Apium graveolens, known as celery in common words, is typically a European plant. Its uses are found in many parts of the world, and the stalks and roots of the plant are used in making several delicious cuisines as well. Fresh stalks are available in the vegetable markets, throughout the year. It belongs to the carrot family and hence is a very popular vegetable, just like its counterparts. Fresh celery is a very popular ingredient in various salad recipes.
There are two varieties of celery that are cultivated for edible purposes. They are called Pascal and golden celery. The plant thrives well in salty and humid soil and is at its best during June and July. Due to its nutrition, there are hardly any parts of the plant that are not used and benefited from. Its fruits, known as celery seeds, are also a great ingredient in various food recipes.
The celery seed substitute is only a must when people do not find the seeds easily at hand, which is not the normal case, as they can be easily available in supermarkets. In fact, fresh celery can vanish from the markets, but the seeds are almost always available throughout the year. Since the 'celery' flavor is essential in many dishes, like pickles and stews, the substitute must be the celery itself!
Pardon the pun, but really, a quality substitute can be fresh celery leaves, that a person can use minced, chopped or as they are, as per the requirement of the recipe. Some people also claim that dill seeds can be a good substitute. So, one can try them as well, just make sure to have prepared a trial recipe with dill seeds before using it for a crowd! Another thing that one can easily find and that can be effective at the same time is, celery salt! As the celery salt is made of the celery seeds, use it instead of the table salt. Make sure to not to overuse it, as it is a bit strong!
Celery seeds have the same flavor and smell, like their leaves. Only that they are somewhat bitter to sour in taste and have a very frizzy texture. Due to their equivalent properties, these seeds are popularly used in the Mediterranean, Indian, and several European cuisines. They are also a popular ingredient in some North American foods. The most popular usage of celery is in the process of pickle making, salad dressing, salsas, soups, etc., as they give a sort of tangy flavor to the food when combined with tomatoes. Celery salt, which is a combination of celery seeds and coarse salt, can be useful for making cocktails.
Along with these culinary uses, celery seeds are low on the calorie count, and so they have numerous health benefits as well. They are anti-carcinogenic, and they help to maintain the blood pressure levels. They are also beneficial for cholesterol, gout, arthritis, muscle cramps, obesity, kidney diseases, kidney stones, etc. They are also rich in antibiotic properties, and hence they prove beneficial in healing infections. Finding a substitute is a great quest that one has to put up with to find a powerful substance as itself.
Well, in our opinion, store the seeds in an airtight container. They will last a bit longer that normal and will definitely save you the trouble of finding the substitute as well! Happy cooking!