Sometimes produce can only be bought in large quantities and it may be difficult for our bunnies to eat each thing before it goes bad. That’s where our Eat Like a Rabbit Series comes in: Share produce with your bunnies and save money while eating healthy!
One of the things our bunnies eat regularly is celery. It’s not their favorite, but it never gets left in their bowls either. Rabbits can eat both the celery stalks and the leaves, thoroughly washed. We like to chop the stalks up into small 0.5″ pieces, because they are stringy and possibly difficult to chew otherwise. Our bunnies get about 1/2 a stalk for breakfast and dinner when available.
Celery is a plant used as a vegetable in the kitchen. There are different kinds of celery, but the one most commonly used in the US is pascal celery, with long stalks and few leaves. It has a very distinct taste and the darker the color, the stronger the flavor. According to Self Nutrition Data, it’s a good source of Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Calcium, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Potassium and Manganese.
Just like the bunnies, humans can enjoy both the stalks and leaves of the celery plant. The leaves may be added to salads or soups or dried and used as a spice. The stalks can be eaten raw or cooked. They are often used to flavor soups or raw to spice up salads. Many people enjoy raw celery dipped in dressing or peanut butter, but personally, I prefer celery to be mixed with other foods.
Since it is a low-calorie food that provides fiber, celery is a great option when the rabbit (or the human) is on a weight loss diet. It should be avoided if diarrhea is an issue.
Wild celery was known in ancient Egypt and Greece and used for medicinal purposes. Today’s cultivated celery dates back to the 17th century. Another cool thing about celery is that it can be regrown from the base. Once you chop all the stalks off, place the end/base in a glass of water in the sunshine. A few days later, it can be planted in a pot or garden. Neat!
The best way to store celery is to chop off the ends and wrap all the stalks together in aluminum foil. They will keep fresh for a couple of weeks in the fridge that way without getting soft! The leaves can be saved in a zip-lock bag or dried.
Here are two recipes that include celery:
1. Easy Side Dish: Cheesy Baked Celery
Simply chop up the celery stalks into 4-5″ pieces and boil them in vegetable broth for 5-10 minutes (if you like it crispy) or 10-15 minutes (if you prefer it well done). Place the celery in a greased oven-safe dish and sprinkle with cheese before baking it until the cheese melts. Optional additions include salt/pepper, Italian spices, tomato slices, ham, and onions. The broth can be used for soups or as a warm beverage. Serve with baguette or a creamy sauce as a side dish.
2. Yummy Main Dish: Chickpea Salad Sandwich
We found the following recipe online and it’s our new favorite! This recipe serves 2-3 people and is completely vegan. Chickpea salad tastes great on any kind of bread, but we especially love it on rye bread or toasted whole wheat.
1 can (15 oz) chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup celery, sliced
1/2 cup carrots, diced
1/4 – 1/3 cup green onions, sliced
1/4 cup of hummus
1 – 2 tablespoons mustard (stoneground or dijon)
sea salt & cracked pepper, to taste
dash of garlic powder
juice of 1 lemon (optional)
Mash the chickpeas with a fork or potato masher on a plate. Place in bowl and chop up celery, carrots, and green onions. Add hummus, mustard, spices, and lemon juice. Mix well and serve on your favorite bread.
We hope you enjoy these recipes and if you have any good ones to share that involve celery, let us know in the comments!