March is National Celery Month…
I love celery …celery which is in season and grown and not forced as when it is forced it is green and bitter-tasting…
Celery contains a plant compound called apigenin, it has long played a role in traditional Chinese medicine as an anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antiviral, and antioxidant agent…
For me eating celery with crumpets and shellfish is how we used to eat it for Sunday Tea…an abiding childhood memory…my mother used to add it to her stews and casseroles and we used to fight over the hard, crunchy end bit of the celery…most of the time my dad won but occasionally he let us win…
Celery is mostly made up of water but it does provide fibre for our bodies…Combining celery with cucumber, apple, spinach, and lemon can produce a tasty and healthful smoothie.
Celery Juice also has naturally occurring nitrates and for this reason, I used the juice to cure my own bacon…
I have also been experimenting with various different ways of curing bacon and ham which may be more healthy…Bacon contains nitrates which some people have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.
Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery into the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.
Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring nitrates although for some people it may still cause headaches but if your aversion is to chemicals only then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.
I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.
For every Kilo of Pork use I used:
- 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
- 4 cloves garlic.
- 2 bay leaves
- A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
- 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
- 12 Pepper Corns,
- Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.
Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.
Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.
Rub into the Pork.
Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.
Store in the fridge for 5 Days.
After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.
Cook in the oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.
It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.
All I need now is a homemade smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…
Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?
Now the tester…How will it taste?
It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich…. Most households have some who love thick bacon and some who like thinner bacon the beauty of making your own bacon is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?
Celery can make a crunchy, tasty addition to many dishes, and its seeds and extracts may offer a range of health benefits. It can also make a handy low-calorie snack…it pairs well with cheeses, hummus and peanut butter…for a healthy snack…
Braised with some good homemade stock, butter and black pepper it makes a healthy side dish for a main.
Chopped it can be added to salad, soups…it adds a nice crunch to salads and is a great addition to soups and stews.
These small brown seeds can be deceiving as celery seeds are nutrient-dense and particularly rich in calcium, manganese, and iron. They’re low in calories and provide relatively equal amounts of carbs, protein, and fat…a versatile spice with many uses…sold as whole seeds, crushed, or as a ground spice. Ground celery seed is often referred to as celery powder.
Sprinkle them on your salad for a flavour boost…Mix them into hearty casseroles.
Use them as a spice rub for grilled meat…mix them into your barbeque dishes like coleslaw or potato salad…Add them to your pickling recipes…I always add them to my pickled onions and garlic…
Interestingly, some people use ground celery seeds to make tea. You can make your own by pouring boiling water over 1 tablespoon (6.5 grams) of ground seeds and steeping the mixture for roughly 10 minutes. Strain the seeds from the water and enjoy…
It is worth noting that traditional medicine and most research has focused on celery extracts rather than the consumption of celery sticks.
Thank you for joining me today…what is your favourite way to eat celery…I look forward to your comments as always …x