Every Sunday is like the last, my wife sends me to the store with a list of items for the week. All the basics are on there:
You get the idea. Like a zombie, I mindlessly walk the store and get each item on the list and bring them home. While unpacking I start to make comments about each item (I probably should write an article on why I shouldn’t do that) and why we don’t need them.
I always get hung up on celery and lettuce. They don’t do anything for me and I see them as a side item to my sandwich or meal. Actually, I would rather substitute spinach or broccoli for each of them, because I know those two vegetables are healthy (as long as Pop-Eye and my mom aren’t liars).
So that got me thinking of researching and writing an article on the nutritional benefits of lettuce and celery. Exciting, earth shattering stuff, I know.
Well I was actually quite surprised by the minerals and nutrients each one packed. For instance, did you know celery is a great source of riboflavin, calcium, dietary fiber, and contains good amounts of vitamin A, B6, C, and K? I didn’t either. All of these nutrients and vitamins are key cogs that keep our body functioning at a high level.
What about lettuce? Well, let me break that down as well. Lettuce contains thiamin, vitamins B6, A, C, K and (like celery) are very good sources for dietary fiber, folate and manganese.
So now that you know that you know the power that these watery, tasteless vegetables pack, here are some ways to incorporate them into your daily meals.
Celery, when I think of it, is seen as the main side with a plate of buffalo wings, Well, that may be very true but have you ever tried adding celery to soup? Your spinach salad? What about mixing it in with canned tuna and spreading it on bread for a sandwich? These are all great ways to get celery into your diet without having to eat it raw.
Want your kids to eat more celery. Will try the tried and true Ants on a Log recipe that kids have been devouring up for who knows how long. Simple cut each celery stalk into 3 pieces, smear peanut butter in the gap (or almond butter for a healthier option) and add 3 to 4 raisins (these are your ants) and voila!
How about lettuce? Well just because you buy it for taco night and then forget about it until it starts stinking up your fridge, doesn’t mean it cannot be used as an enhancer to any lunch or dinner item. Making a turkey or other cold cut sandwich? Sprinkle some lettuce on it. Have a left over tomato sitting on the counter, slice it up and combine with lettuce for a quick salad.
There are plenty of easy and simple ways to get better use of celery and lettuce. While these two vegetables may not be the sexiest out there (I am looking at you radish… oh you devil), they still provide quite the punch of vitamins and nutrients and shouldn’t be overlooked when meal planning.