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How To Freeze Celery For Speedy Smoothies And Quick Soups And Stews

A quick guide to freezing fresh celery to save time, money, and waste—plus the best recipes to use your freezer stash!

There are a few celery-focused dishes, such as soups, salads, and stir-fries, but most recipes only call for a few stalks, so you may have extra waiting to be forgotten and eventually tossed. If you’re sick of throwing away food and money, you’re in luck: celery can be frozen and then used to flavor soups, stews, and stocks, as well as juices and smoothies. Continue reading for a step-by-step guide to freezing fresh celery and getting the most out of it.

First, wash and chop the vegetables.

Before freezing celery, separate the stalks and give them a thorough rinse. Trim and chop the celery, preferably into whatever size or shape is appropriate for how you intend to use it. Because frozen celery isn’t as crisp and easy to cut as fresh celery, taking the time to chop it now will save you time later.

Blanch to Get the Best Results

Although celery can be frozen without being blanched, this extra, simple step helps preserve the vegetable’s color, flavor, and texture. Blanching also increases the longevity of celery, allowing it to be frozen for up to a year (unblanched celery can only be frozen for up to two months). Bring a pot of water to a boil and fill a bowl with ice water to blanch. Blanch celery for about 3 minutes in boiling water, then plunge into ice water to stop the cooking, drain, and completely dry. (Find out how to Freeze Fruits and Vegetables here.)

Celery Freezing Instructions

Spread the celery on a baking sheet and freeze for a few hours, or until hard, then transfer to an airtight freezer bag, squeeze out the air, seal, label, and freeze. Instead of defrosting an entire bag of celery, this two-step freezing process allows you to take out exactly the amount you need.

How to Thaw and Prepare Frozen Celery

There’s no need to thaw celery before using it; simply add it straight from the freezer to whatever you’re cooking. Because celery is high in water, it is refreshing and hydrating. Unfortunately, when frozen, celery loses some of its crispness, which is why previously frozen celery is best used in soups, stews, stuffing, and stock, where it adds flavor rather than texture. It is also useful in smoothies and juices. Keep the salads and crudités aside, where the crispness will be missed.

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