Celery is an inexpensive and versatile vegetable that can be used in a wide range of recipes. And the stalks can be dried to make homemade celery salt. Learn how to do both in this article.
Fall is celery season and our garden is over flowing with it! And even if you don’t have your own celery growing in your garden, you’ll also probably be seeing lots of it at your local farmers market! Making this is the prefect time of the year to [creatively] preserve fresh celery for the winter storage!
Celery is a good source of vitamin A, followed by Choline, vitamin C, Niacin, Pantothenic Acid. There are trace amounts of Riboflavin, vitamin B6, Betaine, Folate, and vitamin K. In the mineral department, celery is rich in Potassium, Calcium, Magnesium, and Phosphorus.
There are trace amounts of Iron, Selenium, Zinc, Manganese, and Fluoride.
The Best way to Preserve Celery
While Freeze Drying is the best way to preserve the taste, texture and health properties of celery, most of you don’t have a freeze dryer at home, so today I’ll be focusing on the second best way to preserve celery; drying, aka dehydrating. What makes dehydrated food so wonderful is that it’s (a) shelf stable and (b) when stored properly has an extremely long shelf life, plus extremely versatile!
If you freeze celery, it becomes soft and watery, where as dehydrated celery is fantastic re-hydrated – it plumps up really well and you can’t tell the difference from fresh! You can use dehydrated celery just like you would use fresh. We divide our celery into to 2 categories prior to drying; Leaves & Stems, even though The entire celery stalk is edible and has the same celery flavor, and it all can be used interchangeably.
Leaves – After washing your celery to remove any dirt, pull off the leaves and arrange them on your dehydrator trays. The thicker the layer the longer they will take to dry. Consult the manufactures’ instructions for the recommend temperature/setting for herbs & vegetables. Dehydrate them until they are dry, but don’t worry you can’t over dry them.
Dried celery leaves are what you will find at the store more commonly known as “celery flakes”
Stems – For best results I recommend slicing your clean celery (smaller pieces always dry better). And arrange in a single layer on your dehydrator rack. Consult the manufactures’ instructions for the recommend temperature/setting for herbs & vegetables. Dehydrate them until they are dry, but don’t worry you can’t over dry them.
Many other recipe sites MAY encourage you to blanch your celery (submerging fresh celery in a large pot of water/boiling water then quickly chilling by submerging it in ice water/cold water and draining) prior to dehydrating but I do not feel it is necessary. I have dehydrated both fresh celery and blanched celery, and trust me the extra effort is a waste of time.
How long does it take to Dehydrate Celery
Generally, you will be drying your celery & celery leaves for 6-18 hours at 125ish degrees. When they are completely dry, they can be stored in an airtight container for YEARS. I like to use celery leaves in the same way I would use dried parsley. I think their flavors are similar and easily interchangeable. I also toss a handful of dried, sliced celery into pots of bone broth.
How to Store Dehydrated Celery
Like with all dehydrated foods, make sure all moisture is removed prior to packaging. Seal in glass jars for spices, mason jars or seal with a foodsaver or chamber vacuum sealer. Adding an oxygen absorber, for the best results and to ensure that is no humidity in the container. Store in a cool, dark place until ready to use.
How to use Dehydrated Celery
You can use dehydrated celery in any recipe where you would use fresh celery. In recipes for soups and stews it can be added right into the pot while still dry. However in recipes for chicken salad or other salads, you will want to rehydrate your dehydrated celery prior to using it.
How to Make Homemade Celery Salt
Once you have your own dehydrated celery, of course you can use it to make the most amazing Celery Salt! Homemade Celery Salt is so much more flavorful and healthy than the packaged spice mix at the grocery store.
All you have to do to make homemade celery salt is to grind dehydrated celery (stalk, leaves or combination) into a celery powder using a food processor or blender. Mix ground celery powder in equal parts with salt to make homemade celery powder. (you can combine them while processing or in a separate bowl and mix with a spoon.
If you like this Dehydrated Celery and Celery Salt Recipe, try these other homemade seasoning recipes next:
- Homemade Everything Bagel Seasoning
- Magical Wild Mushroom Seasoned Salt
- Homemade Seasoned Salt
- Homemade Country Breakfast Sausage Seasoning
- Homemade BBQ Spice Dry Rub
Celery Salt Recipe
- In your blender or coffee grinder, process dried celery and celery seed until a powder.
- Add celery leaves and sea salt, plus to combine.
- Store in an air tight spice jar and use in recipes in place of store bought celery salt.