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When buying celery I always try to get the bunch with the most leaves. The more the better, they don't add much to the weight if you are buying by the pound, and they ensure that the celery is freshest.
When I get home I cut off the leafy bits, wash them, and spread on a cookie sheet to freeze. When they are frozen I pop them into a baggie and keep in my freezer for a quick addition to soups and stews. Much cheaper than buying freeze dried celery flakes. And no additives!
By Molly from NJ
Instead of parsley, use those leafy celery tops to add flavor and color to a salad. Why throw away the celery tops and then purchase parsley? Wash the leaves, chop them fine, and sprinkle on top of any salad.
Don't throw out the top leaves of celery. Wash them, dry them, and pulverize them. Add an equal amount of salt and use for seasoning in soups or salads.
It's easy to dry your own celery flakes to be used in salads, tuna salad or whatever recipe.
I just strip the celery stalks to remove all the leaves and spread the leaves on an aluminum pie pan. Dry them thoroughly. You can pulverize them by hand and pour into a spice bottle.
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I always cut off the leaves from my stalks of celery before putting in the fridge (they cause the celery to wilt quicker), in the interest of "waste not want not" :) I dry the leaves in a brown paper lunch bag, then crumble up and keep with my spices. It's great if you want to add flavor to soups, etc. but are out of celery!
By Carol from Landisville, PA
I also freeze the bottoms of the stock. I trim off the hard core end and then trim the celery the lengths that I want it, and freeze the ends in a ziplock bag. When I am making soups, I just drop in the big ends. They flavor the soup and when it's all done, I dip it out and toss it.
I used to have a lunch wagon that went to auctions, estate sales, etc. When we closed up for the season, we put any unused veggies in the freezer. We decided to use the trailer for an espresso drive-through, and I forgot about the veggies. Over 8 months later, I discovered sliced onions, tomatoes, and green peppers. They were used for an enormous spaghetti feed at the annual family reunion, and they were as good as the day we put them in! (08/05/2008)
I always clean my celery stalks and cut them to desired length when I get home from the store. I then cover them with water in desired container and refrigerate. The celery stalks will stay crisp for weeks on end. (08/06/2008)