Ground celery seeds: uses & recipes

Ground celery seed
Ground celery seed spice comes from whole celery seeds that have been dried and ground into a fine powder. This spice has a delicate flavor profile with an earthy, grassy, herbal, and slightly bitter flavor. The spice is common in Mediterranean, Asian, American, and Indian cuisines in pickle brines, seasoning blends, and cocktails.

What are ground celery seeds?

Ground celery seeds
Ground celery seeds

Ground celery seeds are the powder from ground dried whole celery seeds, the fruits of the wild celery plant. 

Wild celery seeds are preferred for grinding because they have a more pronounced celery flavor than the conventional celery plant (Apium graveolens).

OriginThe Mediterranean and southern and eastern Europe
AppearanceDark greenish-brown
Flavor profileGrassy, herbal, earthy, and slightly bitter
CuisinesAsian, European, Indian, and North American

Origin

Celery plants are endemic to the Mediterranean and southern and eastern Europe. They now grow in China, the US, Japan, France, Hungary, and India.

Appearance

Whole celery seeds have a brown color with light laces, while ground celery is dark greenish-brown.

Ground celery seeds have a fine texture but may have crunchy seed bits. They may also have a slightly rough texture, like celery flakes (when crushed slightly).

Flavor profile

Ground celery seeds have a grassy, herbal, earthy, and slightly bitter flavor. It’s a delicate flavor profile, so it’s best to use the spice shortly after grinding it.

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The sweetness of dried ground celery seeds heightens during cooking while the bitterness reduces.

Celery seeds from different growing regions may have varying flavor profiles. For example, French celery seeds are herbal, sweet, and citrusy, and Indian celery seeds are more herbal and slightly lemony.

Cuisines

Ground celery seeds are typical in Asian, European, Indian, and North American cuisines.

Nutritional benefits of ground celery seeds

Ground celery seeds contain iron, manganese, zinc, phosphorous, and calcium minerals. These minerals help with various functions, such as bone health and the formation of red blood cells.

The high magnesium content in ground celery seeds may improve blood sugar levels by increasing the body’s response to insulin. This may reduce the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

The antioxidant effects of celery seeds reduce oxidation in the body to keep your cells healthy and alive. They contain antioxidants like luteolin, apigenin, and caffeic acid.

Celery seeds may reduce the pain associated with muscle spasms and menstrual cramps.

Is ground celery seed safe for pregnant women?

Ground celery seeds are unsafe for pregnant women and young children. Consuming the seeds may damage the uterus. The muscle contractions they cause in the uterus may cause a miscarriage.

Eating celery seeds may also increase the risk of dehydration in pregnant women. As a diuretic, the seeds increase urine output and may increase the effect of other diuretics used to manage cardiac disease and hypertension during pregnancy.

Is ground celery seed the same as celery powder?

Ground celery seeds and celery powder are the same thing. However, you can also make celery powder from dried celery stalks and leaves. Ground celery seeds are also called dried celery seed powder, ground celery, or celery powder.

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What is ground celery seed used for?

Using ground celery seeds is an excellent way to add depth to cold and hot dishes by imparting the delicate celery flavor of the seeds.

The spice is versatile and ideal for uses including:

  • Adding a sandy or gritty texture to dry rubs for meats
  • As a seafood seasoning
  • Flavoring marinades, coleslaw, vinaigrettes, potato salads, smoothies, soups, stews, barbecue sauces, and deviled eggs
  • Flavoring pickle brines
  • Making celery salt, a mixture of ground celery and table salt
  • Making spice blends like Old Bay seasoning, an 18-ingredient spice that may feature herbs and spices like garlic powder, bay leaf, salt, paprika, coriander, Cayenne pepper, cumin, and mustard seed.
  • Making tea
  • Spicing Bloody Mary cocktails
  • Substituting celery salt in unsalted recipes, dill seeds, caraway, celery flakes, fennel seeds, and star anise

The best recipes with ground celery seeds

Bloody Mary
Bloody Mary

Here are some recipes to try with ground celery seeds:

  1. Old bay seasoning
  2. Bloody mary
  3. Fried corn beef sandwich
  4. Richmond potato salad
  5. Homemade onion soup mix
  6. Traditional Memphis brown BBQ sauce
  7. Homemade ranch dressing

Can you grind celery seeds?

You can grind celery seeds at home in an electric spice grinder. Buy dried whole celery seeds and grind these to your desired level of fineness.

Once ground, store the powder in airtight containers in a cool, dry, dark place. Celery seeds start losing their essential oils when ground, so you might want to only grind the amount you can use immediately in a recipe.

Alex Maina

Since discovering how well spices transform a dish from bland to enjoyable in seconds, Alex became sold on using spices to better three of his major passions—gardening, cooking, and writing. When he is not tending to his spice crops, you'll find him trying a new recipe, writing for the Spice Gourmand, or serving a second helping of his spicy food!

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