If you’re anything like me, you often buy celery for one recipe and then you’re at a loss with what to do with the rest of it. Don’t let that crisp celery go to waste! Here are 3 tried-and-true methods for How to Store Celery—both fresh and frozen!
We’ve all been there — bought an entire bunch of celery (because selling one or two stalks would be too easy, right?) for a recipe, only to have it get dried out, limp or mushy by the time we go to use it again. As celery is often one of those ingredients we don’t tend to use a ton of at a time, learning How to Store Celery in different ways means that we reduce food waste and always have some celery on hand for a recipe!
Another way to make sure that celery doesn’t go to waste? Eat it, of course! Check out some of my favorite veggie-loaded recipes using celery and that bunch you bought won’t even have a chance to go bad!
- How to store cut celery in the fridge
- How to store a whole bunch of celery in foil
- How to freeze celery
- Frequently asked questions about storing celery
How to store cut celery in the fridge
This method is particularly great if you enjoy celery as a snack, since it will be washed, cut, and ready to chomp down on. It takes less than 5 minutes to do and means your celery is ready to enjoy whenever you need a crunch veggie fix. Here is how to do it!
Step 1: Wash your celery.
Step 2: Trim the ends off each stalk and cut into your desired size.
Step 3: Place the cut celery in an air-tight container (I like mason jars but you can use whatever you have) and cover with water. Seal with the lid. Store in fridge for about 4-5 days, changing water every day or 2.
How to store a whole head of celery in foil
Do you have a whole bunch of celery you want to keep fresh and crisp? The best way to do this is to wrap it in foil! This tried-and-true method may seem a little weird but it works so beautifully. The foil protects the celery from the moisture in your fridge (which is what causes them to go limp) but allows the ethylene gas that celery naturally produces to escape (source)….keeping your celery fresh and crisp for much longer!
Step 1: Place head of celery in the middle of foil.
Step 2: Wrap the entire head in foil, making sure none of the celery is left exposed.
Step 3: Store in fridge for 2-3 weeks.
Be sure to save the foil you used to wrap your celery in and use it with your next bundle! Also, if you prefer foil not touching your food, you can put a layer of parchment paper between your celery and the foil.
How to freeze celery
Yep, you can freeze celery! This method is great if you aren’t a big celery eater but like to use it in soups, broths, or stir-fry recipes. Here is how to do it:
Step 1: Wash and dry your celery well.
Step 2: Chop into the desired size and shape. I like to cut my celery into the size I most often use for soup or stir-fry recipes so I don’t have to try to cut it later.
Step 3: Place the celery in a single layer on a baking sheet. Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer. This step prevents the pieces of celery from freezing together in clusters.
Step 4: Once frozen solid (usually 2-3 hours), transfer the celery to a freezer safe container to use within a month or two.
If you want to have your frozen celery good for up to a year, you will need to do a quick blanch on them. To do this, place slice celery in boiling water for 2 minutes, remove with a slotted spoon and transfer to an ice bath to stop the cooking process. Then follow the above steps for freezing it. Blanched celery will last for up to 12 months in the freezer.
Frequently Asked Questions about Storing Celery
Should celery be stored wet or dry?
Because of it’s high water content, celery is best stored wet. While there are some dry storage methods, storing celery in the refrigerator—either in a container of water or wrapped in a damp towel—ensures it will stay crispy and fresh for the longest amount of time.
How do you keep celery crisp?
The key to keeping celery crisp is to make sure it doesn’t dry out and isn’t stored at too cold of a temperature. Because of its high water content, freezing breaks down the cell walls in a way that does not allow celery to maintain its crisp texture. While frozen celery is great to throw into soups, stews, and stir-fries, it will not go back to its crisp state once thawed or heated.
Should I wash celery before storing?
While I always wash my veggies before cutting them, the question of whether or not to wash a whole, intact bunch of celery before storing is less clear-cut. Some people feel washing a bunch of celery before storing causes it to go bad faster. However, if you choose not to wash it before storing, it is SUPER IMPORTANT to wash the celery once you are ready to use it.
How long does celery last in the fridge?
This question is tricky! Depending on how long it has been at the grocery store before you bought it and the temperature of your refrigerator, the shelf life of celery varies quite a lot! Left whole, celery typically stays fresh for around 2 weeks—longer if you’re lucky! Cut celery has a much shorter storage span—usually around 4-5 days. And, of course, if you see ANY signs of mold or spoilage, I always go by the adage, “when in doubt, throw it out”. While I NEVER encourage food waste, I’d always rather be safe than sorry. Best to check your fridge often, and freeze what you aren’t going to use in time!
What is the best storage container for storing celery?
If storing celery wrapped in foil, no specific container is needed. Your crisper drawer or a refrigerator shelf will do just fine! To store cut celery, any air-tight container will do. I prefer glass Mason-type jars, but it comes down to what you have available and personal preference.
Does celery need to be stored in the fridge? Is there a way to store celery without refrigeration?
While there is technically a way to store celery without refrigeration, it is not recommended. Why not? Storing celery outside of the refrigerator will not maintain its crisp texture AND will not stay fresh for as long as wet storage methods—and we all want to get the most bang for our grocery buck by preserving our produce’s life span as long as possible! To store celery without refrigeration, you will need to dry off the celery (as most celery is wet-stored at the grocery store and that excess moisture could lead to problems if not refrigerated), and keep it covered in a cool, dry place. It’s also important to note that CUT celery should always be stored in the refrigerator. However, don’t be surprised if it turns limp quicker than you plan to use it! We’re talking a few hours to a day or so max! Personally, I don’t want to risk it and stick with the tried-and-true refrigeration methods outlined above. If you’re lucky enough to grow your own celery, I encourage you to keep it in the soil right up until you plan to use it.
Best recipes for FRESH celery
- Healthy Tuna Salad (with added veggies)
- Mashed Chickpea Salad
- Vegetarian Stuffed Delicata Squash
- Veggie-Loaded Vegetarian Stuffing
Best recipes for fresh or FROZEN celery
- Easy Vegetable Broth
- Savory Pumpkin Soup
- Slow Cooker Golden Soup
- Slow Cooker Creamy Vegetable Chicken Stew
- Creamy Mushroom Vegetable Rice Soup
- Chicken and Veggie Pot Pie Soup
- Veggie-Loaded Tortellini Soup (vegetarian)
- Hearty Chicken-Vegetable Quinoa Soup
- Slow Cooker Chicken Bone Broth
- 30-minute Minestrone Soup (vegan)
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