Saturday, July 10, 2010

Frugal Tips: Freezing Celery

Today's freezer topic: Celery

I had a reader (okay, it was my sister) ask me about freezing celery. I thought this was a great question because I rarely use the entire bunch of celery that you have to buy. I hate throwing out food but there are always one or two stalks that I just can't eat before they rot. So I was happy to have motivation to find out if you can, in fact, freeze celery. Good news - you can. Although it is recommended for using only in recipes (rather than munching with some peanut butter) that is pretty much how I use celery anyway, so it works for me!

Items you will need:
  • Celery (any quantity)
  • 1 large pot of boiling water (bring to a rolling boil)
  • plenty of ice in a large bowl of cold water
  • a vacuum food sealer or freezer bags
First of all, wash those celery stalks really well. Go on and pull them apart and scrub each one individually. Trim off the ends and cut the stalks into 1-inch lengths or so.

Blanch the celery for 3 minutes. In other words, get a large pot filled with water and bring the water to a rolling boil. Dump the celery in there and time 3 minutes.

At 3 minutes, remove the celery, drain and quickly immerse in ice cold water. Leave it in there for about five minutes.

Drain the celery and package in a vacuum freezer bag, or a Ziploc bag, excluding as much air as possible. If you really do exclude as much air as possible it should last for up to a year in the freezer.

All done! Now the next time you are making minestrone soup or chicken and dumplings, just pull out that celery from your freezer!

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