Whether you have a garden teeming with celery or encountered a great deal at the supermarket, it might get you wondering—can you freeze celery?
In short, yes, celery freezes well. However, there are a couple of steps you should take to ensure it comes out of the freezer in just as good of shape as when you put it in. We’ll show you how with our simple step-by-step tutorial.
When to Freeze Celery
Celery stalks are an excellent candidate for freezing. Ideally, you should freeze celery when it’s fresh—either straight from your garden or the grocery store.
Whatever you do, don’t wait until your celery starts wilting to freeze it. A freezer can’t undo the damage that happens to celery before you put it in, and it decreases the celery’s rigidity. So, wilted celery will come out even more wilted 12 months after freezing it.
Benefits of Freezing Celery
If someone asks you, “Can you freeze celery?” now you’ll know how to answer them. But they may also ask you what the benefit of doing so is.
Below are some advantages of freezing celery:
- It retains much of its nutrient content
- You can save money when there’s a sale at your supermarket
- It can last for up to one year in your freezer
- It’s an excellent addition to smoothies and cooked dishes
Celery is a low glycemic index food and is an excellent source of vitamin C and L-3-n-butylphthalide, which may prevent Alzheimer’s disease.
That said, blanching celery, which we’ll talk about shortly, removes some of the nutrients in it, especially those that are water-soluble. Nevertheless, your celery will keep more nutrients by blanching it than if you didn’t do so.
How to Freeze Celery
You have two options for freezing celery—putting it straight in your freezer or blanching it. We recommend taking the time to blanch, for it helps celery keep its crunchy texture, green color, and taste.
Furthermore, your celery will last 12 months by blanching it. Otherwise, you can expect it to stay good for around two months.
Below is a step-by-step guide on how to freeze celery. If you choose not to blanch it, you can skip down to step number three.
- Place the celery in a pot of boiling water for three minutes.
- Immediately transfer the celery to a pot of ice water. Drain the water and let the celery dry.
- Put the celery on a baking sheet, ensuring the pieces aren’t touching each other, and place the baking sheet in your fridge.
- Remove the celery after a few hours and transfer it to an air-tight freezer bag.
- Set the bag in your freezer and enjoy your frozen celery as you need it.
How to Thaw Celery
Here’s some good news if you tend to run short on time—you don’t have to thaw celery.
The caveat is that frozen celery isn’t the type of food you’ll likely want to eat raw. Also, despite blanching it, the stalk will have weakened from the celery’s significant water content expanding when it was in the freezer.
Therefore, you can toss frozen celery directly into the blender with your favorite smoothie or into the stock pot for a cooked meal. Stock, soup, and stuffing are all great uses for frozen celery.
The Verdict—Can You Freeze Celery?
It’s worthwhile to freeze celery if you intend to use it for consumption other than eating it raw (with the exception of smoothies). We recommend blanching your celery since it’ll extend its shelf life for up to a year.
The bottom line is that freezing celery is easy, and you’ll reap the benefits of its nutritional value.