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May 18, 2008 05:20 PM

Freezing Celery - yay or ney

Can you freeze celery, and if so, how?

I've always assumed you can *not* freeze celery, even in a chopped form to be used later an aromatic. I'm asking since the most I can use at a time is 3-4 stalks and then the rest goes to waste.

I though perhaps if you frooze it chopped, in soup stock, it might survive. Anyone have any experience?

I found this which gives minor info, lots of no's on freezing, one yes.

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  1. I've done it with no problems. Freeze raw, uncut stalks and you can use it later for cooking.

    1. If you're gonna freeze them and the use as an aromatic (soup or roast, then thrown out) you're fine. I do this when I remember to wrap and freeze before it turns rotten in the bottom of the crisper. Hard to use a whole head of celery unless you're making crudites or soup, or a big vat of potato/chicken salad etc...

      1. Celery is basically water. When freezing it you are going to cause the water in the cells to expand and turn the veg to mush. So if you are going to use it is soup or stock okay. Anything requiring fresh celery, it will be unacceptable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Candy

          I give it a rough chop and freeze it in ice cube tray portions that are later moved to zip-lock bags for long term storage.

        2. I chop it up with bell pepper and onion for jambalaya and freeze it. Works fine, but I wouldn't bother freezing unchopped.

          1. I freeze & use it as the others have detailed. I also dehydrate it. The flavor intensifies and this form is very handy too. My freezer is small & always pretty full, so the dehydrator helps me prevent the biology experiment that my crisper seems to want to transform into!

            2 Replies
            1. re: meatn3

              do you use this in sauces, soups, etc? (I've seen it in soup mixes, so I imagine so). I wonder if you could powder it for celery essence? I love celery in so many way. I wonder if , rehydrated, this could work in a salad (egg, chicken) or would it be soggy? Would it rehydrate in the dressing or do you have to soak it in a hot liquid?

              I'm sorry for asking so many questions; it never occurred to me to dehydrate it and I throw flaccid celery away all the time.

              1. re: dockhl

                I first started doing this for back-packing, back in the day when there were few pre-made products that were tasty and/or reasonably priced. Dehydrated = light weight...! (And back in the day when backpacking was an enjoyable option for me!)

                I haven't used the celery in sauces. I think it could be used well to create a reduction sort of essence, if the solids were strained out. I do briefly rehydrate in hot liquid for stews/soups (like what you do with dried fruit or mushrooms). I have never considered grinding it into a powder, but now that you suggest the idea I am very excited by it! I'm having thoughts of sprinkling it over cottage cheese and tomatoes...

                I find the reconstituted texture to not lend itself to chicken salad,etc. The crunch just can't be regained and the texture in a salad is less than desired - actually rather ick. The flavor is good & imo stronger than fresh, so it works well in cooked dishes. I also have not tried it in dressing - when I make that I am usually making a large enough portion that I can use most of a freshly purchased batch.