Celery seeds are among the oldest of European vegetable seeds. The dried fruit, the edible seeds of this perennial plant, can be found as a dry seed or whole seeds. Dry ground celery seeds are especially easier to utilize in smoothies and sauces, because they quickly mix well to the liquid. However, grinding the seeds means that some of the volatile oils in the seed lose some of their characteristic flavor and oils, which is why it is advisable to purchase the seed whole and grind them before you intend to use them in a recipe. The following steps will help you determine when to grind your dry seed.
Many people say that ground celery seeds lack the fiber of the whole seed, but the truth of the matter is that the lack of fiber diminishes the flavor somewhat, and the lack of fiber may also restrict the amount of nutrients absorbed by the vegetable. In addition, it is said that certain kinds of seed are good for diabetics, because the fiber content prevents blood sugar levels from rising. This claim may be true for those with type 1 diabetes, although this hasn't been proven. There is no harm in opting to purchase ground celery seeds than to leave them in their whole state. The fiber can also be taken with fruit juices, except that the juice should not contain fruit juices exclusively.
As far as flavor is concerned, people seem to go for the more bitter kind of celery seeds, such as the junkyard variety. However, it is possible to grind these seeds to improve their flavor; if they have been stored for a while, the flavor can be improved by adding some honey and lemon zest. They can also be substituted with parsley, dill, or fresh thyme.
The most common way to prepare the vegetable is to mix them with water and season them according to taste, using herbs such as dill, fennel, mint, or Rosemary. One of the most popular ways of cooking with celery seeds is in soups and stews. These dishes are normally served when you are either going to eat them hot or cold, or in the morning, when the body does not have a lot of fiber to process. You can try serving stews or soups with baked potatoes, rice, or whole grain bread. There are also dishes where you stir the beans along with the vegetables, such as in a chili.
There are several dishes that can be cooked with dried celery seeds, but you need to keep in mind that there are some dishes that are better cooked with fresh vegetables, and other dishes which are better cooked with the chopped variety. For example, fried chicken or steak is usually best cooked without celery seeds or in dishes with onions. In fish dishes, such as salmon or tuna, you can use it sparingly because it may cause an excess of salt.
Other dishes you can prepare that do not call for dried celery seeds include pasta sauces, vegetable dips, soups, and stews. You can either substitute the dry spice in these dishes with vegetable bouillon or vegetable butter, or you can simply use it sparingly. In salads, you can prepare a paste with the chopped celery seeds, or you can add it to a bowl of crushed salad ingredients to enhance the flavor. Dried oregano is a favorite for flavoring sauces, and adding it to eggplant, chicken, or pork dishes will enhance the flavors of these foods, while lemon pepper is also a good choice.
Besides being a strong antioxidant, vitamin C from celery seeds also has many other beneficial qualities. It can naturally prevent heart disease, protect your liver from damage due to alcohol abuse, and reduce cholesterol. It is also believed to boost your immune system and aid digestion. In addition to lowering your blood pressure, vitamin C from this spice can help regulate your stomach contractions, which is beneficial in cases of gastritis or irritable bowel syndrome. It can even help relieve asthma and eczema symptoms.
Many of these celery seeds' health benefits can be traced back to their anti-inflammatory properties. Celery seeds contain the antioxidant apigenin, which is the "happy" hormone found in those who are younger and healthier. This celery seed extract can reduce the symptoms of arthritis, decrease cholesterol levels, and increase your HDL (good cholesterol), while reducing your LDL (bad cholesterol).