Celery Root

Celery Root

…exactly what celery salt is?  I actually didn’t which is why I looked it up.  I started eating a lot more clean foods over the past year since I started to have some serious issues with chemical additives.  One of the things I discovered was uncured all beef hotdogs that used celery salt as a preservative.   (Don’t judge!  Some of the organic ones made from grass fed beef with no additives are delicious!)  Anyway, the other day I started wondering – what exactly is celery salt – is it salt that comes from celery?  Seriously, Ihad no idea.  Also some of these hotdogs that I ate still affected me badly and I couldn’t figure out why.  It turns out that, for the most part, celery salt is made by combining table salt with celery seeds or in some instances, celery root.  So right there, if you’re using crappy salt in your celery salt it’s not necessarily any better for you than regular sodium nitrates.

Applegate Organic Hotdogs - yummy!

Applegate Organic Hotdogs – yummy!

Now celery juice concentrate is a vegetable product, but has a significant amount of naturally occurring nitrate. Celery juice has very little pigment and a mild taste that does not detract from the meat’s flavor. Furthermore, celery juice or celery salt may be listed as natural flavoring on meat product labels.  Although there are still nitrates present, your body reacts differently to natural vs. synthetic nitrates. For example, celery salt also contains high levels of antioxidants, which help your body process the nitrates.  One thing, that I came across when looking into this, is that some manufacturers use celery salt in their ingredient lists to avoid listing sodium nitrate even though it may have been a chemical additive to the celery salt.

While many people are under the false assumption that celery seed salt is healthier than regular salt but this is a false notion. Celery does contain an abundance of Vitamin C, and this may help to lower blood pressure, but celery seed salt should not be used in place of regular salt. As stated, even the cleanest celery seed salt still contains salt, which should not be part of a low-salt diet.  Celery salt can be made at home as well as purchased in a supermarket and that is probably your best bet if you are trying to get away from chemical additives.

 

Celery Salt Ingredients Photo by French Tart

Celery Salt Ingredients
Photo by French Tart

To make celery seed salt, place whole celery seeds inside of a coffee grinder. Alternately, seeds can be placed inside of a mortar and petal, and ground until a fine powder is produced. Pulse seeds until they are finely chopped, and place seeds inside of a tightly sealed container.  The ratio should be one tablespoon of celery seeds to two tablespoons of salt. Keep the mixture in a tightly sealed jar.  Whole celery seeds can be purchased in any spice store or supermarket.

Celery salt can replace table salt and pepper in adding flavor to meals.  It adds a hint of fresh flavor to anything you would typically sprinkle with plain salt. Try it on popcorn, potatoes, rice, cooked vegetables or soups. The combination of salt and celery seed enhances bland foods in need of more than just salt but subtle, tangy flavor. The Hot Dog Chicago Style website regards celery salt as the “defining ingredient” in an ideal Chicago-style dog. Many hot dog connoisseurs recommend a sprinkling of celery salt be used consistently as a finishing touch.

The leafy taste of celery salt makes it a flavorful ingredient in creamy, cold salads. Most recipes for coleslaw, potato salad, pasta salad and egg salad call for celery salt. It can also serve as a substitute for dill in some recipes. A sprinkling of celery salt spices up bland salads. Creamy salad dressings are frequently made with celery salt. The celery seed flavor is a refreshing complement to crisp vegetables, and the salt makes the whole salad taste a bit more savory.

Celery salt can be rubbed on meats alone, or in combination with other herbs and spices. It pairs well with dry mustard, paprika, garlic powder, parsley, black pepper and ginger. It is frequently combined with any of these spices and added to marinades with bases of lemon juice, soy sauce or white vinegars. Celery salt perks up the flavor of fish when combined with melted butter and drizzled over the top. It can also be sprinkled into boiling water to season shellfish as it cooks.

Bloody Mary print from Drywell Art by Alyson Thomas

Bloody Mary print from Drywell Art by Alyson Thomas

Last but not least, you can totally enhance your Bloody Mary with a dash of celery salt.  Bartenders use celery salt to add flavor to Bloody Marys. Some mix the seasoning into the drink and others line it on the rim of the serving glass. The salt brings out the taste of the tomato juice in the drink, while the celery seed adds a hint of freshness. Celery salt is also used in seasoning homemade tomato or mixed vegetable juices. It can be sprinkled into canned or bottled vegetable juices to enhance taste.

So yay for celery salt!!

Cheers,

AV

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2 Responses to Did You Know…?

  1. Very informative, looking forward to more great info!

  2. Michael Paul Henderson says:

    I just revisited this post after after a year and it still makes me hungry and thirsty! Hot dogs and Bloody Marys the perfect hangover remedy!

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