Can Celery Be Frozen? Well, freezing celery is an option you never might have have thought of. Fresh celery that is in-season can be full of great taste and have a nice, crisp texture. The process of freezing will cause the celery to lose its crispness, but frozen celery can still hold its great taste. There are plenty of different types of recipes to use frozen celery in, including stir-fries, soups, stews, and casseroles.
Try to get your celery directly from the farmer or from your own garden. You do not want to place the celery directly in the freezer if you intend to store it for a long time. You can instead preserve the flavor of celery if you properly prepare it for freezing. Not many people know how to freeze celery properly because they aren’t aware that they need to blanch it before freezing.
Blanching is a very important process in freezing celery if you intend to have it in the freezer for more than two months. The reason for this is because it stops the actions of enzymes, which are present in the celery stalks. Enzymes are active in the ripening process of celery, so blanching will basically prevent the natural maturation process that may otherwise lead to your frozen celery becoming discolored, tough, or less appetizing.
Let’s take a look at the best way to freeze celery.
1. Wash the celery thoroughly and trim it, which includes removing the base and the tough strings.
2. Cut the celery into one inch pieces, or as desired for your needs.
3. Now we will start the water blanching process. Boil around a gallon of water (per pound of celery) in a large pot.
4. When the water is boiling throw in the celery. We strongly recommend using a boil basket as it is much easier to handle for both lowering and removing the celery when the water is boiling. Let it boil for 3 minutes as recommended by the National Center for Home Food Preservation. Set a timer to keep track of time.
5. Remove the celery after the three minutes are up by lifting the boil basket from the pot. If you do not use a boil basket, you will use a colander and pour out the hot water and celery on to it.
6. Now you have to cool the celery to quickly stop the cooking process. This can be done in two ways. You could either plunge the celery immediately into a large quantity of cold water (with or without ice) or use cold running water. Either way you do it, you will just want to cool the celery as fast as possible, which should be accomplished in less than the boiling time.
7. Drain the celery thoroughly after cooling so that extra moisture doesn’t negatively affect the quality when the celery freezes. Some people like to pat dry with paper towels to remove moisture.
8. When freezing celery after it has been drained, use a rigid container that will not crack. Make sure to leave room for expansion. If you use a plastic freezer bag, remove as much air as possible. Label your frozen celery container with the contents and date. Frozen celery should be used within 8-12 months.
Freeze chopped celery instead of celery stalks as a quick and easy way to have small quantities ready to go directly into soups, stews, and casseroles.
Frozen celery can be thawed, like any other food you thaw. It will come out a little bit mushy because it is a vegetable with very high water content. If you are going to use it in in warm dishes you can place frozen celery directly into the dish that you are preparing. Thawed or frozen celery can also be used when making smoothies.
Can you freeze raw celery?
Yes, you can freeze raw celery without blanching. You will just want to consume it within two months or the enzymes might cause changes in flavor.
How about freezing celery leaves, is that possible?
If you enjoy the taste of the leaves you can definitely freeze celery leaves. You can use them in soups, mashed potatoes, and a bunch of other dishes.