A tall glass of celery

In Japan, celery is not cheap. It’s not sold in bunches; it’s sold by the stalk – and a stalk costs about a dollar.

Celery-ginger limeade

Really the real thing

Strangely enough, I miss that.

I don’t miss the price so much (though it did have the virtue of discouraging waste), but I do miss being able to buy just what I need. Maybe it’s my imagination, but bunches of celery seem much bigger than they were 15 years ago – and buying that much celery makes me uncomfortable. I wonder if I’ll be able to use it all before it shrivels up and becomes unusable. When you’ve thought in terms of individual stalks for so long, the thought of half a bunch of celery in the bin feels … well … just a little bit obscene.

So, since I’ve moved to the US, I’ve spent some time experimenting with things I can do with celery that has lost its crunch (besides throwing it out). One of the easiest is to toss it in a blender with some water, a bit of sugar or honey, and something to add a little extra flavor, like lime, ginger or vanilla.  It’s better tasting than a soft drink, better for you, and better for the planet – and if you miss the fizz, you can always get a soda maker.

The recipe for the version I made yesterday (which was pretty tasty) follows.

Celery-ginger limeade (2 servings)

Ingredients

  • 3 cups water
  • 6 stalks celery (about 18 ounces), coarsely chopped
  • I lime, peeled and quartered
  • 1 piece ginger root about the size of your thumb, coarsely chopped
  • 2.5 Tbsp sugar (or to taste)

Directions

  • Blend ingredients on highest speed until liquified.
  • Filter through a cotton kitchen towel, or wire mesh strainer.
Fun facts
Celery per serving 3 stalks
Length of celery per 12 oz serving, if stalks laid end to end about 99 inches
Average distance from the Earth to the moon 238,855 miles
Number of 12 oz servings it would take to use up the amount of celery which, if laid end to end, would span the average distance from the Earth to the moon 152,867,200
Amount of celery-ginger limeade every American would have to drink to save that amount of celery from landfill 5.8 oz – ½ of a 12 oz serving
Average annual consumption of soft drinks per person in the US 57 gallons – 608 12 oz servings
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9 thoughts on “A tall glass of celery

      • In a lot of ways, I think the pricing in Japan really drove the right kind of behaviors. Local food that’s in season is always considerably cheaper, so people tend to let their diet follow the seasons more (just loved it when the mushrooms came out). And, the small quantities and price discourage gluttony and buying food you won’t end up eating.

  1. Nice post, as usual. I love your fun facts at the end!
    Celery is low in calorie and high in fiber — good — but it’s also high in sodium which should be considered if hypertensive, particularly when juicing it (though not-so-much for blending). Here’s an informative Internet link on celery:
    http://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2396/2
    I keep a reference book of food nutritional values in my kitchen and check it often. You should know that celery is relatively easy to grow from seed (we grew it from a bottom-cutting stuck into our compost pile). Our single delicious bunch all got eaten straight away, while chatting and sitting on the porch swing. No maintenance, save some watering.

    • Thanks, Shannon. The fun facts are fun to write – and the point is always the same: small changes add up, and not being able to make a difference on your own is a bad excuse not to make changes. Appreciate the information on sodium – not something we tend to think about here because our blood pressure runs low.

      As far as growing celery goes, I think that might be beyond the scope of our wee balcony. We have a small yuzu tree, a small lemon tree, a worm composter, cat grass, and a failed experiment with mushrooms there now – as well as hammocks for the cats, whose lives I envy.

  2. Pingback: March: It’s Celery’s Month | 222 million tons

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