Trying to find vegetables that are low in carbs can be a challenge when following the ketogenic diet. While there are plenty of healthy veggies out there, not all of them are necessarily low in net carbs.
But celery isn’t one of them. Low in carbs and calories, celery makes a great addition to the keto diet.
Read on to find out why celery may be a great vegetable to add to your keto-friendly food repertoire.
Nutritional Profile of Celery
One medium celery stalk (40g) contains the following nutritional makeup:
- Calories: 6
- Carbohydrates 1.2g
- Fat 0.1g
- Protein 0.3g
- Sodium 32mg
- Potassium 104mg
- Fiber 0.6g
- Vitamin A 4%
- Vitamin C 2%
- Calcium 2%
- Iron 0%
Types of Celery
It might come as a surprise that there is actually more than one type of celery. While we might be most familiar with stalk celery, there are other celery plant varieties, including the following:
- Leaf Celery – Features a thin stalk and is grown mainly for its leaves and seeds.
- Celeriac – Grown for its root that is then peeled and can be eaten raw or cooked.
- Pascal – Most commonly eaten in the US.
Is Celery Keto Friendly?
Based on the fact that there are merely 1.2g of carbs in a stalk of celery, it’s safe to say that celery is certainly keto-friendly.
And the extremely low calories contained within one stalk make it an even better addition to the keto diet, and any diet in general.
Anyone looking to keep daily caloric counts low and lose weight would benefit from including celery in their diet.
As an added bonus, celery is rather high in potassium, which is a vital nutrient that helps make sure that electrolyte levels are high enough to avoid flu-like symptoms, particularly during the initial phases of the keto diet where the “keto flu” is somewhat common.
Things to Consider
As already mentioned, celery is low in calories in carbs and high in potassium.
It’s also crisp, refreshing, and rather versatile in terms of the types of dishes it can be added to.
Celery can make a convenient snack that can be taken on the go, or can be added to various recipes for delicious and hearty dishes.
That said, consuming too much celery may come with some drawbacks. Since celery is rather high in fiber and sodium, eating too much of it may lead to digestive upset.
Celery may also contain high levels of residual pesticides, which are toxins that can lead to toxicity in the brain and nervous system.
Pesticides in the body can also increase the risk of cancer, hormonal complications, and skin/eye irritation. That said, this can be combated by eating organic varieties.
It’s also possible for certain individuals to suffer an allergy or sensitivity to celery. In fact, celery allergies are rather common.
Those who suffer from pollen allergies may find themselves particularly sensitive to celery. Symptoms of celery allergies may include something as mild as itching of the throat to something as severe as anaphylactic shock.
Keto-Friendly Celery Recipes
Since celery is considered a keto-friendly food, you may want to enjoy it in more ways than just on its own.
Here are a couple of recipes you may want to try that are conducive to the ketogenic diet:
1. Cream of Celery Soup
A classic comfort food, this version of cream of celery soup is low in carbs but high in taste:
- 6 cups chopped celery
- 12 oz cauliflower rice
- 1/4 cup diced onion
- 1 tsp minced garlic
- 14 oz chicken broth
- 1/2 cup butter
- 16 oz heavy whipping cream
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- In a saucepan, melt butter over medium heat, then add onions and celery. Cook for 10 minutes.
- Leave 1-2 cups of the vegetable mix aside that will be added back in at the end.
- Add riced cauliflower and garlic, and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Add chicken broth, whipping cream, and salt, and bring to a simmer.
- Allow to simmer for 15 minutes.
- Blend in a food processor until smooth, then add remaining vegetables back in.
2. Baked Cheese Celery
Cheese is a staple on the keto diet, and this recipe will satisfy your palate and your belly!
- 8 celery stalk
- 1/2 cup heavy cream
- 3/4 cup grated cheddar cheese
- 1/3 cup vegetable broth
- 1/4 tsp salt
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut the celery sticks in half across the center. Boil them in water in a large saucepan, then let simmer for 4 to 5 minutes.
- Drain the celery and place in an oven-safe baking dish.
- Add the heavy cream, 1/2 cup of the cheese, broth, and salt to a small pan and cook over a low-medium heat. Continue to stir until the cheese melts.
- Pour the cheese sauce over the celery sticks, then sprinkle the remaining cheese on top.
- Place in the oven for 18 to 20 minutes.
Celery’s low carb and calorie content make it an ideal vegetable to include in your keto diet.
It’s also quite versatile, making it easy to snack on or add to your favorite low-carb, high-fat dishes.