Something that was always in the freezer of my childhood home was a plastic container of celery tops. These days you're likely to open our kitchen freezer and find a Ziploc baggy of the same. With groceries almost doubled what they were just a year or two ago you want to make sure you are getting all the use you can out of your food and unfortunately I think celery gets the shaft. It sets on the shelf of the refrigerator and we have good intentions but we don't get around to using it and soon it's limp and being tossed in the trash. Well stop! Let's discuss some ways to Save Our Celery!
The first step is knowing what you bought it for. More than likely you either bought it to snack on along with some carrots and broccoli or you bought it to use in a soup or stew. Either way the first thing to do is wash it and chop off the bottom root portion and the top upper leaves. Don't throw those leaves out!
Get a freezer baggy and pop them in. Just like that.
Now, place the ziploc in the freezer and you have celery leaves
ready and waiting for the next time you make chicken soup
or need them to make a broth base for gravy or even dumplings.
You simply add the frozen leaves to your soup or stew by crumbling them in your hand as you drop them directly into the liquid from your freezer.
For the body of the celery there are two ways to get good use out of your vegetable. The first is to wrap the body of the vegetable completely in aluminum foil which will now keep your celery fresh for at least 2-4 weeks. (This works miraculously with lettuce heads too!)
Or clean, cut and slice your celery into sticks and place them in a container of water and keep them in the refrigerator. I like this way best because when you want something to snack on 'right now' it's so easy to grab celery sticks and carrot sticks when they are cleaned, ready and waiting and sitting right in front of you when you open the refrigerator! The second perk to cutting them right away is that they will keep fresh in the cold water for a week or two and you can grab and dice them into your soup, stir-fry, stew or dish right from the dish. They are already cleaned and sliced into sticks so dicing is uber fast and easy!
If you are reading this post and you already have let your celery down by keeping the poor little guy in the refrigerator too long and he's already wilted and sad looking - don't give up yet! Get him out - wash him well and cut the root bottom off (and throw away) and save the leaves as instructed above as they are still great for soup. Now, slice the celery into sticks and immerse in ice water. After about 30 minutes check them. I bet they firmed right up!
Answer to the comment: No... I think it's something in the foil that is what keeps it fresh. You can keep your celery in water in a container or try wrapping in a paper towel in a ziploc baggy but foil is just a wonderful way to keep it fresh.