Ever bought a whole head of celery just to end up using only a few celery stalks and throwing the rest away?
Celery is a very healthy vegetable, and you can have a range of uses for it.
It would be right for you to know how to keep celery fresh to maximize its health benefits.
How to store celery? To make a whole head of celery stay fresh longer, wrap it tightly in aluminum foil, and store it in the crisper drawer of your fridge. Cut celery can be snack-ready if you wash them thoroughly and store them in the refrigerator in a lidded container filled with water. You can also store celery in the freezer for more extended periods, but expect it to be mushy after thawing.
Should you wash celery before storing it?
When it comes to deciding whether to wash celery or not, the answer depends on how you plan to use it.
If you are storing it for use within the day, you can wash them all at once as soon as you bring them home.
More often than not, you cannot use a whole head of celery for a single recipe, much less for a single serving of Bloody Mary.
For multiple uses spread over a few days, only wash the cut portion of celery you require.
But if you want celery to last longer in your fridge’s crisper drawer, only wash needed portions right before the actual time of use.
Alternatively, if you plan on freezing celery, go on ahead and wash them, but thoroughly dry them with kitchen towels before cutting and storing.
6 Ways on How to Store Celery
We have identified six methods of making celery stay fresh for your convenience.
Each will vary depending on how you plan to use it.
Method 1: Room Temperature
You can keep celery at room temperature in a root cellar or any cool place in your house.
In this manner of storage, your celery can last a few days or up to one week.
Avoid storing celery on your countertop in its original plastic bag or close to other fruits and vegetables.
Most fruits and vegetables, including celery, naturally produce ethylene gas, a plant hormone that can promote ripening and spoilage.
Leaving celery in its original sealed plastic bag or storing it close to other fruits and vegetables can cause it to limp and rot fast.
Method 2: Wrapping in Foil
To make it last even longer, wrap the celery in aluminum foil.
Aluminum foil locks in moisture required by celery to stay fresh and crisp, but it allows crevices that release damaging ethylene gas.
Nevertheless, the misconception about aluminum foil is that it is more eco-friendly than plastics.
The production of aluminum foil uses fossil fuels, pollutes water, emits greenhouse gases, and indirectly impacts human health.
We are providing this information to ask you to use aluminum foil sparingly.
If you use aluminum foil to wrap celery, gently wrap and unwrap it during each use to permit reusability.
Method 3: Plastic Container
There are times when you might want quick access to clean slices of celery sticks for a healthy snack.
To do this, you can remove the stalks, cut them into smaller pieces, and put them in a plastic container filled with water.
Having the cut pieces of celery submerged in water keeps it hydrated and crisp for more extended periods than just letting it sit at room temperature.
However, you should use clean, filtered water for this to be successful and replace it within a day or two.
Method 4: Glass With Water
Some of us live hectic lives, and we may overlook proper storage practices for everything we have in our grocery bags.
In situations like this, we can end up with wilted and rubbery celery.
To revive limp and droopy celery, cut the celery stalks and put them in a glass with cold water.
Doing this will rehydrate the stalks and reinflate the plant cells for crisper stalks.
Method 5: Fridge
Store your celery in the crisper drawer of your fridge, away from ethylene-rich fruits or vegetables.
You can also amplify the benefits of wrapping in aluminum foil by storing the celery in the fridge.
Celery wrapped in aluminum foil lasts thrice as long in the fridge than when stored at room temperature.
Additionally, you can do this with cut celery stored in lidded containers filled with water or celery sticks in a glass with water.
Remember to replace the water regularly.
Cut or sliced celery in containers with water can last many more days in the fridge than at room temperature.
Method 6: Freezer
Like most frozen fruits and vegetables, frozen celery becomes mushy and loses consistency and texture after thawing.
You can easily access the right amount of celery you need from the freezer by storing it in rationed amounts.
To do this, you can liquify celery in a blender and distribute the liquid into ice cube trays before freezing.
Frozen celery cubes are great for soups, cooked meals, and smoothies.
You can also cut celery and flash-freeze the slices separately on a baking tray.
When each cut is already frozen, combine them in a sealable plastic bag, and then store in the fridge.
Wrapping in Plastic – Will It Keep Celery Fresh?
As stated earlier, you should avoid keeping celery in its original, sealed plastic bag or any plastic wrapper.
Because it traps the ethylene gas that quickly spoils the vegetable, a plastic bag is the last storage option for celery unless you are going to freeze it.
How long does celery last?
Celery wilts within one to two days at room temperature and within two weeks if stored in the fridge.
A whole head of celery wrapped in aluminum foil can last up to one week at room temperature and up to three or four weeks if stored in the crisper drawer.
If you store cut celery using the plastic container method (Method 3), it can stay crisp for a few days.
Cover the container and put it in the fridge to make it last up to three weeks.
Frozen celery can last for more extended periods of up to a year, but it loses its consistency.
Markets peddle celery in various sizes and amounts, so plan your grocery shopping and only buy what you need.
If you have too much celery or want to store some for later use, release all ethylene gas and retain maximum moisture by using an aluminum foil wrap.
To prepare for salads and healthy snacks, cut the celery stalks, wash them thoroughly, and keep them in the fridge in a lidded container filled with water.