Celery is a very healthy vegetable that is often used by consumers for weight-loss purposes. Known for its green color and its’ stick-like figure, celery is a very watery and lightweight type of vegetable that has become increasingly popular over the past few years. Celery can be used as an on-the-go type of snack but can also be added to different soups, salads and can even be served as part of a main dish for lunch or dinner. Fresh celery in the local outdoor market or in the supermarket can be hard to come by at certain times of the year.
If it’s difficult for you to purchase fresh celery on a weekly basis, it may be advantageous for you to buy the food product in bulk especially for when its’ out of season. If you see a big sale for celery one day at a nearby store and you want to buy some stalks in bulk, but you’re not sure how long the product can be stored for, what should you do? Can celery last for the long-term? The ultimate question remains: Can you freeze celery?
Can You Freeze Celery?
The answer to this important question is yes; you will be able to freeze your celery under certain circumstances. However, There are a certain number of steps that must be followed in order to get the best possible results when you’re freezing the celery. Because celery is known for having a lot of water as apart of its content, then its possible that freezing and thawing may affect its physical makeup. If you go through with freezing, de-frosting your celery, you may have to be ready to accept that the product will be mushier and have a different texture than before the freezing process had begun.
Freezing celery may not be ideal if you plan on using it with a salad or on its own but it may work well in soups and stews because of the mushiness of the texture. Cooked dishes like soups, stews won’t affect the texture that much compared to a raw dish such as a salad. It’s important to remember to add your frozen celery directly to the dish after you take it out of the freezer.
The Freezing Process
When it comes to freezing the celery, it’s important to follow these necessary steps in order to have success:
- Wash the celery under lukewarm water until it has become completely soaked.
- Chop up the celery into smaller stalks or pieces in order for it to be easier to freeze.
- Then, it’s important to blanch your celery pieces by putting them in a pot of boiling water for a period of three to five minutes.
- You’ll want to drain the water from the celery afterwards and then run the product under cold water to cool them off after blanching. Blanching is not required but it is recommended to do before freezing in order to get the best results later.
- When it’s time to freeze the celery, it’s best to put the contents on a flat baking sheet in an even layer. The celery pieces should not be touching each other and should be spread apart. It would also be best to put a light layer of plastic wrapping over the celery when placing the baking sheet in the freezer.
- The baking sheet should be kept in the freezer until the celery pieces are frozen through.
- Next, it’s important to transfer the celery from the baking sheet to freezer-safe bag(s). You will want to remove any excess air from these bags before sealing them tightly as they continue to freeze.
- Remember to label each individual celery bag with a permanent marker. Write the date of first freezing. This is necessary in order to keep track of how long the celery has been frozen for.
- It’s best to have multiple freezer bags of celery instead of one big bag in order to be able to use them more sparingly and not waste any extra pieces.
- Celery may be kept in the freezer consecutively for a period of up to a year total. Any time longer than that and you run the risk of losing the celery’s taste and texture.
The Thawing Process
When it comes to thawing the celery out, it’s best to use them immediately after taking them out of the freezer. This is especially true when you plan on putting the celery into warm soups and stews where they will de-frost and re-heat quickly.
Thawing the celery in a refrigerator would cause the food product to become very mushy and watery. Because of this fact, it’s best to use the frozen celery immediately afterwards in your meal. Remember to not re-freeze any celery that has already been frozen once before.
Coming back to the original question, yes you can freeze celery. However, it’s best not to use frozen celery in raw dishes but to instead utilize them in soups, stews, and even casserole dishes. Enjoy this delicious and healthy vegetable!