When celery is real cheap, I buy several bunches to use when the price goes too high or I need some and don't have any fresh.
After washing the celery and letting it dry, I remove all the leaves. I put them, whole, on baking sheets lined with paper towels. I warm the oven on the lowest setting for about 8 minutes, then turn it off and put the baking sheets in. The oven isn't warm enough to harm the paper towels, but will help dry the leaves out. I rewarm the oven and stir the leaves around every few hours until the leaves are completely dry and brittle. I crumble them up and put them in jars.
They come in real handy when I want celery flavor without celery pieces in things like gravy, sauces and dips, and for making my own salt-free herb blends.
I slice the celery stalks up, blanch them 3 minutes, and let them drain. When they are dry, I freeze them in 1 cup portions in freezer bags.
By Copasetic 1 from North Royalton, OH
I've often dried the celery leaves when there are lots of them on a bunch, but have never tried freezing celery at all other than in soups or stews.
We rarely see much inflation in the price of celery here in Florida as it grows so well here up around Sanford, and it's also very easy to grow in pots. But in areas where you have long hard winters, I can certainly see the advantage of buying and preserving one way or another in preparation for the seasonal higher prices.
I've found that the celery leaves I dry here at home are very aromatic and have much more flavor than any I've ever purchased dried, so a little goes a long way. Good cornbread dressing or stuffing just can't be made without celery, fresh or dried.
Thanks for the freezing tips Copasetic 1. I may try that one day myself and will gladly pass the information along.
I had never thought about drying them myself. Thanks for that tip.
You do not have to blanch the celery before you freeze it. I have frozen celery for years and never blanched it.
Can't believe I never thought of this! Great idea! Sometimes I will use celery seeds instead of celery but some people are turned off by something that looks like "little bugs"..LOL..I will definitely try this now. Thanks!
Add your voice! Click below to comment. ThriftyFun is powered by your wisdom!