We have been growing our own celery for a while now and somehow we have ended up with a ton of the stuff. To store celery, I have frozen some and dehydrated some as well. Here are some great tips on how to dehydrate celery.
The great thing about dehydrating celery is that it is an easy process that requires minimal effort that doesn’t require space in the fridge or freezer to keep it. As celery is an ingredient used in soups, stocks and savoury dishes, it is great to have on hand. Dried celery can be used in most ways you would use fresh celery, EXCEPT it can’t be replaced for dishes where you would use raw celery such as salads.
Before dehydrating celery, you need to blanch it first. This helps to keep the lovely green colour of the celery. To blanch the celery:
- Bring a large pot of water to the boil.
- Wash the celery well, cut off the whitish bottom ends and the leafy tops, saving and freezing these for stock, if you wish or see below.
- Cut the celery stalks into small pieces, about ½ inch thick crescents, and place them in the boiling water. Leave them there for about 3 minutes, then remove and place in ice water.
- If you are not dehydrating straight away, store in the fridge for up to 24 hours.
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- Arrange the blanched celery pieces on the trays of a dehydrator, leaving space between the pieces.
- Dry at 135˚F or 60˚C until the celery is crispy and dry. This takes around 6 – 8 hours.
- If you are using an oven to dehydrate, place the celery pieces with space on lined baking trays. Set the oven to the lowest heat setting, prop the oven door open with a spoon. Remove from the oven when the celery is crispy and dry – around 6 to 8 hours later.
Once celery has been full dehydrated, it will need to be conditioned to be kept without going off. Fill a jar about two-thirds full and seal the lid. Over the next week or so, shake the jar a couple of times a day. If you start to see mould, they will need to be thrown out. If you see moisture, they are not dried enough, and need to be placed back into the dehydrator.
Once they have been conditioned, the jars can be fulled completely and stored in a cool, dark place. If they do start to have a strong smell or you can see moisture in the jars, it is time to dehydrate another batch of celery.
- Store the dried celery in clean, airtight glass jars.
- Label, making sure to write the date the celery was dehydrated on.
- Store away from direct light and heat.
The leaves of celery can also be dehydrated. To do this, wash the leaves, blanch for 1 minute, place in an ice bath then arrange them on the tray of your dehydrator. Dry at 135˚F or 60˚C until crispy and dry. Dried celery leaves could be used in place of parsley.
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