Can you freeze celery?

Can you freeze celery?

Yes, you can freeze celery to use later, but it will lose some of its flavors. This vegetable can be frozen raw for up to two months. If it is blanched first, it retains more flavor and lasts between 12-18 months. Freezing celery is a simple and quick way to prolong its life. However, it can change in flavor and texture, so frozen celery is a better choice for cooking dishes such as soups, stews, sauces, stocks, and other dishes, or even made into juices and smoothies. If you’re wondering about storing celery for fresh use, here’s how to store celery in different conditions.

How to freeze celery?

how to freeze celery

  • Wash the celery rings and let dry. Use paper towels to remove any excess moisture before you proceed next time.
  • Cut both ends, leaves, and base, usually 1-inch lengths. However, you can choose whatever size is most appropriate for your needs.
  • Blanching is worth the effort to preserve the most quality for several months. You can skip blanching if a little compromise is allowed in the quality of your celery.
  • Lay the celery pieces in one layer on a cookie sheet to avoid freezing pieces together. However, you can always fix any sticking later. Let the celery cool down the heat from the blanching.
  • Freeze for 3-4 hours. However, it is possible to keep them in the freezer for up to 24 hours.
  • Transfer the frozen vegetable pieces to freezer containers. Label the bag with the date and name if desired, squeeze out all air and seal the bag.
  • Place the frozen celery stick bag, in the freezer.

So, how long celery can last in the freezer, celery lasts between 10 and 12 months if it is blanched and just a few months if it’s not.

Celery will not go bad in the freezer but it will slowly lose its quality. The quality loss process will accelerate if you don’t blanch.

This brings us to the question of whether you should blanch celery before freezing.

Why Blanch Celery before Freezing?

Because blanched celery can retain its quality for up to a year while unblanched celery will only last for 2 to 3 months. Blanching a few celery ribs can take between 10 to 15 minutes. The process will take longer if you have more celery.

If you don’t want to go through the blanching, you can skip it, and freezing celery will take just 5 minutes.

However, it is difficult to determine how much quality has changed. You probably won’t notice it if you use the celery in a smoothie, or for stock. And if the amount of celery used in recipes and if celery isn’t the main ingredient of the dish. If you are planning to freeze celery for celery soup then the extra 15 minutes spent blanching may be worth it.

How to blanch celery?

Here are the steps on how to blanch celery and how long to blanch celery.

  • Bring a large pot of water to boil.
  • Take a pot of ice cold water, and add some ice cubes if needed.
  • Then put the celery in boiling water and cook for 3 minutes.
  • Transfer the celery from the boiling water to the ice water using a spoon. Allow it to cool for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Before freezing, drain the celery pieces and dry them well.

If you have a lot of celery stalks to blanch, boil them in batches. Add ice cubes according to the quantity to cool the cooked celery,

The 3-minute blanching time is ideal for 1-inch segments. Reduce the time if you cut yours into smaller pieces. If your celery ribs have a small size, you can do the same.

How to defrost celery?

In most cases, you can use celery frozen. That’s why all the preparation before freezing.

To make soups, stock, or smoothies, you don’t have to defrost them before using them. Celery can be frozen and will thaw as the rest of your food warms up.

Usually, celery will be ready to eat the next morning after it has thawed overnight. After defrosting, make sure you place the vegetable in a bag or sealed container. Before you use the celery, remove any moisture.

It might take 6-8 hours to defrost a bunch of celery pieces that have frozen together.

It’s also a good idea to pre-freeze the vegetable. This allows you to grab as many pieces of celery as you need to cook your dish and then quickly return the rest to your freezer.

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