Celery is a common item on our grocery lists. It’s delicious when paired with peanut butter or hummus, and it’s an essential ingredient in soups and stews. But we only love it when it’s fresh and crispy—not soft and slimy.
Fruits and vegetables seem to go bad before we’ve even had the chance to enjoy them. And when produce goes bad, we’re left to figure out what to do with the food waste. While most organic waste can be composted, we want to enjoy our fresh veggies.
Here’s exactly how to keep celery fresh for longer. These methods could make its lifespan go from a few days to a few weeks.
How to Keep Celery Fresh: 6 Easy Tips That Work
1. Ditch the Plastic
When you buy celery, avoid the plastic bag. Keeping produce in plastic will contain the ethylene it emits, which makes the celery—and other produce—rot faster. When you take it out of the plastic, you allow your celery to breathe.
2. Separate Stalks and Use Cold Water to Clean
Celery must be cleaned before you cook with it. And if you plan on washing your celery as soon as you bring it home, be sure to separate the stalks and chop the leaves off.
Separating the stalks helps you get the hard-to-reach dirt and bacteria. Then, wash each stalk, one by one, in cold water and pat dry.
3. Submerge Cut Stalks in Water
When storing pre-cut celery, it’s important to submerge the cut stalks in water. Pre-cut celery loses moisture at a faster rate, so be sure to keep your celery in water.
Store the submerged celery in an air-tight, reusable container and keep it in the fridge to ensure it stays fresh and crispy. When you’re ready to eat, remove the celery from the water, rinse, and enjoy.
4. Use a Produce Bag
To keep your celery fresh, store the stalks in a reusable produce bag, like the Veggie Saver Produce Bag. This bag is made of a cotton blend, and it works to keep just the right amount of moisture inside so your vegetables can thrive.
It can even make your veggies last 2 to 4 weeks longer than produce stored in plastic bags. So using the Veggie Saver reduces both plastic and food waste.
5. Keep Celery Refrigerated
Keeping celery in a cold setting prevents the vegetable from rotting. Store celery in the fridge in the crisper drawer to maintain moisture. Keeping your celery in the fridge helps it last up to two weeks.
6. Or Freeze It!
Yes, you can freeze celery! If you don’t plan on eating the celery you bought any time soon, pop it in the freezer. It’ll last more than 12 months!
The one downside? When it comes time to eat your frozen celery, it’s best to use it in soups or other hardy meals—not fresh salads or for dipping. Once it thaws, the texture won’t be quite the same as fresh celery.
Before freezing, wash your celery, trim the leaves and the base of the stalks, and then chop to desired size and shape. Make sure the celery is dry before freezing and be sure to keep track of the date you put it in the freezer.
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