Celery doesn’t stay crisp forever, so instead of throwing it away, why not try freezing your excess celery to use at a later date.
Even though celery can be frozen, there is a small downfall – it will lose its crispness. Due to this, frozen celery is best used in soups, stews other hot dishes as eating it raw is just not going to work. The best way to keep celery for any length of time in the freezer is to blanch it first. This way it will retain its good quality for up to 18 months.
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.
- After blanching and cooling, pat the celery completely dry before you start the freezing process.
- I like to flash freeze the celery first. To do this, spread out the celery on a baking tray and place in the freezer for a couple of hours.
- Once the celery is frozen hard, package it into ziplock bags or vacuum-seal it in pouches in portion sizes. Label and date with the date it was frozen.
Again, the best way to use this frozen celery is straight out the freezer, without thawing, and popping it into your stews or soups. It will still add the lovely celery flavour, just without the crispness.
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