Juicing has become an incredibly popular way to get more vitamins and nutrients into your diet. Fresh vegetable and fruit juices are packed with antioxidants, phytonutrients, enzymes, and other health-promoting compounds. One vegetable that is commonly used in juicing is celery. But can you use regular celery stalks for juicing or do you need a specific type of celery?
What is Juicing?
Juicing refers to extracting the liquid and nutrients from fruits and vegetables. A juicer machine is used to press, grind, and pulverize produce to separate the fiber from the juice. The resulting juice contains most of the vitamins, minerals, and plant compounds from the produce used. However, the fiber content is greatly reduced compared to eating whole fruits and vegetables.
There are a few different types of juicers available, but centrifugal and cold press (masticating) juicers are two of the most popular options. Centrifugal juicers separate juice from produce using a fast spinning metal blade. Cold press juicers crush and press produce slowly to get the juice out. Cold press juicers tend to produce higher yields and allow less oxidation, meaning juice lasts longer before going bad.
Benefits of Juicing
There are many proposed benefits to drinking vegetable and fruit juices, including:
- Increased vitamin, mineral, and antioxidant intake
- Enhanced hydration
- Improved digestion and gut health
- Detoxification and body cleansing
- Higher energy levels
- Better skin, hair, and nail health
- Weight loss
While juicing should not completely replace eating whole fruits and vegetables, it can be a convenient way to get in extra nutrition. Juicing makes it easy to consume a wide variety of produce, especially for people who don’t enjoy eating a lot of raw veggies and fruits.
Is Celery Good for Juicing?
Celery is one of the most commonly juiced vegetables, and for good reason. It adds delicious flavor and tons of nutrients to juices. Celery contains vitamin K, folate, potassium, and over a dozen different antioxidants. It has anti-inflammatory properties and can help promote heart health and lower blood pressure. Celery juice also contains phytonutrients called phthalides that help relax smooth muscles.
Some of the top benefits of juicing celery include:
- Lowers inflammation
- Rich in antioxidants
- May lower blood pressure
- Provides hydration
- Detoxifies the body
- Packed with essential vitamins and minerals
Celery is extremely low in calories, with only about 10-15 calories per celery stalk. It has a high water content, making it great for keeping you hydrated. The fiber has also been removed during the juicing process, so celery juice is easy for your body to rapidly absorb and utilize the nutrients.
Can You Juice Regular Store-Bought Celery?
This brings us to the original question – can you use regular celery from the grocery store for juicing? The short answer is yes. Any type of fresh celery stalk can be juiced. Most celery available at local supermarkets or farmer’s markets works great for juicing.
There are a few different common varieties of celery. Some types include:
- Green celery – This is the most common regular celery. It has long green stalks with light green leaves.
- Golden celery – Golden celery has yellowish stems instead of green. It tends to have a slightly sweeter milder taste.
- Red celery – Red celery has vibrant pink stems. It contains the same nutrients as green celery.
- Chinese celery – Chinese celery has much thinner stalks and stronger flavor. It is used more like an herb.
All these varieties of fresh celery can be juiced. Their nutritional profiles are very similar. When choosing celery for juicing, look for fresh, crisp stalks without browning or damage.
What About Organic Celery?
You may be wondering if organic celery is better to use for juicing. Here’s a quick comparison of regular vs. organic celery:
|Regular Celery||Organic Celery|
|May contain traces of pesticides||Does not contain synthetic pesticides|
|Usually cheaper||More expensive than regular|
|Available year-round||May have limited seasonal availability|
|Can be grown with chemical fertilizers||Grown with natural fertilizers|
|Same nutrition content as organic||Same nutrition content as regular|
As you can see, both regular and organic celery have the same nutritional values. However, some people prefer paying extra for organic to avoid pesticides. This is especially important if you are juicing celery daily. If your budget allows, choosing organic is recommended but not essential.
What Parts of Celery Can Be Juiced?
Every part of fresh celery can be juiced – the stalks, leaves, and roots. Here is an overview of each part:
The long crispy stalks are the most common part of celery used for juicing. They contain the highest concentration of nutrients and make up the bulk of celery juice.
Celery leaves are often removed before celery is sold but if still attached, they can be juiced as well. The leaves contain different phytonutrients than the stalks. Celery leaves add more intense flavor.
Also called celeriac, celery root is the bottom part of celery growing underground. Celery root has an earthy taste and can be used along with the stalks and leaves when juicing.
Some people juice strictly celery stalks, while others like to use the entire plant. Try experimenting to see what blend of flavors you prefer.
Can You Juice Celery That Isn’t Fresh?
