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Just one cup of celery juice does a lot of good to your body. It is packed with nutrients such as potassium, calcium, magnesium, and vitamins K, C, and A. You'd really want to buy a bunch of this vegetable when you go to the grocery so you can have your healthy fix all the time. But can you freeze this vegetable to extend its shelf life? We've done the research for you and here's what the experts say.
You can freeze celery to juice later. Celery can stay fresh in the freezer for 12 to18 months if stored properly. Freezing will retain its nutrients, flavor, and even its bright color so you can still enjoy a refreshing and nutritious drink once you extract its juices.
Continue reading to find out how you can use frozen celery for juicing. We've also compiled the best freezing, thawing, and storing tips so that you can preserve this superfood for a long time.
Freezing Celery for Juicing
Juicing offers a lot of health benefits. It is a convenient way to fill your body with good stuff as you drink your nutrient-dense fruits and vegetables such as celery. Frozen celery is best used for your juice and smoothies.
Freezing might affect celery's texture but it doesn't matter since you don't need it to be crisp when you put it in your juicer to extract its liquid goodness. It doesn't lose its nutritional value even when it has been in cold storage for months and it is all that matters.
How to use frozen celery for juicing
Making juice out of your frozen celery is as easy as 1-2-3! Here's how.
- Defrost your celery. You can transfer it to the fridge and leave it there overnight. Or you can immerse it in cold water until it is completely defrosted.
- Add the thawed defrosted celery to your juicer.
- Extract the juice.
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How Long Does Fresh Celery Juice Last?
Fresh celery juice is best consumed immediately. But if you can't finish the extracted juice in one go, you can store it in a mason jar and it'll stay fresh in the fridge for 24 hours. If you want to use it for later use, freezing is a good way to extend its shelf life. Juiced celery that's stored in the freezer can last for 6 months. Store it in the cold right away and don't let it sit out at room temperature for too long. Put your fresh juice in an airtight container and label it before placing it inside the freezer.
Can You Freeze And Thaw Celery?
Celery is a versatile vegetable. Aside from juicing it, you can eat it raw or add it as an ingredient for more flavorful dips, sauces, broths, and stews. It is also very healthy to eat. They are rich in fiber, antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. It can reduce inflammation, aid digestion, stabilize your blood sugar, and neutralize the effect of acidic foods. That's why it's best to add this superfood to your diet.
Oftentimes, the celery that you buy in the market is more than enough for what you need in one cooking. That's why it's a good idea to freeze your celery to avoid wasting such healthy food. You can thaw it later on so you can use it for cooking and juicing. But since celery has high water content, ice crystals will form during freezing and can change their texture upon thawing. Because of this, it is best to use your frozen celery for your juices, smoothies, and hot dishes.
How to Freeze Celery
Celery stalks are hard vegetables that do well in the cold. This means you can definitely store it in the freezer until you have to use it for your healthy juice. Just make sure you store your celery in the freezer properly. These are the steps to ensure that your celery stalks stay fresh for months.
Freezing Celery Stalks
- Wash the celery stalks thoroughly to remove harmful residues that can cause possible contamination.
- Blanch the celery for 3 minutes. Although this step is optional, it is recommended if you want your veggies to retain their nutrients, flavor, and vibrant color. It'll also make them last longer in storage.
- Let them cool and pat them dry. Make sure that there's no excess water on the stalks.
- Cut into manageable sizes, 2 inches or 4 inches per stick.
- Place them on a baking sheet and put a little space in between each piece of celery so they won't clump together when frozen.
- Flash freeze for about 2 hours.
- Put them inside labeled freezer bags. Remove any excess air before sealing the bags tightly.
- Consume within 9 to 12 months to ensure their freshness.
Freezing Sliced Celery
Chopped celery is perfect to use for your stews, soups, and sauces. It's a wise move to have them sliced before freezing so that they're ready to use later on.
- Place your chopped celery into a baking sheet that's lined with parchment paper.
- Arrange them all in one layer so that they're not clumped together.
- Put in the freezer for a couple of hours.
- Transfer the frozen chopped celery into freezer bags.
- Label and put them back in the freezer.
Freezing Celery Juice
- Transfer your celery juice into airtight containers or freezer bags according to the portion that you need per serving. You can also freeze them using your ice cube trays.
- For best quality, consume your juice within 6 months to optimal nutritional value.
How to Thaw Celery
When you want to use your frozen celery stalks, you can defrost them by putting them in the freezer overnight or until they are completely thawed. This takes more time but it will ensure that your veggies are defrosting at a safe temperature. You can also put the freezer bags in cold water and change the water every 30 minutes until they're defrosted.
On the other hand, there's no need to thaw your frozen sliced celery. Since they are smaller in size, they will defrost easily. You can use them straight from the freezer. However, cook them over low heat first so that you can be sure that both the inside and outside have been thawed completely. Once they have softened, you can proceed to cook your celery with the rest of your ingredients as you normally would.
As for your frozen celery juice, just remove it from the freezer and allow to thaw in the fridge. Take it out when you're ready to drink your healthy and refreshing drink.
How Long Does Frozen Celery Last?
Frozen celery has a long shelf life in cold storage. If you blanched your celery and followed the proper way for storing them in the freezer, they can stay fresh for 12 to 18 months. They will be able to retain their nutritional value, distinct flavor, and bright color during this period. However, if you weren't able to blanch your celery before keeping them in the freezer, make sure to consume them within 2 months.
How Do You Preserve Fresh Celery?
When you buy fresh celery from the market, it usually includes the leaves and stalks. Both parts of this vegetable are useful for cooking broth, sauces, and stews. The leaves can also be used for garnishing. But since you won't need everything in one go, you can keep them fresh by wrapping the whole celery tightly with aluminum foil before keeping it in the crisper portion of the fridge.
It is best to keep it whole to minimize the loss of moisture, which is essential in keeping it fresh. The aluminum foil keeps it moist while allowing ethylene gas to escape. It is crucial to allow this gas to pass through to avoid spoilage. Your whole celery can stay fresh for 2 to 4 weeks in the fridge. But if you've already cut the stalks, then you should submerge them in water in an airtight container before putting them in the refrigerator. This will help keep your celery stalks crisp and fresh.
Does Celery Help You Lose Belly Fat?
Eating or drinking celery used to be one of the health trends said to aid in losing weight. However, there are no scientific studies to back up this claim. But this doesn't mean that celery is not good for you. It is a nutritious vegetable that's high in fiber and low in calories. It helps keep us full while improving our metabolism. It's best to include celery in a balanced diet for a fitter and healthier body.
Go ahead and freeze your celery so that you can always have your fix of this nutritious and delicious juice. It's so easy to prepare so there's no more reason for you not to include this in your diet for a healthier you.