Celery is a natural snack that’s hydrating, low in calories and rich in antioxidants. The green vegetable provides fiber vitamins and could even reduce high blood pressure. But if the stalks are wilted and soft, they lose the appeal that comes from their satisfying crunch.
If you’ve ever wondered the best way to store celery to keep it fresh and full of snap after you bring it home from the market, you’re not alone. Here are some of the easiest ways to keep your celery crunchy.
The Best Way to Store Celery That’s Fresh: In Foil
When you bring it home from the grocery store or farmer’s market or bring it in from your garden, the best way to store celery is to wrap it in aluminum foil.
Although it might be tempting to keep it in the supermarket produce bag, keeping stalks in a sealed bag prevents ethylene, a natural gas the veggies emit, from escaping. Because ethylene is a ripening agent, it will also cause ripe celery to spoil more rapidly.
Instead, wrap the entire bunch in a sheet of foil. Cook’s Illustrated recommends wrapping stalks loosely in foil. They should be covered tightly enough to prevent the celery ribs from drying out. However, avoid folding the ends of the foil or enclosing them too tight, or the ethylene won’t be able to escape, causing the same issue as if you’d left the celery in its bag.
The celery should stay fresh for two weeks or longer with this method.
The Best Way to Store Celery That’s Cut: A Container with Water
For bunches you’ve already cleaned and cut, removed a rib or two from or sliced up, the best way to store celery is in some water.
Place the individual ribs or the remaining stalk into a glass or plastic container. Add enough water to ensure that the celery is submerged. Then, close the container with an air-tight lid. If you don’t have a cover, you can use plastic wrap, but make sure it is sealed before popping the container into the refrigerator.
Storing cut celery in water will keep it hydrated, crisp and ready to eat.
The Best Way to Store Celery for Cooking: Freeze It
You can actually freeze celery if you have a bunch of it that you eventually want to use. It is important to note that frozen and thawed celery doesn’t have the same texture as fresh celery, so you probably won’t want to snack on it. However, it will work well in recipes, such as making stuffing, sauces or soups.
To properly freeze the celery, you have to prepare the veggie by blanching it. Boil chopped celery in a pot for three minutes. Then, transfer it immediately to a bowl of ice water and let it stand for three minutes.
Dry the celery well and place it in a freezer bag or container. Store it in the freezer for up to two months. Then, you can add it to recipes straight from the freezer without thawing it.
How to Refresh Wilted Celery
Celery that wasn’t correctly stored will likely become limp and lose its crunchiness in a hurry. Fortunately, you can usually restore its crisp texture and fresh flavor with a bit of water and time.
First, fill a container with ice water and cut off both ends of the stalk. Then, submerge the celery in the cold water and place it in the fridge for 30 minutes. Once the ribs soak in the icy water, they will lose their sad, rubbery limpness and regain their satisfying crispness.
Have you learned any other tricks for keeping celery at peak freshness for longer?