Freshness is very important when juicing celery for maximum nutrition. Celery that is old, wilted, or damaged should not be used for juicing. Here are some signs that celery may be past its prime:
- Limp or bendy stalks
- Brown or black spots
- Dry, cracked, or split ends
- Wilting leaves
- Soft or mushy spots
- Strong bitter flavor
Ideally celery should be juiced within 1-2 weeks of purchasing for the best quality. Properly store celery in a loose plastic bag in the fridge to help extend its shelf life. But if any discoloration or damage occurs, the celery should be discarded.
You also cannot effectively juice celery that has been cooked. Cooked celery becomes too soft and mushy to properly extract the juice. Always use fresh, crisp raw celery for juicing.
Does Celery Juice Stay Good If You Make Ahead?
Like most vegetable juices, celery juice is best fresh. To keep juice in optimal condition, it is recommended you drink it immediately after juicing. However, you can store celery juice in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Over time, some nutrients in celery juice degrade from exposure to air and light. The juice will also start to separate, with the pulp settling on the bottom. Make sure to shake or stir juice each time before drinking if it has been stored.
You can get the most out of celery juice by following these steps:
- Juice enough for one serving only, about 1-2 cups
- Drink the juice immediately after juicing for maximum nutrition
- Store leftover juice in an opaque airtight container if not drinking right away
- Keep juice refrigerated and drink within 24-72 hours
- Shake or stir juice before each serving
Should You Peel Celery Before Juicing?
Many people prefer to peel celery stalks before putting them into the juicer. Reasons for peeling celery first include:
- Removes dirt or grit from the surface
- Gets rid of any unwanted leaves or ends
- Removes the tough fibrous strings
- Allows you to juice just the innermost tender parts
However, peeling is not mandatory. The nutrients in celery juice come from all parts of the stalk, not just the inner core. Peeling can allow more yield from the juicing but also results in loss of nutrients. You can peel celery before juicing if you prefer, but it is not required.
What’s the Best Juicer for Celery?
Celery is a fibrous crunchy vegetable that can be tricky to juice efficiently. Pieces can get stuck and clog up some juicer machines. The best juicers for celery include:
Also called slow or cold press juicers, masticating juicers crush produce through a slow grinding and pressing system. This allows them to break down fibrous veggies well. Top picks are the Omega J8006 and Hurom HH Elite.
Triturating juicers have twin gears that rotate to crush produce. They yield the most juice from celery. The Super Angel Juicer is a top choice.
These fast spinning juicers tend to work less efficiently for celery than masticating types. However, some powerful models like the Breville Juice Fountain can still juice celery with decent results.
Preparing Celery for Juicing
Properly preparing celery before juicing can ensure you get the most nutrients and highest yield:
- Rinse off and scrub celery to remove dirt or debris
- Trim off any brown or damaged parts of the stalks
- Cut celery down to fit feed tube of your juicer
- No need to peel if celery is not dirty or blemished
- Juice leaves, stalks, and root all together or separately
Can You Juice the Whole Celery Bunch at Once?
It’s best not to overload your juicer with too much celery at one time. Stuffing the feed chute full can cause juicer jams and clogs. For optimal results, follow these tips:
- Cut celery down into pieces no longer than 8 inches
- Alternate adding celery with other veggies like cucumber or carrot
- Let the juicer fully process each piece before adding more
- Don’t add more than 2-3 celery stalks at a time
- Let juicer rest 1-2 minutes after each full bunch
Juicing smaller batches prevents overworking your machine so it lasts longer. Juicing part of a celery bunch, letting the juicer rest, then juicing more is best.
Celery Juice Recipes
Some delicious recipes using celery juice include:
- 1 cucumber
- 4 stalks celery
- Handful of kale or spinach
- 1 apple
- 1⁄2 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
Tropical Celery Juice
- 4 stalks celery
- 1 cup pineapple chunks
- 1 orange, peeled
- 1⁄2 lime
- 1⁄4 cup coconut water
- Ice cubes
Detox Celery Juice
- 5 stalks celery
- 1 cucumber
- 1⁄2 lemon
- 1 inch ginger
- Dash cayenne pepper
Get creative mixing celery with fruits and veggies you enjoy! Celery juice makes a great base for kid-friendly juices too.
Potential Side Effects of Celery Juice
Celery juice is safe for most people when consumed in moderation. However some potential side effects can include:
- Allergic reactions (celery allergy is rare)
- Bloating or gas
- Celery can interact with certain medications
- High oxalate content may aggravate kidney stones
Introduce celery juice slowly to make sure it agrees with you. Speak with your doctor before juicing high amounts of celery if you have kidney issues or take any medications.
Regular celery from the store works great for juicing and packs a nutritious punch. While organic celery may contain fewer pesticides, both regular and organic celery can be used. For best results, juice fresh crisp celery within 1-2 weeks of purchasing. Make sure to alternating adding small batches of celery to prevent juicer clogging when juicing. With its many health benefits and delicious mild flavor, celery is one of the top veggies to use for juicing.