Deydrating celery

sautesmomApril 14, 2007

I have a bunch of celery growing, and I was wondering if anyone has ever dehydrated it, at least the leaves. There are many times when I'm cooking that I could use its flavor, and it's post-season and I don't have any on hand, and it would be nice to sprinkle it into stews, etc.


Carla in Sac

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Don't know about the leaves, but the stalks can be dehydrated and have done so. Slice thin, crosswise and layer on dehydrator tray. I do all dehydrating between 115-130°F max to preserve color and flavor. Dry until can easily break a slice in half with your fingers. Store in a tightly capped mason jar. I put the jars upside down for a few days to see if any moisture appears. If it does, the celery was not dry enough and should be put back into dehydrator.

The leaves should be much easier, but have never tried.


    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 2:51PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

I harvest the seeds quite a lot, and find a little goes a long way.

You can make many types of "salts" just by grinding up veggies in a food processor together with some salt of choice, making a paste. Then dry in the oven or dehydrate and grind until it is small enough to go through a shaker. This can be done with garlic and salt, onion and salt, lemon rind, pepper corns and salt, etc.

I'll bet the leaves could also be hung on a hook until dried - as you would dill, thyme, oregano, mints, etc., then crumble them when absolutely dry. It should work.

I don't recommend drying herbs alone in an oven, as they lose a lot of their oils that way. (taste like grass).


    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 2:55PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Actually, I buy dried celery and its a mixture of slices and also leaves. The quicker these dry out, the better the remaining flavor. Drying without a dehydrator can give you poor results as the celery has lots of water and it can take several days to dry, unless your living in a desert or very dry climate. There have been many posts here about using dehydrators and wht kinds people prefer.

    Bookmark   April 14, 2007 at 3:06PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

The oregano and thyme bunches that were hanging in my kitchen - near the garlic and pepper strings, were dry enough to crumble and put into jars. Turned out fine, and seemed to be in less than a week of drying time.

Awhile back I ordered some small jars with plastic covers from a seed catalog, and they are just right sized for this. I mark the glass the contents and year with one of those "marks-a-lot" type pens.

Decided to try drying celery leaves - to see for myself, and will also make salt from the celery ribs and salt in food processor and dry in oven - to see which is better flavored.

The celery seed that is gathered later in the season is great mixed with sauces, like flavored ketchup, celery seed, and dash of tabasco poured over cooked shrimp. A dash of lemon salt/pepper (home-made) brings out flavor too.

The mints probably should be harvested now too, while in their prime, although it is usually available most all year long fresh from the garden here.


    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 10:51AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

Shrimp with some horseradish is good too.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 12:13PM
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gran2(z5 INDIANA)

I grow celery in my garden too (if and when I can find the plants!) and mine is much more leaves than the commercial stuff. I dry the leaves just like other herbs, etc and they are truly GREAT! Probably one of the best used things in the kitchen. Add then to virtually everything - egg salads, scrambled eggs, fried potatoes, any soups, lasagna, pasta sauces, Waldorf salads, just anything! If the dehydrator is going, great, I'll use that. If it's not convenient, I'll do a batch in the microwave and the color is wonderful. I usually freeze the excess chopped celery, but the consistency is not very good. I'll try dehydrating it this year, but the leaves are much much more useful.

Let me know how this works for you.

    Bookmark   April 15, 2007 at 7:35PM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

The quickest drying yields the most flavor and aroma. Yes, I like the dried leaves more than the stalks too. If I were to dry the stalks, they would be thin slices cut on the bias of cross wise to avoid long strings of fibers. I mix the dried leaves with the mayo and tuna fish.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2007 at 6:38PM
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misskimmie(z4b Central NY)

How do you dry celery leaves in the microwave? Doesn't that just cook them. I planted lots of celery and I don't have a dehydrator yet.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 9:00AM
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ksrogers(EasternMass Z6)

You cannot dry much in a microwave as it can seriously damage the internal Magnetron tube. Microwave ovens 'attack' moisture, fats, and sugars, so these items heat up VERY quickly. The microwave is used just to 'wilt' the leaves. I do this with basil too. It just makes leaves go limp. Then you place the wilted items in a dehydrator to dry them. Keep in mind that things that contain a lot of water will shrink quite a lot. Celery can keep in the fridge about 2 weeks, provided its kept cold enough and has sufficient moisture.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:07PM
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digdirt2(6b-7a No.Cent. AR HZ8 Sun-35)

I agree that microwave drying is hazardous...for the microwave. You'll have much better luck drying in the oven set on low temp of 150-160 if you don't have a dehydrator.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2008 at 1:19PM
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I have dried celery in the past, when I was making dehydrated soup mixes etc., for camping. But I haven't done it for quite some time as celery is always available and inexpensive (at least around here).

The stalks are so laden with water that they wizzle right up into tiny pieces, but the flavor remains good. If you have a dehydrator with a fan, and slice the celery in fairly thin slices, it doesn't take all that long to dehydrate.

    Bookmark   August 16, 2008 at 3:16AM
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I have had no problem at all dehydrating celery leaves using a dehydrator. Generally, I will dehydrate the leaves from celery stalks purchased from the supermarket. They make a great addition to soups, stews and sauces. I haven't had as good luck with the stalks. I got a bit of rusty color on them, but they still cooked up and tasted fine added to bean soup.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to Preserve Celery

    Bookmark   May 8, 2010 at 8:03PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

With my last batch of celery leaves, I added some "clean, dry" dessicant gel packets to the jar - to absorb any lingering moisture - it seems to be a great way to "catch" any remaining dampness. I note if herbs are dried too long they lose a lot of flavor - and for now, it is my latest strategy.

My last "adventure" with celery stalks - grinding up the stalk, adding salt - then dehydrating, putting in the blender on the grind setting - dry store, and adding the silica gel packet, to absorb moisture - seems to be working OK.

I prefer to let the celery "go to seed" and collect them, however. They are especially nice added to cole slaw dressing and shrimp cocktail sauce - nice added flavor.


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 10:53AM
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gardenman101(Z6 Spingfield, Ma)

Thanks for all the helpful info on celery, I too like celery but a little go's a long way. Never thought of using the leaves, but now I will. On average what is the amount of seed from any given plant if allowed to go to seed 1 being very little and 10 being about an once? Also can you still harvest stalks if you are allowing your plant to produce seed?


    Bookmark   May 9, 2010 at 6:50PM
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bejay9_10(zone 9/10)

Celery does produce a generous number of seeds if allowed to. Since planting - about 5 years ago, I have had sufficient numbers of volunteers each year, that I've not planted fresh since then. Most of it appears in various places throughout the yard.

The celery does seem to toughen up as it begins to form seeds on top, and most of it that isn't seeding, is then fed to the chickens. Also celery in its many forms can be collected, frozen and used in making vegetable stock for use as flavor enhancer to soups and stews. This applies to other vegetable leaves, tops, roots as well. Just collect and freeze until there is enough to cook, strain and freeze until ready for use.


    Bookmark   May 10, 2010 at 10:37AM
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