Salads, smoothies, sides, and soups – you name it, and celery is there to enhance the food – to jack it up. But you’d agree with me when I say celery is an unassuming and underrated vegetable seldom cast as the main character.
If you know how to incorporate versatile celery into different dishes, it will serve as more than just crudites for dipping, you know. It’s super refreshing in a salad with apples, oranges, and parmesan cheese and beautifully blended with apples and ginger in a green smoothie.
There’s no doubt celery is a delicious yet healthy snack. But neglect it for a hot minute, and you will end up with dry, limp stalks and tattered leaves that aren’t appealing to anyone.
But as a matter of fact, we only use part of the bunch in one cooking session. Most recipes call for just one or two ribs. Therefore, by the time we get to the rest, they end up limp and mushy.
So, this blog will teach you how to store cut celery to ensure freshness and longevity. I’ll also touch on how to store whole celery and give life to limp celery. Let’s begin!
Table Of Content
How To Store Cut Celery?
Cut celery has a very short shelf life since moisture is released when cutting. So, transfer the sliced celery to a sealable container and add some water. The stalks should be submerged completely. Seal it with a lid or plastic wrap, and put it in a cool and dry place.
This way, the celery will remain fresh for several weeks. If you want, you can change the water once every few days, but it’s not compulsory.
When you need celery the next time, you can simply remove some from the water, rinse, and use it as you like.
You can also put the celery stalks in a big container like a souvenir glass and add water. You can seal the top using plastic wrap. When stored this way, the celery will remain crisp as it absorbs the water inside the glass.
This aforementioned procedure works well with root vegetables, too, such as parsnips and beets.
The other two methods of storing cut celery are wrapping them in aluminum foil or a moist kitchen towel and storing them in the crisper drawer. I tried both these methods, but they didn’t pan out so well.
These methods kept the cut celery fresh for a week, but that’s about it. Submerging it in water and sealing it is the best method by and large.
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What’s The Best Way To Store Celery?
When you cut celery, the moisture content is released – leaving the vegetable limp and frayed. This is why we recommend storing it whole in the first place. But I understand that having pre-cut celery ready on the go is quite convenient.
Anyway, when storing whole celery, the key here is to keep the moisture locked in but allow ethylene, the gas that leads to spoilage, to escape. So, how’s that possible?
Here’s what you should do.
Wrap the whole, uncut celery snugly in aluminum foil. But keep in mind that you shouldn’t crimp the edges. If you do so, the ethylene gas that the veggies naturally produce cannot escape. Finally, place the wrapped celery in the crisper, where it will remain fresh for around 4 weeks.
Do not cut or wash until you’re ready to use it, and you’re good!
Ditch The Plastic Packaging First
It’s tempting to store celery, or any other food for that matter, in the original plastic packaging it came with. But the first thing to do is ditch the grocery-store plastic bag the vegetable came in.
Why? Well, that’s because plastic bags trap ethylene gas – the gas alleged to encourage ripening. And aluminum foils don’t, right? Yes.
Place It In The Crisper Drawer
Once you’ve packed the celery, you must place it in the crisper drawer. Keeping it anywhere else in the fridge will only shorten the shelf life. What crisper drawers do is extend the life of the produce by controlling the airflow around it through vents.
These drawers come equipped with humidity vents that allow you to close off the airflow to create a humid environment or open it up to create a low-humidity environment.
All in all, crisper drawers have a different humidity level than the rest of the fridge and are specially designed to prolong the freshness of stored produce.
How To Give Life To Limp Celery?
Limp celery. We’ve all been there. But don’t worry – it can still be redeemed. You can use it in dishes that will change its texture. For instance, you can juice it up for smoothies, make a puree for soup, or shave it as a garnish for salads.
If you want to try your hand at reviving the worn-down celery, what you can do is trim both ends of each stalk and soak them in icy water in the fridge for 30 minutes. It will crisp up nicely.
How To Freeze Celery?
Before freezing celery, you should first blanch it. Then lay it on a cookie sheet and put it in the freezer for a few hours. Once the celery is frozen, put them into a freezer bag and toss it in the freezer.
If frozen correctly, celery can last over a year and a half in the freezer without going bad.
Let’s look at the details now.
First Step: Blanch Celery
Before you freeze celery, you should first plunge it into boiling water for around 3-4 minutes and again plunge it into a bowl of icy cold water. This is the blanching process in a nutshell.
Essentially, what blanching does is that it stops the enzyme actions that can otherwise cause loss of flavor, texture, and color. Even more, it removes surface dirt and microorganisms, slows the loss of vitamins, and improves colors.
Second Step: Freeze Celery
Once the celery is dried from blanching, spread them onto a cookie sheet. Next, put the sheet in the freezer. Once it is frozen, which should take a couple of hours, transfer the celery pieces into a freezer bag and put the bag in the freezer.