Can you freeze celery? Celery is one of the vegetables used in some weight-loss diets. It consists mostly of water. So, you live a long way from the nearest store with fresh celery, so you can’t keep fresh celery on hand. You would like to buy it in bulk and freeze some of it, so you can use it later, but you don’t know if freezing celery is a good idea. Fortunately, you can freeze celery, but it makes sense only in certain cases. You also need to do it properly to get the best results. Let’s go into some details.
How freezing affects celery
Since celery contains a lot of water, as I’ve mentioned earlier, freezing and thawing changes its structure. The celery will become mushy after defrosting. So, if you’re thinking about freezing celery, you must remember that it’ll turn out mushy after thawing. If you plan to use it in a raw dish, like a salad, it probably will be an issue. If you, however, plan on using it in a cooked dish, like a soup or a stew, it should be fine and its 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
This process is fairly similar to freezing other vegetables. Firstly, you need to wash the celery thoroughly 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 cool them down quickly – you can do it under cold running water. Drain the celery thoroughly. Please bear in mind that blanching celery is optional, but most sources recommend doing it before freezing this vegetable, so it seems that doing it is reasonable.
Now it’s time to flash freeze your celery. Take a baking sheet and put the chopped celery on it. Make sure that they don’t touch one another. Put the plate into the freezer and keep it there until celery are frozen. Once done, transfer them into a freezing bag (of your choice) 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 one bigger. You can omit flash freezing celery, but celery in the bag will stick to one another and you won’t be able to get only a piece or two from the bag. 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 them makes sense and the results you’ll 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 probably won’t be satisfied with the results you’ll get.