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Freezing Celery

Selecting High-Quality Celery:

Celery loses its crisp texture when frozen, but it still suitable for use in cooked dishes. Select crisp, green, tender stalks, free from coarse strings. The ribs should be firm and rigid, snapping crisply when broken in half.

Preparing for Freezing:

Wash thoroughly, trim and cut stalks into l-inch lengths. Stalks can also be left whole for tray freezing.

Blanching Time:

Water-blanch for 3 minutes. Cool promptly, drain and package leaving no headspace. Seal and freeze. Celery stalks can also be frozen without blanching.

Best Freezing Method(s):

  • Tray Packs: Clean and prepare celery stalks. Lay in a single layer of chopped pieces or whole stalks on cookie sheets and place them in the freezer. When fully frozen (12 to 24 hours), portion them into suitable containers and freeze. Leave no headspace.
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  • Dry Packs: Transfer blanched or raw celery directly into suitable containers for freezing. Leave no headspace.

Suitable Packaging:

Freezer containers should be moisture and vapor resistant and should not be prone to cracking or breaking at low temperatures. Containers should provide protection against absorbing flavors or odors and should be easy to label. Suitable packaging for freezing celery includes freezer-grade plastic bags, rigid plastic containers or glass containers and heavy duty-aluminum foil.

Maximum Storage Time:

10 to 12 months at 0ºF.

Thawing:

Add frozen celery directly to dishes while cooking.

Tips & Shortcuts:

Tray freezing is almost always preferable to Dry Packs because vegetables will not freeze together in clumps, making it easy to access the precise amount you need without thawing out a whole container.

Refrigerating Celery:

Wrap celery stalks in a damp paper towel and then aluminum foil to keep it fresh in the refrigerator 4 weeks.

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