and stews or as a garnish with fish or poultry. Its flavor is mild, so it can be paired with other ingredients in recipes.
Celery is also very good when roasted, which enhances its sweetness and makes the flavor more pronounced to match well with tangy or spicy flavors that are present in a recipe. It’s even great pickled, which adds an interesting twist to this traditional vegetable favorite.
Celery is often used in recipes for Italian and French cuisine, but it can also be incorporated into dishes from many distinct cultures. This versatile vegetable works well with ingredients such as tomatoes, carrots, celeriac, etc. It’s even delicious when combined with fruits like grapes or apples to make celery relish or chutney.