The Crunchy Ingredient That Gives Bean Salad A Major Texture Upgrade

Bean salad in black bowl
Bean salad in black bowl - from my point of view/Shutterstock

What's not to love about bean salad? It's so yummy, can feed a crowd at a moment's notice, and it's the American classic you can pair with almost any main dish. And yes, no matter what diet you're on, whether vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free, bean salad ticks the box. Before you whip up a bowl of this beans and veggies assortment, take our advice and include at least one crunchy ingredient that'll give your salad a crowd-pleasing texture upgrade. Enter celery.

Here's why celery's crispy texture is a plus in bean salad. First, science has proven that crunchiness is a universally loved food texture. Secondly, that cracking sensation in the mouth sends signals to our brains that are interpreted as "fresh and nutritious." At the same time, the loud sound creates an addictive multi-sensory experience that makes the food seem tastier than ever; no wonder you find yourself reaching for one more mouthful after another of the crispy delights.

In addition to the benefits that come from its crunchy texture, celery is a nutrient-packed vegetable. It carries several anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative compounds that protect various body systems, including the digestive and musculoskeletal systems. And it's also a low-calorie ingredient if that's something you're keen on.

Read more: 30 Healthy Snack Ideas That Won't Ruin Your Diet

How To Include Celery In Your Bean Salad

Sliced fresh celery in glass bowl
Sliced fresh celery in glass bowl - itor/Shutterstock

Whether you're making the classic three-bean salad recipe or trying our creamy kidney bean salad, the process is straightforward. Gather the ingredients according to the recipe. When it comes to the celery, here's how to prepare this veggie. Start by selecting a fresh bunch. The stalks should be tightly packed and firm, with no discolorations or spotting. You can also inspect the leaves for signs of freshness — they should be bright green and not wilted.

Wash the celery thoroughly under running water. Next, trim away the root end and discard, then cut off the leaves but don't throw them out (there are multiple ways you can use celery leaves in the kitchen). Chop the stalks by cutting each one lengthwise then sectioning crosswise to make small cubes or slices. Once the chopped celery is ready, toss it in the salad with the beans and other ingredients. If this is a make-ahead dish, then wait until you're ready to serve to add in the celery and other vegetables. Finally, although celery is one of our favorite crunchy additions to bean salad, it's not the only option. You can also use fresh cucumbers, red onion, bell peppers, fennel, or jicama. Wash and chop or slice them before tossing in the salad.

Read the original article on Tasting Table