Delicious and perfectly flavored baked celery root fries (also known as celeriac chips), made using only four ingredients. This recipe is paleo-friendly, whole 30 compliant, low carb, and keto.
A Brief History Of the Vegetable
Celeriac, also known as celery root is a nutritious vegetable that is seeing less and less usage in today's kitchen. It was used in ancient times as a vegetable as well as for seasoning purposes. The Romans treasured it as a great anti-depressant. Its popularity declined in the middle ages before it made its reappearance in Italy during the 17th century.
It is mostly consumed in Europe where it is also mostly cultivated. Also, it is cultivated all year round and gets particularly cheap during the fall and wintertime (somewhere between September and March). The roots tend to vary in size ranging from that of a pear to the size of a honeydew melon.
You only require four simple everyday ingredients to make these oven-baked celery root fries:-
- Celeriac (celery root): when buying, select one that feels heavy for it's size and doesn't have dents or dark-brown discolorations, a common sign for overripe roots. For this recipe, I would advise you to pick a medium-sized one as it is much easier to work with when cutting.
- Seasoning: salt and ground sweet paprika. These are easily available to buy at most local supermarkets and farmers' markets.
- Olive oil - but you can also use your favorite cooking oil.
Good news! You do not need fancy kitchen tools for this recipe, rather, just your everyday kitchen equipment. Here is what you will need:
- Chef's knife - which will be used in cutting and peeling (the surface of the celeriac can be sometimes rough and knobby, so make sure the knife used is sharp enough). Alternatively, you could use your potato peeler to peel.
- Chopping board - to assist with the peeling and cutting into fries.
- A medium-sized mixing bowl - big enough to allow you to toss the oil and seasoning properly.
- A baking tray or cooling rack - A cooling rack is actually better as it results in even circulation of air. If you don't have one then it's ok. You can perfectly proceed to use your baking tray. Just spread the chips or fries as much as possible to prevent ending up with soggy fries.
- Parchment paper - prevents the fries from sticking into the baking tray.
How to peel and cut
Peeling and cutting celery root is actually easier than you may think. I know, this knobby root can look intimidating but trust me, it is very simple.
Peeling: first, start by cutting off each end so you end up with a flat base, which makes it easier to work and prevents it from slipping during peeling. It also makes the cutting process easier.
Next, lay the celeriac on a clean chopping board. Using a chef's knife, start from the top and cut downwards. Alternatively, you can slice it into halves, then slice again so you end up with quarters, then proceed on to peel.
Cutting: to cut into chips or fries, first slice the celery root into quarters and then slice these into smaller pieces each about an inch thick. Next, cut into sticks, about a quarter of an inch wide. If you prefer shorter fries or chips, slice cross-sectionally in the middle. You can also cut into other types of cuts such as cubes, and use them in other recipes.
How to make
Once you have peeled and sliced your celery root, pre-heat the oven for about 5 minutes at 400°F (about 200°C), using the conventional oven settings. Meanwhile, proceed on with the other preparations as follows:
- Place the peeled fries in a medium-sized bowl - this will make it easier to mix the seasoning.
- Toss with oil, salt, and paprika - to season.
- Arrange on a baking tray or cooling rack- try as much as possible to spread them out.
- Bake: for approximately 30-35 minutes.
- Serve: serve these oven-baked celeriac chips or fries with guacamole, drumsticks, filled omelette, or with a healthy side salad.
You can save time by making the celeriac fries or chips ahead of time. To do so, proceed to peel and slice the celeriac in the normal way then blanch the cut fries in a pot of salty water for about 2 minutes. Next, transfer to a bowl filled with cold water and ice cubes to stop the cooking process. Place in Ziploc bags or in an airtight container. Store in the freezer. When stored properly, they will keep for about 10 months.
Refrigeration and Freezing
In the fridge- store uncut celeriac in the vegetable compartment of the fridge. However, avoid storing it next to other vegetables as it tends to get spoiled quickly. Once cut, wrap using a plastic wrap or an airtight container and store in the fridge for about 3 days.
Freezing - to freeze, blanch by boiling in hot water for 2-3 minutes then transfer to a bowl with ice-cold water to stop the boiling or cooking process.
Calories in Celeriac
Needless to say, celeriac is a very healthy vegetable. Excluding the salt, one cup or 155 g of cooked celeriac has 41.8 calories (7.28 g net carbs, 18.6mg Magnesium, and 12.5mg Vitamin C, among other useful vitamins and minerals.
The low amount of net carbs makes it a wonderful vegetable for those on the low carb and keto diets.
The first table below shows the nutritional information per one cup or 156 grams of cooked celeriac.
|Calories ( 1 cup /155 g)||41.8||kcal|
|Total lipids (fat)||0.295||g|
|Total dietary fibre||1.86||g|
|Vitamin C - total ascorbic acid||5.58||mg|
|Folate - food||4.65||µg|
The second table below shows the nutritional information per one cup or 155 grams of raw celery root.
|Calories ( 1 cup /156 g)||65.5||kcal|
|Total lipids (fat)||0.468||g|
|Total dietary fibre||2,81||g|
|Sugars (including NLEA)||2.5||g|
|Vitamin C - total ascorbic acid||12.5||mg|
|Folate - total||12.5||µg|
The nutritional information has been obtained from the USDA database.
Frequently Asked Questions
It has a taste that tends towards that of parsley mixed with celery, and, bears a very strong aroma. Late harvested celery roots have a stronger aroma than those harvested earlier. I absolutely recommend using spices and herbs to enhance the taste and flavor, when cooking or baking.
You will normally find celeriac or celery root at your local farmers' market. Most supermarkets will also have it, especially during the colder months of fall (autumn) and winter. Alternatively, you could search online for local suppliers near you.
Celeriac has several uses in today's kitchen. You can make mash from it just as you would with mashed potatoes, make fries or chips, hash-browns, make remoulade using it, soups or gratins. It can also be distilled to produce essential oils from which liquors can be made. Grate and eat raw as a salad.
Celeriac does turn brown once cut hence it is important to store it properly (see how above). Some people also prefer to store the cut celeriac in a bowl of water with a squeeze of lemon juice in it. The bowl is then covered with plastic wrap or an airtight lid. You may, however, lose a few vitamins storing it like this.
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Baked Celeriac Chips or Fries
- 15.8 0z raw celery root about 450g
- 1½ teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- Pre-heat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C) conventional oven setting.
- First, start by cutting off each end so you end up with a flat base, which makes it easier to work and prevents it from slipping during peeling. Lay it on a board and use a knife to peel it lengthwise.Alternatively, slice the celeriac or celery root lengthise, first into halves, then into quarters. Using a knife, a potato or vegetable peeler, peel the celeriac.
- Cut into quarters, then slice into smaller pieces and eventually into fingers (chips or fries), each about a ¼ of an inch thick.
- Transfer the cut slices to a medium-sized bowl. Toss with olive oil, salt and paprika.
- Place the fries on a rack or baking tray. Spread them out, trying as much as possible not to have them touch.Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until slightly crunchy on the outside but soft on the inside.
- Serve the celery root fries your favourite main dish, salad or dipping sauce.
- TIP: Take care not to store celeriac or celery root together with other vegetables as it tends to go bad quickly.