Celery is a good deal at Sprouts this week – $0.49 per bunch – but what if you want to stock up for more than just Thanksgiving?
Can you freeze celery?
As it is with avocados and bell peppers, the answer is, “It depends!” Because celery is made up so much of water, it will lose much of its texture when you freeze it, so you can’t expect to have a crisp celery stick to fill with peanut butter if you freeze it.
However, if you plan to use celery in a dish where it’s going to be cooked until soft anyway, you can definitely freeze it. I recommend washing the celery, chopping it as you’ll want it to use in your recipe, and then freezing it in a freezer bag. To keep it from freezing in a clump, lay the bag flat with the celery in a single layer or set a timer and “rough up” the bag after an hour or two, before it freezes all the way.
When you are ready to cook it, you can either add it directly to your pan still frozen, or thaw it first and then add it to your recipe. The frozen celery will contain a lot of water, so if you are sauteeing it, remember to turn your burner up a little higher so that the water cooks off and the celery can still brown. If you thaw the celery before using it, put it in a colander and allow it to drain as it thaws to get rid of the excess water.
Don’t throw away the big, ugly white part of the bottom or the leaves of celery – both can be chopped and used to make delicious, rich chicken stock or add flavor to soups. I’ll be sharing more about this in the new ebook I’m working on that will help you prevent waste and make delicious food out of things you normally throw away! Stay tuned for that!
Celery image from daveybot via Flickr