Celery Root and Sweet Potato Mash

recipes May 24, 2024

Original recipe by Karen Wang, Certified Nutritionist & Chef

About Celery Root

One of the most underappreciated and underused vegetables is celery root, also known as celeriac. Not to be confused with plain old celery, although they are close cousins. This rather unruly root belongs to the Apiaceae family, which includes carrots, fennel, and parsnip. Other common names are knob celery or turnip-rooted celery.

You have probably seen a celery root in the market and, like most people, stared at it, noted how weird it looks with its rough texture and knobby bottom, and walked away. Hopefully, after reading this, you will pick one up next time you go shopping and bring it home to enjoy with your family or friends. For underneath its strange facade is a hidden gem that offers a starchy satisfaction, delicate celery flavor, plus plenty of nutritional goodies that would make a potato turn green with envy.

This recipe offers a gut-friendly and anti-inflammatory option to mashed potatoes. Celery root and sweet potatoes are not in the nightshade family, and they both confer many nutritional benefits that are superior to our standard spud. Plus, they have less starch and calories, too.

  • Celeriac is very low in calories. 100 grams of celery contains only 42 calories, compared to potato which has 77 calories, and the celeriac can also boast more fiber.
  • Since celery root belongs to the Apiaceae family of vegetables, it contains many common antioxidants such as falcarinol, falcarindiol, panaxydiol, and methyl-falcarindiol.  Those same tongue-twisting, cross-eyed-antioxidant compounds offer anti-cancer protection, especially against colon cancer.
  • Celeriac is an excellent source of vitamin K. 100 g equals 30% of the recommended daily intake. Vitamin K is an essential nutrient for bone health as well as heart health. With proper vitamin K intake, calcium is utilized within the skeletal structure (where it belongs) and not absorbed into the arterial network, where it can cause deposits within blood vessel walls.
  • In addition, celery root is a good source of essential minerals such as phosphorus, iron, calcium, copper, and manganese.

How to Handle a Celeriac

Due to its uneven surface, especially on the bottom, peeling a celery root poses challenges. After you have removed all the fibrous, knobby parts, you may end up with only about half of what you started with! In other words, it is too much effort for not a lot of flesh.  However, much of that disappointment can be avoided if you simply put the whole root in a big pot of boiling water and cook it until tender.  Then, peeling it with a paring knife is simple, and you can easily negotiate around the nooks and crannies.

Depending on what you want to use it for, you can cook it until very tender for a mash or puree, keep it firm to add to a stew or stir fry, or cut it into strips to add to a salad.

Celery Root and Sweet Potato Mash


  • 1 whole celery root, unpeeled
  • 1  *sweet potato, unpeeled
  • Celtic sea salt or other high-quality sea salt
  • White pepper
  • Butter (organic or grass-fed) OR extra virgin olive oil

(Exact quantities are not included in this recipe because celery roots and sweet potatoes come in different sizes. The ratio should be about  50/50, and use your own taste to determine the amount of salt,  pepper, and butter.)

* If you want your mash to look like mashed potatoes,  get the  Japanese or Hannah sweet potatoes, which have a creamy-beige interior. Jewels or Garnets have orange-red interiors.


  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
  2. Add the whole celery root and sweet potato to the pot, covering them to the top with water.  Add more water if needed.
  3. Place the cover onto the pot, slightly ajar, to allow steam to escape.  Boil until both are very tender.  The sweet potato will cook a little quicker than the celery root, so check the done-ness with a paring knife.
  4. Peel both roots when they are ready. (You may want to run them under cold water so they’re easier to handle.)
  5. Rough cut the peeled roots and place the chunks into a large bowl or back into the pot (minus the water, of course).
  6. Add a good chunk of butter or olive oil and mash until the whole thing is well mixed and well mashed.  (You can also place the chucks into a food processor.  The mash will be very smooth and more starchy done this way.)
  7. Season with Celtic sea salt and pepper to taste.

If the mash has cooled off too much, simply place it in a heat-proof dish and reheat it in the oven until it is nice and hot.  Serve with more butter melted on top, or add extra virgin olive oil drizzles.




Get Our Newsletter

Sign up to be notified about future blog posts!