Celery has the perfect texture to add to any dish, when you want to add a little crunch or a note of bitterness.
It also has the benefits of containing a lot of calcium, potassium, vitamin K, and is thought to protect against ulcers forming in the gut, as well as having anti-inflammatory properties.
But what if you’ve got too much celery? Maybe you grow it yourself, or you took advantage of an offer, and now you have more celery than you know what to do with.
While celery can last for up to a fortnight in the fridge, can you freeze it?
Is Freezing Celery A Good Idea?
Celery has a lot of water content, which means that when you freeze it, it will lose some of its crunch. When you thaw it, it may turn very soft and mushy, so this is something to bear in mind.
If you plan on freezing celery and adding it to a salad at a later date, you may want to avoid freezing it altogether (see also Freezing Green Onions).
However, if you plan on using it in cooking, this is less of a problem, and the altered consistency shouldn’t matter too much.
As long as you prepare it properly, and you’ll use it in a hot dish, there’s no reason why you shouldn’t freeze celery for later.
How To Freeze Celery Right On The First Try
How you should freeze celery is pretty similar to how you’d treat other vegetables before putting them in the freezer.
The difference is that while you’d normally either blanch or flash freeze a vegetable, for celery you need to do both. This ensures that the celery’s texture is preserved as much as possible.
For best results, freeze the celery when it’s at its freshest.
How To Blanch Celery
Grab a large bowl and fill it full of cold tap water. Add ice and give it a mix to make an ice bath. While this water cools, boil a saucepan of water.
Rinse the celery under running water, and cut it to your preferred size. Transfer the pieces into a colander, and submerge them in the boiling water.
Let them heat for about 3 minutes in total, and then transfer the colander straight into the ice bath. This will stop the residual heat from cooking the celery. Drain it, dry it, and leave it to cool.
How To Flash Freeze Celery
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Put the celery on the tray in a single layer, making sure they don’t touch. Transfer the sheet into the freezer, and let them freeze solid.
Once they are completely frozen, take them out of the freezer and pack them into a freezer bag. Normally, you’d leave some headroom, but this time, you want to pack the bag as full as possible to stop freezer burn.
It may be worth packing them into several smaller bags, as this will mean they are quicker to defrost, and you’ll only have to take out what you need at any one time.
Squeeze out the excess air, seal it, label it, and freeze it. Celery will last in the freezer for a year at the very least, but the longer you leave it in the freezer, the more pronounced the texture changes will be.
Freezing celery does take some time and effort, but the process is worth doing properly if you want the best results possible.
It’s also worth it for the extended shelf life that the freezing process gives the celery.
Freezing celery is worthwhile as long as you plan on using the thawed celery as an ingredient in a cooked dish, as it’s likely the consistency will break down a little in the freezer, leaving this normally crisp vegetable a little mushy.