If you like to add celery in the hot soups, stews, and other hot recipes. Then you need to grow it at home. But the problem is once you have a bunch of celery you need to store it. Because you cannot eat celery every day. So, the question is Can you freeze celery.
The simple answer is yes, you can freeze the celery in your refrigerator. But this is not a simple process you need to follow the celery freezing steps.
Raw and blanched celery can be easily stored in a freezer for 12 to 16 months.
Cutting, Blanching, and freezing are the 3-step procedure to freeze celery.
Most of the time new growers ask us can you freeze the celery without losing its nutrition and crispiness.
The answer is no crispy celery does reduce its nutritional values and crispiness once it is frozen.
Frozen celery loses its crispness therefore you cannot use it to replace the raw celery. This type of frozen celery is best for hot dishes. Add it to vegetable soups, stews, and other hot dishes. Eating this celery raw will not give you the benefits the fresh celery does.
Remember that frozen celery is for cooking not for salads.
Why do you need to blanch the celery before storing it?
It is always hard to store vegetables that contain high water contents. Freezing such veggies make them flavorless and less nutritional. But there is one technique by using which you can make sure the freezing vegetable holds its taste and maximum of its nutrition.
Blanching is the process that ensures the lock of flavor in the stored substance for the longest time. In this method, we use boiling water to treat it. This kills the enzymes that are responsible for the loss of flavor and crispiness.
If you know you can consume it within 60 days then you don’t need to follow the blanching process. But to store it for more than 8 months you need to follow the blanching.
How to freeze celery?
As you know the answer to the most asked question can you freeze celery? It’s time to know the exact steps of freezing and storing celery.
Wash & Trim Celery
The first step is to choose the right kind of stalk. Select the healthy disease-free tender and crisp stalks. They are easy to blanch and store. Then wash the celery to remove the dirt and dust. It is best to wash it under running tap water than in a bowl filled with fresh water. Use a sharp sterile knife to trim the base of the stalk.
Also, remove the discolored parts and affected parts of the celery. If you accidentally store the defective parts of celery. Remove it the right way or your freeze celery will rot.
Do not use any kind of soap to wash it. Use your hands to rub it and clean it.
Chop the celery
Once you finish washing it and trimming it. The next step is to cut the celery to the desired length. But the problem is nobody knows how he/she going to use celery in the future. So, you need to cut it to standard length. Keep it short to 1 inch long. These small pieces of celery are good to add to cooking dishes.
Remember that it is hard to cut the celery once it is frozen. So, cutting it now is the best option.
Blanching the chopped celery
Boil the water in Pan
Take a pan or pot and put it over the stove, fill it with enough water. So, that each piece of celery dip into it. Now turn the stove ON to its high settings. Let the water come to a full boil. Then add the celery to the pan and stir it. Make sure that each piece of the chopped celery is submerged in the boiling water.
Do not add anything to the water only fresh filtered water is enough. The whole boiling process takes only 3 minutes. It is best if you set the temperature because this way you can avoid overcooking.
After 3 minutes of cooking turn off the stove and immediately take out the celery. Then by acting fast put the celery in the ice water for 3 minutes. This action will stop the cooking process.
Freezing the boiled Celery
Remove the cooled water from the pan and take out the celery pieces. Put the pieces on the cotton cloth or on a paper towel. Let it dry completely, for drying chopped celery use a paper towel. Celery is a water-rich vegetable if you do not remove excess moisture. Then this will spoil the celery in less than 30 days even after blanching.
Now take the dried pieces of celery and put them in the plastic bag or plastic container. If you are using a freezer bag you need to remove the air at the time of sealing the bag.
Now put the bag into the freezer before putting it in the freezer write the date on it. This way you will know when you freeze it and the expiry date of it. From expiry, we mean you have to consume it within 14 months.
Because after 14 months of freeze celery loses its 70% nutritional values.
This is the whole process of freezing celery in simple steps.
To freeze celery for a short time you don’t need to blanch it. Otherwise for long-term storage of celery follow the above-written steps as listed. Enjoy the celery entire year. It makes hot soups very delicious.
I hope now you know the answer to your question can you freeze the celery? If you still have doubts and want to know more about the process. Contact us anytime we will reply ASAP.