Can you freeze celery? Celery is one of the vegetables used in some weight-loss diets. It consists mostly of water.
If you live a long way from the nearest store with fresh celery, you can’t keep fresh celery on hand. You would like to buy it in bulk and freeze some of it for later use, but you don’t know if freezing it is a good idea. While you can freeze celery, it makes sense only in certain cases. You also need to do it properly to get the best results. Let’s get into details.
How Freezing Affects Celery
Since celery contains a lot of water, freezing and thawing changes its structure. The celery will become mushy after defrosting. If you’re thinking about freezing celery, you must remember that it’ll turn out mushy. If you plan to use it in a raw dish, like a salad, it likely will be an issue. If you, however, want to use it in a cooked dish, like a soup or a stew, it should be fine. Mushy texture shouldn’t negatively affect the taste of your dish. Please remember – add frozen celery directly to the dish you’re cooking.
Image used under Creative Commons from Tim Ellis
How to Freeze Celery
This process is like freezing other vegetables. First, you need to wash the celery and chop it into desired size. Now it’s time to blanch the celery. Put all your vegetables into a pot of boiling water and keep them there for about 3 minutes. Now you need to rapidly cool them down– you can do it under cold running water. Drain the celery thoroughly. While blanching celery is optional, most sources recommend it. You can always omit blanching once or twice and see what changes.
Now it’s time to flash freeze your celery. Take a baking sheet and put the chopped celery on it. Make sure pieces don’t touch one another. Put the plate into the freezer and keep it there until veggies are frozen. Once done, transfer them into a freezing bag leaving no headspace (remove excessive air from the bag). Now you need to date and label it and put it back into the freezer. Make sure that the size of your freezing bag is suitable for your needs. It’s always better to put 2 smaller bags into the freezer than a single big one. You can omit flash freezing, but pieces in the bag will stick to one another and you won’t be able to grab a single one. You can keep the celery in the freezer for at least a year.
As you can see, you can freeze celery, but it does make sense only in certain cases. If you plan on using celery in cooked dishes, like stews, soups or casseroles, freezing makes sense and the results you get should be satisfactory. If you’d like to use celery in raw dishes, freezing it isn’t a good idea. It’ll become mushy after thawing and you won’t be satisfied with the results.