If you’re looking for tips on keeping celery fresh, this blog post is for you! Celery is an incredibly versatile vegetable that can be used in various dishes. But it doesn’t last forever—so how long does celery last? Read on to find out the answer, as well as some helpful tips on how to store and preserve your celery.
Table Of Contents−
- How Long Does Celery Last?
- Factors That Affect The Shelf Life Of Celery
- Refrigerating Fresh Celery
- How To Tell If Your Celery Has Gone Bad
- Storing Cooked Celery
- Using Leftover Parts of the Plant
- Composting Used Cores and Stems
- Preparing and Eating Cooked or Raw celeriac
How Long Does Celery Last?
Celery is a popular vegetable known for its crunchy texture and mild flavor. It is widely used in salads, soups, and other dishes for added flavor and texture. But how long does celery last?
The shelf life of celery depends on a few factors, including how it is stored, the freshness of the product when purchased, and the method of preparation.
Fresh, whole celery taken straight out of the farm tends to last the longest, typically up to four weeks in the fridge. Prepackaged celery, however, will only last two to three days. Raw celery will also last for 3-4 weeks in the fridge.
Cooked celery has a much shorter shelf life and should be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should also be consumed within three to five days. Additionally, freezing and canning are both options for extending their shelf life.
Factors That Affect The Shelf Life Of Celery
Regarding the shelf life of celery, there are a few factors to consider. The most important factor is how fresh the celery is when you buy it.
Fresh, whole celery taken straight out of the farm tends to last the longest, while prepackaged celery lasts only for two to three days. How you store the celery also matters, as it will determine how long it will stay fresh.
Refrigerating Fresh Celery
Refrigerating fresh celery is the best way to maintain its freshness and flavor. Celery heads should be kept whole, tightly wrapped in aluminum foil, and stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer. This will help keep it fresh and crisp for up to four weeks.
If you plan to use the celery within a few days, it can also be stored in a plastic bag with a slightly damp paper towel. This method will help keep the celery crisp for up to two weeks. For best results, check the celery daily and discard any that has become wilted or discolored.
How To Tell If Your Celery Has Gone Bad
When determining if your celery has gone bad, there are a few telltale signs you should be on the lookout for. The most obvious is the smell, which can become off-putting when the celery has been left too long.
Also, it may be time to throw it out if you spot any dark spots or discoloration on the surface. If the stalks have become slimy or soft, they have gone bad and should be discarded. Finally, if the celery has started to sprout small leaves or buds, it is no longer safe to eat and should be tossed out.
Storing Cooked Celery
Storing cooked celery is a bit different than storing raw celery. Cooked celery should be stored in an airtight container and kept in the refrigerator. It will last up to 3-5 days in the fridge once it’s been cooked. If you aren’t using the celery within that time frame, it can be frozen and stored for up to 3 months.
Additionally, canned or pickled celery can be stored in the pantry or cupboard for up to a year. You can also dehydrate cooked celery by slicing it into thin strips and then drying it in a dehydrator. Dehydrated celery can be stored for up to 6 months in an airtight container.
Canning is a great way to preserve celery for long-term storage. Before canning, it is best to blanch celery for a few minutes in boiling water. This helps to break down some of the cell walls, making it more tender and easier to pack into jars.
Once blanched, pack the celery into jars and cover it with a hot liquid such as broth, water, or a combination of both. Seal the jars with lids and rings and process them in a pressure canner according to the instructions on the jar. Canning allows you to enjoy celery all year round!
Drying and Dehydrating Celery
Drying and dehydrating celery is a great way to extend its shelf life. The process involves removing moisture from the celery stalks to prevent spoilage and make them last longer.
To dry celery, wash the stalks under cold running water, then pat them dry with a paper towel. Cut the stalks into thin slices or strips and spread them out on a baking sheet. Place the tray in an oven preheated to 200°F (93°C) for up to four hours, checking every 30 minutes to ensure the celery isn’t burning.
Once the celery is dry and crisp, allow it to cool before transferring it to an airtight container for storage in a cool, dry place. Dried celery can last up to one year if stored properly. When ready to use it, rehydrate it by soaking it in water for a few minutes before using it as desired.
