Celery is a common vegetable used in various recipes, including soups, stews, salads, and stir-fries. While it’s a versatile ingredient, sometimes you may end up with more celery than you need. In such cases, freezing the celery can be a good solution. But the question is, can you freeze celery?
The answer is yes! In this blog, I’ll talk about tips on how to freeze celery for later use and share delicious celery recipes your family will surely love.
What Is Celery?
Celery is a vegetable that belongs to the Apiaceae family, which also includes other vegetables like carrots, parsley, and fennel. It is characterized by its long, green stalks that have a crunchy texture and a slightly bitter, savory taste.
What Are the Health Benefits of Celery?
Celery is a highly nutritious vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber, vitamins, and minerals. It is a wonderful source of several antioxidants, including flavonoids and phenolic acids, which may help to reduce inflammation in the body and lower the risk of chronic diseases such as heart disease and cancer.
This vegetable is also a good source of potassium, which is important for heart health, and may help to lower cholesterol levels and improve blood flow. Its high fiber content can promote healthy digestion and regular bowel movements, and may also help to reduce inflammation in the digestive tract and improve the balance of bacteria in the gut.
To check out the other health benefits of raw celery, check out 5 Healthy Benefits of Adding Celery to Your Diet.
Equipment You Need for Freezing Celery
- Cutting board
- Sharp knife
- Freezer bag or airtight container
- Permanent marker
- Large bowl
How to Freeze Celery?
Now let’s go through the step-by-step process on how to celery in 4 simple steps.
Step 1: Clean and Prepare the Celery
Cut off the ends and any damaged or discolored parts of the stalks. You can cut the celery into small pieces, slices, or even leave them whole, depending on your preference. You may freeze celery leaves but if they don’t look fresh I suggest discarding them.
Then, wash the celery stalks thoroughly under running water to remove any dirt, debris, or pesticide residues.
Step 2: Blanch the Celery
Blanching is a process of briefly boiling vegetables in water and plunging them into ice water to stop the cooking process. This process helps preserve the texture, flavor, and nutrients of the celery and prevents it from becoming mushy after freezing.
To blanch celery, bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil and add the celery pieces. Boil them for 3 minutes or until they become bright green.
Remove the blanched celery from the boiling water and transfer them to a bowl of ice water. Let them cool for 3 minutes, then drain the excess water.
Is It Okay to Freeze Unblanched Celery?
While it is possible to freeze raw celery, I do not recommended it. Freezing fresh celery can lead to a loss of flavor, color, and texture, as well as the growth of bacteria. If you prefer frozen raw celery, it is best to use it within a few days or weeks and make sure it is cooked thoroughly.
Step 3: Dry the Celery and Flash Freeze
After blanching celery, spread individual pieces onto a baking sheet lined with flour sack towels or regular kitchen towels. Avoid putting too much celery on the lined baking sheet and make sure they are arranged in a single layer to prevent clumps. Pat dry using the sides of the towel to remove excess moisture.
Then, pop the trays into the freezer and let the celery freeze for 30 minutes to 1 hour or until it becomes firm.
Step 4: Freeze Celery
Once the cooked celery stalks have been flash frozen, transfer the frozen raw celery to freezer bags or any container with airtight lids. Don’t forget to loosen the celery before freezing to avoid clumps and remove any excess air before sealing.
Then, label the container or bag with the date. If your freezer is set at zero degrees Fahrenheit, expect the celery to last for up to a year.
Is Frozen Celery as Good as Fresh Celery?
Frozen celery may be a convenient option when preparing a meal, but it may not be as good as fresh celery in terms of texture and flavor. Freezing can cause celery to become limp and lose some of its crispness and flavor. However, frozen celery can still work well in cooked dishes like soups and stews where texture is less important.
3 Easy Celery Recipes to Try at Home
Here are some delicious celery recipes your family will love!
Celery Salad With Apples
Celery salad with apples is a refreshing and healthy salad that combines crisp celery and sweet apples with a tangy dressing. To make it, start by chopping celery stalks into bite-sized pieces and slicing apples into thin wedges. Then, mix the celery and apples together in a bowl.
Next, make the dressing by whisking together olive oil, apple cider vinegar, honey, Dijon mustard, and salt and pepper to taste. Pour the dressing over the celery and apple mixture and toss to coat.
Some variations of the salad may also include other ingredients such as walnuts, raisins, or crumbled blue cheese.
Creamy Celery Soup
Creamy celery soup is a soup made with celery as the primary ingredient and a cream-based broth. To make it, cook chopped celery in a pot with onions, garlic, and other vegetables. Then, chicken or vegetable broth is added along with heavy cream to create a rich, creamy texture.
To add more flavor, herbs such as thyme, bay leaves, or parsley may be added. Some recipes also call for potatoes or carrots to be added to the soup for a heartier texture.
Once the soup is cooked, it is usually pureed until smooth with a blender. This results in a smooth and velvety texture that is perfect for enjoying on its own or with a slice of crusty bread.
Celery smoothie is a healthy drink made with celery and other ingredients blended together until smooth. To make this smoothie, simply blend chopped celery with a variety of healthy ingredients such as fruits, vegetables, cheese, and liquids.
Some popular ingredients to include in a celery smoothie are spinach, cucumber, apple, lemon, ginger, and coconut water. These ingredients provide additional vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants to the smoothie, making it even more nutritious.
Buffalo Celery Sticks
Buffalo celery sticks are made by tossing celery sticks in buffalo sauce and serving them with blue cheese dressing. The buffalo sauce is typically a spicy, tangy sauce made with hot sauce, butter, and other seasonings. The blue cheese dressing is a creamy dressing made with blue cheese, sour cream, mayonnaise, and seasonings.
The combination of the spicy buffalo sauce and cool blue cheese dressing pairs well with the crunch of the celery sticks, making for a tasty and healthy snack.
Celery and Mushroom Stir-Fry
Celery and mushroom stir-fry is a dish made by stir-frying sliced celery and mushrooms in a wok or pan with garlic and ginger, and then adding soy sauce and sesame oil for flavor. The celery and mushrooms are cooked until tender but still crispy and seasoned with a delicious Asian-inspired sauce.
Other ingredients such as sliced onions, carrots, or bell peppers can be added for extra flavor and texture. Celery and mushroom stir-fry is a healthy and easy-to-make dish that can be served as a side dish or as a main dish with steamed rice or noodles.
Following the 4 simple steps above, you can freeze celery and enjoy them all year round. To know more delectable celery recipes, check out Creamy Celery Gratin and Marinated Mackerel w/ Green Olive & Celery Dressing.
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