Thanks to its crunchy structure, crispy taste and distinctive flavor, celery is very popularly used in salads, sandwiches and a whole range of other cooking. But what if you have too much leftover celery on your hands?
They might admittedly not stay crisp forever, but if you know you are not going to eat them in the next few days, you are thinking of your options.
Is freezing the celery something to consider?
Because celery’s primary component is water, freezing them might not make them keep the crisp or the crunch; however, by freezing celery you can prolong their life by entire months.
Here is everything you need to know about how to freeze, thaw and use celery with ease at home.
What to Note Before Freezing Celery
Freezing celery will inevitably rid it of the crispy, crunchy flavor we savor in sandwiches or salads.
Freezing celery ruptures the cell walls in the mostly watery constituent in it, thereby making it somewhat mushy and limp.
Defrosted celery is difficult to use for a relish tray, or say, for making ants on a log.
Neither is eating the celery raw an option; nor is it ideal for stir-fry or any other recipes wherein a little bit crispiness is preferred.
However, frozen celery can be best used for purposes like stuffing, stews, soups and sauces.
Frozen celery juice is also a popular option among a lot of people.
- Knife or hatchet
- A pot of water
- A bowl of ice
- Paper towels
- Baking sheet
- Airtight plastic freezer bags/freezer pouches
A common, time-tested method to freeze celery includes a process called ‘blanching,’ tied up with other ways to ensure your product stays good for at least 8 to 12 months.
- Wash and trim the celery – Wash the celery thoroughly under running water to remove any and all dirt, any discolored portions, coarse strings and any residue. When you are done, you should have clean, green and uniform stalks.
- Cut or chop the celery – Chop the pieces into desired length, depending on what you are going to use in for in the future. This is easier than cutting defrosted celery later.
- Blanch the cut celery – If you are planning on using the celery within a couple of months, blanching is not necessary. For longer storage, blanching is highly recommended as it maintains flavor for up to a year.
To blanch the cut celery, boil the celery pieces for three minutes, and then immediately chill them in an ice bath. Let the celery rest for a while.
- Dry the celery – After draining the blanched and chilled celery, pat the pieces dry with paper towels.
- Flash Freeze the celery – Once dry, arrange the pieces of celery in a single layer on a lined baking sheet, and freeze it in your freezer for at least a couple of hours.
- Package the celery and freeze – Once the celery is frozen hard, go ahead to package it for freezer storage. Package in portions into airtight freezer bags according to their future uses. Label them with the date. They are good to freeze.
How to Freeze Celery Juice
Time Taken: 1-2 hours
What You Need:
- Airtight container/freezer bags
Celery juice can be in freezer storage for at least a couple of months.
It is best when it is fresh, as freezing celery juice does indeed to an extent reduce the medicinal properties and values of the magical health drink.
But it is understandable to want to freeze and store for future batches to save time and effort. It is a simple process requiring an airtight container.
Use a Funnel to Pour the Juice into Either an Airtight Glass Container
Airtight freezer bags should also work just fine for this.
Leave half an inch of space at the top for expansion.
Seal, Label and Freeze
Seal the bags/container carefully. Label them, and they are ready to freeze!
The frozen celery juice can be thawed in the refrigerator overnight to drink.
While celery juice does indeed freeze well, it is advisable to drink it as soon as possible to avoid its nutritional values decreasing.
As for juicing, check out Robert from Sejuiced who can help you in making the perfect homemade celery juice in this Scoff video:
How Long Can You Freeze Celery?
If not blanched, celery can be frozen for 2 months. But it blanched properly, the frozen celery can be stored up to 12 to 18 months for best quality.
If your freezer temperature is constant, you can even keep the frozen celery indefinitely.
How to Store Frozen Celery?
After flash freezing on a baking sheet, the celery pieces need to be carefully transferred into Ziplock airtight freezer bags, or you can even vacuum-seal it into freezer pouches.
For best storage, you can measure 2- or 4- cup amounts of the washed, dried and cut celery into airtight freezer bags.
These bags can all be placed securely in your freezer.
How to Defrost Frozen Celery?
There is no need to defrost or thaw frozen celery as such for when you are cooking them into a recipe; they can simply be taken straight from the freezer to the stove.
If for any reason you need to defrost the celery, it would suffice to simply transfer it to the fridge from the freezer and keep it overnight. It would thaw by the morning.
Can You Re-freeze Frozen Celery?
You can use the frozen celery in batches and not all at once; in which case it is important that you keep the rest securely in the freezer bags, airtight and making sure no moisture has entered.
However, it is not recommended to re-freeze celery because once defrosted, its texture and flavor become unfeasible; there are tendencies for it to become water-logged.
Additionally, it can also bring oxidized flavor and colors, which get generally unappetizing.
Does Celery Freeze Well?
If blanched and shocked properly, celery does indeed freeze well. What this process does is to essentially partially cook it and then cool it directly after.
Another critical thing to note is to make sure that the celery you use is fresh and of quality in the first place.
Otherwise, naturally, it can seriously affect the quality of your frozen celery as well.
What You Can Do with Frozen Celery
Frozen celery also works marvelously when it comes to casseroles, stocks and sauces and can even be used as a fantastic aromatic for broths, soups or roasts.
If you are in need of inspiration, you can go through this video by Hebbars’ Kitchen to guide you through simple soup recipes with vegetables where you can add your frozen celery for flavorful, healthy meals:
Flash-freezing allows the celery to be stored properly without being clumped together. When the celery is frozen individually first before freezer storage, it makes the later processes of you taking out some of it in batches much easier and hassle-free.
Frozen celery can be best used for purposes like stuffing, stews, soups and sauces. While it won’t regain its original crispiness or crunchy texture, it will still be flavorful and a good addition to most of your recipes.
There is no need to shorten cooking times of dishes when using frozen celery. Thawing is also not necessary; the frozen celery can be brought straight to the stove from the freezer.
It depends on how it is stored. Uncut celery, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil in the fridge will last around three to four weeks. Cut celery in airtight containers will last for about two weeks. Frozen celery, on the other hand, can last a year and more.
Freezing celery without blanching it will keep it good for not more than two months. Blanching on the other hand, keeps your celery flavorful and intact.
We have gone through the method to freeze celery, along with celery juice as well as a number of other guidelines and things you need to keep in mind.
We hope that this guide has helped you understand how to freeze celery at home.
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