Making Pickled or Fermented Celery
Pickling and fermenting are two great ways to extend the shelf life of celery. Pickling involves soaking the celery in a vinegar brine while fermenting requires keeping the celery submerged in a salt-water solution. Both methods are easy and can add a unique flavor to the celery.
To pickle or ferment celery, start washing the stalks and cutting them into bite-sized pieces. Then, prepare the brine or salt-water solution, and add the celery pieces. Allow the mixture to sit for at least an hour before refrigerating it in an airtight container. The pickled or fermented celery should keep for up to a month when stored this way.
Blanching Before Freezing or Canning
Blanching celery before freezing or canning is important to ensure a longer shelf life. Blanching is briefly boiling vegetables in hot water, followed by a quick ice bath. This helps preserve the celery’s color, texture, and flavor.
To blanch celery, cut it into pieces and boil a pot of water. Add the celery pieces and boil for 2-3 minutes. Then immediately transfer them to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Once cooled, drain the celery and pat it dry before storing. Blanching your celery will help it stay fresh for up to a year in the freezer or up to one year in canned form.
Freezing Fresh Celery
Freezing fresh celery is a great way to keep it around longer. To freeze celery, wash and cut it into the desired sizes, then blanch the celery in boiling water for two to three minutes. Blanching helps to stop the enzymatic reactions that can cause it to lose flavor or discolor.
Once the celery has been blanched, cool it down quickly by running it under cold water for a few minutes. Then, place the celery on a baking sheet or tray and freeze it until solid. Once frozen, transfer it to a sealed container or bag and store it in the freezer for up to six months. When ready to use, thaw out the frozen celery in the refrigerator overnight before using.
Reheating Cooked or Frozen Celery
Reheating cooked or frozen celery is easy. Simply take it out of the freezer or fridge and place it in a preheated oven at 350°F for about 10 minutes. You can also reheat it in the microwave for about a minute. It’s important to remember to reheat the celery at a low temperature, as high temperatures can cause it to become tough and lose its crispness. Once the celery has been reheated, you can enjoy it as part of your favorite dish or eat it as a snack.
Using Leftover Parts of the Plant
The celery plant is a great source of nutrition, and you don’t have to limit yourself to the stalks. The leaves, roots, and seeds can all be used in cooking or as a health supplement. The leaves can be added to salads, soups, or sauces for extra flavor and nutrition.
The roots can be cooked as a vegetable side dish or boiled and mashed into a puree. Celery seeds are a great source of dietary fiber and can be added to dressings or sprinkled over dishes for extra flavor. Always check the expiration date before consuming any leftover parts of the celery plant.
Composting Used Cores and Stems
Composting used celery cores and stems is a great way to reduce waste and return nutrients to the soil. Celery cores and stems are rich in nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium, which can help provide nutrients for your garden.
To compost celery cores and stems, simply add them to your compost pile. If your compost pile is too full, you can always put them in a separate compost bin or container. Mix the cores and stems with other organic materials like leaves, grass clippings, and food scraps. Once the compost is ready, you can use it to enrich your soil or mulch. Composting is a great way to reduce waste and help the environment.
Preparing and Eating Cooked or Raw celeriac
Celeriac is a variety of celery that is grown specifically for its root. This root vegetable is often used in soups and stews, as well as for roasting or mashing. When preparing celeriac, peel the tough outer skin before cooking.
Raw celeriac can be eaten as part of a salad or slaw, while cooked celeriac can be mashed or pureed into a creamy sauce or soup. Regardless of how you choose to prepare it, celeriac is a great way to enjoy the flavor of celery without the crunchy texture of the stalks.
In conclusion, celery is a versatile vegetable that can last several weeks when stored properly. Fresh celery is best stored in the refrigerator crisper drawer, wrapped in aluminum foil. Cooked celery can be stored in an airtight container for about three to five days.
Other storage methods, such as freezing, canning, drying, and pickling, are also available for longer-term storage. Additionally, the plant seeds are also used to help relieve pain medicinally. The correct storage methods allow you to enjoy your celery longer and get the most out of this nutritious vegetable.
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