As a snack, peanut butter and celery is one of the oldest and most celebrated globally. There’s just something magical about lathing a few strips of fresh celery with crunchy or creamy peanut butter. You don’t even have to add raisins (the eternal Ants on a Log) to enjoy this simple culinary trick!
But why do these two foods go together so well? What about their tastes make them like heaven on the tongue? Let’s take a deep dive into this subject to learn more. You’ll also get a few tips on what other foods go well with the ever-diverse peanut butter. Bonus!
So Why Does Peanut Butter and Celery Taste So Good Together?
Celery and peanut butter go so well together because their taste profiles balance almost perfectly. In other words, they complement the taste of each other and minimize their taste negatives. Let’s break down the taste profiles of each to get an idea of why this is the case:
- Celery Texture – Celery has a rather satisfying “crunch” to it, like carrots. Its high-water content provides this snap. For celery fans, this crunch is probably the best part about eating celery.
- Mild Initial Taste – Many people complain that celery has no taste, but they’re wrong. Celery has a relatively mild initial taste that compares favorably to spinach and other similar greens.
- Bitter Aftertaste – Those who love celery enjoy that surprisingly bitter kick after finishing a plate. Those who do not like celery may complain about this bitterness and dislike it intensely.
- Slight Mint Sensation – Celery contains furanocoumarins, a natural chemical found in limes and grapefruits. These provide the unique “burning” sensation some get when eating celery.
This somewhat bitter taste is not for all people! However, peanut butter helps mask some of this bitterness and brings out celery’s enjoyable crunch and fiber. Meanwhile, the anger of celery helps to cut back a little on some of the more intense peanut butter flavors:
- Peanut Butter Texture – Most peanut butter types vary between a relatively smooth or crunchy texture, depending on the density of the nuts. All have a sticky and lingering after texture.
- A Potential for Sweetness – Peanuts are technically not nuts: they’re a legume. As a result, they have some of the sweetness you find in peas without the density of other nuts.
- High Level of Savoriness – Have you ever wondered why peanut butter or peanuts end up in so many curries? This is because it has a high level of savoriness that makes it blend well with many flavors.
- Sticky and Lingering Presence – Those who love peanut butter enjoy the fact that it kind of “sticks” around (literally!) after eating. Others may dislike this effect and prefer vegetables with a less bitter aftertaste.
Celery helps to offset some of the intense sweetness and savoriness of peanut butter and also helps make it less sticky. Why? The hard crunch of the celery may help scrape it off your teeth and minimize a long-lasting aftertaste. This fascinating combination makes these two foods a perfect combination together. Even better, both foods are also surprisingly nutritious!
Why Else Do People Eat Peanut Butter and Celery?
Beyond tasting very good together, peanut butter and celery are also reasonably healthy food options on their own. For example, celery is probably the world’s most misunderstood superfood! However, people who eat celery are doing their bodies a great benefit. Eating it on its own may not be easy, of course, but mixing it into soups and other dishes may be a great idea. After all, celery provides:
- Negative-Calorie Content – Celery is one of a few food types that takes more energy to digest and break down than it provides your body. As a result, it is often a powerful option for weight loss. Scientifically, it may not be 100% true that it’s “negative” calories, but it’s pretty darn close.
- High Fiber Content – Celery is a great way to flush your body of toxins by providing a solid fiber level that is rarely matched in other types of similar foods.
- Incredible Vitamin Content – Did you know that celery has vitamin A, various types of cholesterol-balancing nutrients, 25 anti-inflammatory compounds, and items that help with blood pressure?
These benefits make celery an excellent option for someone trying to lose weight or balance their caloric intake. Celery also contains a high amount of water, various bacteria-inhibiting flavonoids, and a surprisingly high amount of calcium, sodium, copper, magnesium, iron, zinc, and potassium. These health benefits make it an excellent option for those trying to balance their vitamin intake. Peanut butter has a similar range of benefits, including:
- High Levels of Protein – Peanut butter contains all three macronutrients, including high levels of protein, fiber, and healthy fat. You get around 22.5 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving.
- High in Fiber – You get almost the same amount of carbohydrates (22 grams) in peanut butter as you do protein. Five of these grams are fiber.
- High Healthy Fats – Peanut butter is dense in healthy fats.
Often, people with type 2 diabetes use peanut butter as a healthy blood-sugar-balancing option. It may also be used in a low-carb diet, specifically if you get pure peanut butter from an organic store. These health benefits make it an excellent occasional dietary option for many.
What Else Does Peanut Butter Taste Good With?
Celery is just one of the many great foods that go perfectly with peanut butter. After all, not everybody enjoys celery but may have some peanut butter that they want to use up before it goes bad. If you have a jar you want to use or plan on expanding your snack options, here are a few choices that may work well for you:
- Multiple pies (pumpkin pie and apple go perfectly with peanut butter)
- Many types of crackers (particularly the otherwise bland Saltine variety)
- Pancakes (either by themselves or with a bit of maple syrup)
- Bananas (dip a banana in peanut butter and find a new favorite snack)
- Pretzels (helps to balance the salty texture of this snack)
- Apples (an excellent choice for a kid-friendly after-school meal)
- Chocolate (choose vegan-friendly chocolate to get a great taste)
- Toast and bread (especially when mixed with jelly)
- Other vegetables (try out a cucumber and peanut butter to see what we mean)
Don’t be afraid to experiment with these foods or others to get a broad use out of peanut butter. Try out both creamy and crunchy types to see which suits you. Creamy is perfect for those who want an easy-to-spread peanut butter that goes well on bread, celery, or crackers. Crunchy is a little harder to spread but provides a satisfying peanut texture.
Add Celery and Peanut Butter to Your Pantry!
Even if you don’t like peanut butter and celery together, these two foods provide more than enough health and culinary benefits to make them beneficial for your home’s kitchen. So find a place in your pantry for these foods today. Find a few different meals that call for them and integrate these into your regular dietary routine. Then, you won’t regret adding them to your diet!