Celery is an outstanding source of blood-fortifying vitamin K, immune-boosting vitamin C, and natural sodium and potassium, which balance your body’s fluids. Look for bright green, tightly bunched stalks that snap apart easily. Pat dry and refrigerate, wrapped in a barely damp towel. Celery leaves should look fresh and perky; they’re particularly flavorful, so include them in recipes. Use a vegetable peeler to remove celery stalks’ fibrous strings if you prefer.

Snack. For a grown-up version of ants-on-a-log, fill celery sticks with red-pepper or garlic hummus; top with edamame and sprinkle with paprika or cayenne.

Homemade stock. Cut 3 celery stalks with leaves,
1 large onion, and 2 large carrots into chunks; combine in 2 quarts water with 6 whole peppercorns and 2 bay leaves, plus any other herbs or vegetable cuttings you have. (Include chicken bones if you like.) Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 1–2 hours. Strain.

Soup. In a little olive oil, sauté until fragrant 1 bunch chopped celery and leaves with 1 chopped onion,
3 chopped garlic cloves, and 3 chopped Yukon gold potatoes. Add 4–5 cups vegetable stock, bring to a boil, and simmer until vegetables are tender. Purée in batches until smooth; season with salt and pepper.

Try this: Celery Salad with Miso Vinaigrette

Simple and surprisingly delicious! In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon light miso, 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard, 2 teaspoons agave nectar, and 4 tablespoons olive oil. slice 8 stalks celery diagonally into 1-inch pieces, place in a bowl, and sprinkle lightly with salt and pepper. Toss with dressing and top with 1⁄4 cup chopped, toasted walnuts. serve alone or on top of baby lettuces. serves 4.

PER SERVING: 141 cal, 11g fat (5g mono, 5g poly, 1g sat), 0mg chol, 3g protein, 7g carb, 3g fiber, 233mg sodium