My mom just found a deal on celery she couldn’t pass up. Two heads for a dollar. She bought three. She can’t possibly use that much celery before it turns to mush so what did she do? She froze it. It occurred to me that most people may not realize that you can freeze celery or know how to do it.
Celery is one of those vegetables that supposedly does not freeze well. This is true compared to many other vegetables but it doesn’t mean you cannot freeze celery at all. Again, even if you use the best storage method for celery you’d have a hard time using a surplus, even with the best storage method. Freezing is a good solution in this case. However, one thing to understand is that celery will lose its crispness when frozen so frozen celery is only good for cooking. The other drawback is that you will have a hard time altering the size and shape of the celery stalks after they are frozen, so you have to cut them into the size you want to use for cooking. You also should not just plunk them in the freezer. You need to follow certain steps first.
With all that in mind, below are the steps for freezing celery.
How to Freeze Celery
1. Bring a large pot of water to boiling.
2. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.
2. Cut your celery to the size you want for cooking.
3. Place the celery pieces in the boiling water and blanch for one minute.
4. Remove the celery and immerse in the ice water.
5. Drain celery and allow to dry (you can lay it out on paper towels if desired)
6. Place celery into an airtight container such as a large plastic freezer bag and freeze.
Notes on Freezing Celery
Make sure your blanched celery is dry before you place it into a container to freeze. This will make it much easier to remove the amount of celery you want later!
Once you take frozen celery out of the freezer, use it quickly. Do not let it set out and thaw as it can quickly oxidize and develop a bad odor. As long as you cook with it immediately it will be great for soups and stews. Remember it is already partially cooked from the blanching.
Some readers may find the word blanching to be associated also with the growing of celery. In this case, blanching means to remove or reduce color in a vegetable by depriving it of light. For celery, this helps prevent a bitter taste.