Dehydrate celery in your dehydrator today and provide your pantry with another healthy addition to stews and other hot cooked meals. As an added bonus you can even make celery powder and celery salt.
Wouldn’t it be nice in the freezing cold of winter to be able to add nice green bits of celery to your soups and stews? By dehydrating celery you can do just that. And as an added bonus you can even make celery powder and celery salt as well.
Learning to dehydrate food is an excellent self-reliant skill to learn on your own journey towards your Road to Reliance.
How to Dehydrate Celery
Celery can be dehydrated in the oven or in a dehydrator. In this post, we will be using a dehydrator. However, I will be sure to add some notes on dehydrating celery in the oven for you at the bottom of this post. Let’s get started!
Materials You Should Have Handy
Let’s gather everything you will need to prepare and dehydrate your celery. The following list should help.
- Large pot of boiling water (to blanch your celery and leaves) Here is what I use.
- Sink full of cold water (to plunge the celery into after blanching)
- Sharp knife (to chop the celery and leaves)
- Cutting Board
- 3 Bowls (for chopped celery, for leaves, for scraps)
- Dehydrator with mesh sheets for tray
If you have everything ready, you can start your water boiling on the stove and set your dehydrator to 125 degrees to preheat.
Preparing Your Celery
Before you can do anything with your celery you should know the proper names. The whole bunch of celery you buy in the store or grow in your garden is called a stock. Each piece in the stalk is called a rib.
It is important to prepare those ribs correctly. Start by cutting the bottoms off of each stalk. You can set these in water to grow more celery! Then remove any leaves and set them in a separate bowl. These can be used also.
I use the bottoms and any yellowed ribs or leaves to feed my chickens, pigs, and rabbits, so I place all of those pieces in a separate bowl also.
Next, remove the strings from your ribs, by using a potato peeler. This step is optional. I do not do this because I have never noticed them after being chopped anyway.
Preparing for Blanching
Blanching is the process of dropping your vegetables into boiling water for about three minutes and then immediately submerging them into cold water to stop the cooking. This process is not absolutely necessary but it does protect the coloring when dehydrating.
Another reason for blanching, especially celery, is because it will make rehydrating it later easier. The choice is up to you. I prefer the bright colors that are preserved when blanching.
Take your ribs, slice them in half and start chopping them into small pieces. I remove any yellowed ones from the centers but you don’t have to.
Once your celery is all chopped, place them in a colander that fits inside your pot of boiling water. If you don’t have one it is ok to drop your celery pieces directly into the pot.
Drop your celery into your pot of boiling water. Let the celery boil for about three minutes. I place a lid on mine and watch for overboiling.
Immediately place your boiled celery in a sink filled with cold water. This will stop the cooking process.
Allow the celery to cool a bit and strain and layout on a cloth or a board to cool a bit more.
Preparing the Leaves
The leaves of celery are much more flavorful and many do not care to use them. However, I feel like they really bring out the true celery flavor. Once chopped repeat the process as above with your celery leaves except only blanch the leaves for about a minute and a half.
Dehydrate Your Celery
Grab your dehydrator trays and lay them out on your table or counter. You can use the soft plastic-type sheets on your dehydrator trays to prevent sticking.
Now simply pile on the celery pieces until the tray seems pretty full without piling it too high. I repeat with one tray of leaves also.
Make sure to set your timer for about 8 hours. It may not take that long but you can always check the dehydrated celery and turn it off if it gets done quicker.
When your celery is done it will be much smaller and pretty hard.
Storing After You Dehydrate Celery
Because celery will absorb any moisture or humidity, I recommend not only vacuum sealing the jar you place it in but adding an oxygen absorber to maintain its dryness as well. I use a Fresco Food Sealer with the optional jar sealer attachments.
Rehydrating Your Celery
When you are ready to rehydrate your celery, simply add the amount of dehydrated celery you wish to use to the liquid you are using to cook with or some boiling water. Let the celery steep for about 10 to 15 minutes. You can always add more hot liquid as needed.
You can find some great recipes to use your dehydrated celery at The Farm Wife.
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