Can You Freeze Celery?
Home-grown celery has a bold flavor that’s tough to beat. Preserve that tangy flavor by freezing celery—we’ll explain how.
Two issues cause havoc when growing celery: time and water. Celery is a long crop: 120 to 180 days from seed to harvest. Second, the plants need consistent water. Soil must retain water well (translation: rich in organic matter), but you should also water regularly. Most growers tie a clump of stalks together to keep them upright. To get celery to be a lighter green and sweeter, growers blanch stalks by shielding them from sunlight. You can also grow self-blanching varieties.
Johnny’s Selected Seeds
Celery adds a flavorful crunch to any dish when used fresh. But unless you’re making a vat of potato salad or crudités for a crowd, you only use a little and stash the rest in the veggie drawer. Did you ever wonder if you can freeze celery? You can, and the results bring celery’s wonderful flavor to a host of family favorites, like soups, stews, and stir fries.
Before freezing celery, it’s important to understand that the result won’t be the crunchy vegetable you love nibbling in chicken salad. Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. Frozen celery works fabulously in things like casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. For these uses, freeze celery in larger chunks that you can easily retrieve from dishes.
To freeze celery, you don’t have to blanch first, although blanching does result in a more flavorful outcome that lasts up to a year. If you don’t blanch, plan to eat your celery within a few months. Blanch celery stalks for 3 minutes before cooling and packing into freezer bags or containers. Chop celery into 1-inch chunks before blanching.
Fresh Broccoli Beats Store-Bought Every Time
Want to enjoy fresh-from-the-garden broccoli all year long? It's a snap to freeze this fiber-rich veggie to use in stir fries, soup and more. Learn the process for how to freeze broccoli in this article by Julie A. Martens.
Overwhelmed with Cucumbers?
Cucumber vines can be prolific producers of the treasured summertime veggie. Don't think it's possible to freeze cucumbers? Well, the secret lies in the preparation. Learn how to freeze cucumbers for summer-fresh fare in any season.
Never Have Too Many Cherry Tomatoes
While frozen cherry tomatoes are no longer fit to be used in tossed salads, you can blend them with herbs or use in soups and stew. In this article, Julie A. Martens offers several great uses for frozen cherry tomatoes and describes the best way to preserve them.
Freeze Spinach for Soups and More
While you won't want to serve frozen spinach in fresh salads, the leaves will work nicely in soup, casseroles and stir fries. You'll just want to freeze young leaves. Avoid the older or yellowing leaves as they'll produce a nasty taste and rubbery texture. Ever tried making frozen spinach cubes? Get more tips on how to freeze spinach in this article on how to freeze spinach.
Can You Freeze Kale?
Yes, you can freeze kale. Frozen kale works well in smoothies and blends well into quiches, crock pot stews and soups. Find more uses for frozen kale and how to best preserve this nutrient-packed green.
Put Your Onions in the Deep Freeze
Too many onions to eat right away? Not a problem. They freeze easily, and can be used in a variety of ways. Learn how to prep onions for safe storage in the deep freeze, how to keep the onion odor low and when to use frozen onions in your dishes.
Freeze Asparagus for Great Flavor
While frozen asparagus spears won't be as crisp as garden-fresh stems, they can still be used in many dishes. Here are the steps to preserving this nutrient-dense vegetable and some ideas on how to use frozen asparagus to add flavor to your meals.
Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?
You definitely can freeze garlic. In fact, you can freeze garlic in many ways. While frozen garlic lacks the crunchy texture of fresh, the flavor remains strong—and definitely won't have the chemical taste that sometimes accompanies jarred garlic. Learn several ways to freeze garlic and how to use it to add flavor to food.
How Do You Freeze Eggplant?
Eggplant doesn't keep very long, and you won't be able to can it without pulverizing it beyond recognition. So, how do you preserve your delicious eggplant? Forget your canner and learn how to freeze eggplant. Here are several freezing methods you can try.
Enjoy a Summertime Favorite All Year
Learn how to freeze corn and you'll be able to enjoy this summertime treat all year—even with your holiday turkey. Freezing corn is simple, and it's a great way to introduce kids to food preservation. Learn the steps to freezing corn in this article by Julie A. Martens.
How to Freeze Brussels Sprouts
Brussels sprouts bring more than taste to the table. This cabbage cousin boasts vitamins and is high in protein, so you'll want to make your locally-grown Brussels sprouts last. Learn the two ways to freeze Brussels sprouts and ways to include this frozen super veggie on your table.
Steps to Freezing Cabbage
Want to enjoy the nutrition offered by cabbage all year? This unsung hero of the vegatable garden adapts well to the freezing process. Start with dense, solid heads that feel weighty for their size. Learn more about the steps to freezing cabbage in this article from Julie A. Martens.
Freeze Celery for Soups
Celery is mostly water, and the freezing process ruptures cell walls, resulting in a limp, mushy product. But frozen celery works fabulously in casseroles, sauces, stock, and other hot concoctions. You can also use it as an aromatic with soups, broths for cooking rice, or roasts, tossing after cooking. Learn the steps to freezing celery in this article.
Overstocked on Mushrooms?
Mushrooms might last about a week in the refrigerator, which might not be enough time to enjoy the bounty you may have grown or foraged. Consider freezing mushrooms. Learn which method of freezing mushrooms works best, and get some ideas for how to use them in recipes.
Whether or not you’re blanching, consider flash freezing individual pieces of celery on a parchment-lined tray before packing into bags. Flash freezing gives you the option of grabbing just a handful of celery to add to dishes.
Some cooks like to freeze celery, coarsely chopped, in muffin tins or finely chopped in ice cube trays. After the celery freezes into a solid chunk, they pop the chunk into freezer bags. With this method, toss a frozen celery chunk into your dish and let it thaw as it cooks.
You can also sautee celery pieces—stalks and leaves—in olive oil before freezing. For a more flavorful option, sautée celery, garlic, onions, and parsley, then puree in a food processor. Freeze in ice cube trays and add to sauces, soups, and skillet dishes for a savory treat.
Fresh, farm-grown celery has an outstanding, stronger flavor and color than its pale supermarket cousin. Look for fresh celery at farm stands and farmers’ markets in fall. These bunches frequently feature thinner stalks and lots of leaves, but the flavor is so much greater that you won’t be disappointed. Use as much as you need fresh, and freeze the rest.
Be sure to wash these stems well because dirt hides deep inside the clump. Start the cleaning process by cutting all stems free of the base and running water down through the clump. Freeze celery leaves along with the stalks, or dry leaves in a parchment-lined box lid.
To freeze celery leaves solo, roll them into a cigar shape that fits snugly in the base of a freezer bag. Roll up the bag tightly, securing the ends with rubber bands or binder clips. To use, pull the cigar from the bag and slice off what you need. Re-freeze the remainder.
- How to Freeze Green Beans
- How to Freeze Corn
- Freezing Zucchini: A Great Way to Chill Out
- How to Freeze Broccoli
- How to Freeze Okra
- Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
- Freezing Eggplant
- Freezing Onions
- Freezing Cabbage
- Can You Freeze Garlic Cloves?