Celery is a delicious vegetable and popular zero-calorie food.
It’s also a staple in Cajun and Creole cuisine, where it forms part of the trinity that starts nearly every dish.
So, can celery be frozen and saved for later? And will it still be as delicious when thawed out?
‘CAN YOU FREEZE CELERY’ forms part of our ‘Kitchen Basics’ series here on Northern Nester, perfect for you if you’re new to any of our incredible recipes (see here), homesteading life or getting started in the kitchen! Click here to view the whole series!
Can You Freeze Celery?
You can freeze celery, but not without damaging the texture.
Defrosted celery will not have a crisp texture that is so enjoyable in fresh celery.
Celery is mostly water, and the ice that forms during freezing will expand into sharp little particles that make the celery mushy when defrosted.
However, if you want to use celery later in soups, stews, and sauces, and don’t need to preserve the crispness, celery can easily be frozen for cooking later.
How long celery lasts in the freezer depends on how you freeze it.
How to Freeze Celery
Before freezing celery, choose fresh, firm stalks with vivid colors.
It’s important to start with the best celery possible before freezing.
Here is how to freeze celery:
Separate the celery stalks and wash them thoroughly
Separating them allows you to wash them better and discard any parts that seem too old.
Chop the celery
Since you will be using it for cooking, it’s easier to chop and prepare the celery before it’s frozen rather than afterward.
Flash freeze the celery
Spread the celery on a baking sheet and place it in the freezer.
Package and label the celery
After it is frozen, place the celery in airtight containers and label them with the date.
You may want to freeze it in bags that are already portioned for use in your recipes.
Celery frozen in this way will last up to 2 months in the freezer.
If you want it to last even longer, use this method:
- Follow steps 1 and 2 above.
- Blanch the celery. Bring a large pot of water to a boil, then add the celery and let it cook for three minutes.
- Put the celery in an ice bath. After 3 minutes of cooking, place the celery in an ice bath to stop the cooking. Let it sit in ice water for 3-4 minutes
- Drain the celery. Remove the celery from the ice bath, drain it, and either pat it dry or allow it to air dry for a few minutes.
- Then follow steps 3 and 4 above.
Celery that is blanched before freezing will last for up to 12 months in the freezer.
**Planning to stock up with potatoes? Find out if you can freeze potatoes in this guide here!!!**
How to Use Frozen Celery
To use frozen celery in your soups, sauces, stews, and stuffing, simply add frozen celery to your recipe without thawing it first.
You may need to give the dish a couple of extra minutes of cooking time to account for the lowered temperature.
How to Enjoy Celery All Year Long
Did you know that, although celery can be difficult to grow outdoors from seed, it’s extremely easy to propagate indoors in a sunny window, and enjoy whenever you want?
You can easily re-grow celery from the stems that you would have discarded anyway.
- Take a bunch of celery that is fresh from the store. It’s best to use fresh, young celery, but any celery will do.
- Trim the root end off. Using a sharp knife, cut through the bunch of celery, leaving an inch or two of stalk over the root end at the base.
- Place it in warm water. Get a bowl and add warm water. Place the celery stalk root base in the water, with the root base completely submerged, and about ½ to 1 ½ inch of celery stalk coming out of the top of the water.
- Place the bowl in a sunny spot. Set the bowl and celery stalk base in a window where it will get lots of natural light.
- Keep the water fresh. Top off the water as needed, and replace it completely every 2-3 days
- Watch for new growth. After 5-7 days, there should be new small celery leaves emerging from the center of the base, while the outside will be brown.
- Place in a pot of soil. Once new leaves have emerged, plant the celery in a pot of potting soil. Plant it deep enough that only the new leaves are poking out of the top of the soil.
- Keep it moist. Celery requires lots of water to grow, so make sure that the soil is a bit moist.
- Watch it grow. Over time, with the right amount of water and sunshine, your new celery plant will be happily growing indoors. Your celery will be ready to harvest in 4-5 months, and you can start the process again.
What is the best way to preserve celery?
The best way to keep celery as crisp and fresh as possible is to wrap it tightly in aluminum foil and store it in the crisper drawer in your refrigerator.
If your celery has already been cut from the base and is in individual stalks, store them in the refrigerator in a sealed container of water.
Can you freeze celery without blanching it?
You can freeze celery without blanching it.
It won’t last as long in the freezer, but for the first couple of months, there is no difference.
How long does celery last in the freezer?
Frozen without blanching, celery will last for 1-2 months in the freezer.
If it is blanched first, it will last for 10-12 months in the freezer.
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