How to store celery: petiole, leaf and root
The winter season of the year is a period when it is quite problematic to find fresh stalked or leafy celery on sale. In this blog, we will discuss how to store celery for a long time. Many housewives store stocks of useful vegetables in the autumn, purchasing them at markets and agricultural fairs. The question of how to properly store root crops and green mass worries many celery lovers.
How to choose celery in a store
A few tricks will help you choose a delicious ripe celery:
- Press on the stem with your finger – if it is elastic, does not squeeze, there is a fresh vegetable in front of you, feel free to take it.
- The leaves of a juicy green color, without yellow or brown spots, also speak of the freshness of celery.
- A ripe, properly harvested vegetable has an even surface of roots, leaves and petioles, without cracks or dents.
- Quality celery has a bright herbaceous aroma.
How to store celery root
When stored in room conditions, where the temperature reaches + 18 ° C … + 24 ° C, and the humidity of the air space is about 70%, the celery root can be kept fresh for only 4 days. It is necessary to store the plant in a dry and dark place, out of direct sunlight.
You can extend the shelf life of fresh root celery to 1–2 weeks by wrapping it tightly with cling film and refrigerating it. This will preserve the tart smell and spicy taste of the root vegetable.
How to preserve the properties of petiole and leaf
In the open air, the greens of the vegetable wither quickly, the petioles cease to be elastic. So that these parts of celery do not lose their properties, immediately after purchase or harvest:
- Rinse the plant in running water.
- Spread out on a paper towel to dry.
- Wrap in cling foil.
- Place in the fruit and vegetable section of the refrigerator.
The foil will help keep leaves and petioles fresh for up to 10 days. Celery greens wrapped in plastic wrap will wither after 3 days.
You can also ensure the preservation of the properties of the green mass of a vegetable in this way:
- Cut off the celery root.
- Fill the jar 1/3 full with cool water and place the stem in it.
- Place in the kitchen in a secluded, dark place.
The duration of storage of celery in a jar is about a week. An important condition is to change the water daily and trim the stem lightly.
It is recommended to keep only firm celery tubers in the cellar, without damage, cracks, with the least knotty. Fewer cones on the surface of the root will allow it to survive better. A small vegetable loses juices quickly and is stored worse.
Before sending the root crop to the cellar, it is not washed or cut, otherwise it will deteriorate faster. The only thing is that the tops are cut off, leaving the stalks of 1 cm. If the earth is stuck, it is carefully cleaned off with your hands.
There are two ways to store celery in the cellar:
- In clay. The substance is diluted with water to obtain a mass similar in density to sour cream. Then each vegetable is coated with it. Spread in a warm place until the clay dries, and then put it in the cellar, laying it out on the shelves. Carrots are also storedin such a chatterbox.
- In sand. Dry sand is poured into 1/3 plastic or wooden boxes. Root vegetables are laid with an interval of 1–2 cm. They are covered with sand on top so that the vegetable is completely covered.
The shelf life of a vegetable crop in a cellar at a temperature of no more than + 12 ° C is from 4 to 6 months.
To preserve the celery until spring, each plant should be dug out, leaving as much soil as possible on the roots. Then transfer to a cellar or basement, plant in a box of sand.
Petioles will keep their freshness in the cellar for 2-4 weeks if they are wrapped in foil and several layers of plain paper. Leaves cannot be stored in this way.
In a cellar or basement, broccoli forks and Chinese cabbage heads are well preserved. Only the storage methods are very different.
Freezing: root, petioles, leaves
Like most vegetables and herbs, celery can also be frozen for the winter. They do it as follows:
- Cut the petioles into large pieces, pour over with boiling water or blanch, let the moisture drain. Divide into small bags and place in the freezer. It is convenient to add the plant frozen in this way to soups and main dishes.
- Chop the leaves, pour into ice cube trays, fill with water and send to the freezer. Once the cubes have set, transfer them to a sachet or container and leave them in the freezer again. Using celery cubes is ideal for making a variety of sauces.
- You can freeze the leaves and stalks of the whole vegetable by packing in a container and tightly closing the lid.
Root crops for freezing are finely chopped or grated, then laid out in several bags and sent to the freezer. Thawed celery root partially loses its taste, so it is better to use it for making soups and main courses.
Salting for the winter
Celery for the winter can not only be frozen, but also salted. With this method, the properties of the vegetable are preserved for a long time.
Salting is not difficult:
- Prepare a jar with a lid.
- Wash celery leaves and stalks, remove yellow parts, chop finely.
- Mix chopped herbs with salt in a ratio of 200-250 g of salt for every 1 kg of celery.
- Place the salted greens tightly in the jar. In this case, you should leave some space for the juice.
- Close the jar tightly. The choice of lid depends on where you plan to store the container with salting: if in the refrigerator, then choose a nylon lid; if in a cellar or pantry, roll it under a tin.
When using such a vegetable in the preparation of various dishes, you need to salt them much less.
Salting celery is done less often than freezing or drying. Storing garlic in salt is more popular. But the harvesting technology is completely different.
Dried leaves, petioles and root vegetables can be stored for about a year. Drying makes the plant an excellent seasoning for almost any dish. Leaves and petioles can be dried whole or chopped, the root peeled and cut into strips.
The process does not take much effort:
- Line a tray or baking sheet with paper put greens on it in a thin layer.
- Place the workpiece to dry in a ventilated area at room temperature or outdoors under a canopy away from sunlight. Flip the herbs occasionally to dry thoroughly.
- Spread the dried seasoning in glass-sealed jars or paper bags, store in a dry, dark place.
If you want to speed up the drying process, place the herbs in the oven or electric dryer. Dry at 40 ° C. Distribute to storage containers after cooling completely.
When drying leaves and petioles at the same time, keep in mind that the former dry faster. Better to dry them separately from each other.
Growing a good crop of celery is easy. It’s even easier to store. The main thing is to follow a few simple recommendations so that a properly frozen or dried plant adds flavor to any dish throughout the year.