Above: Celery cut into uniform pieces and evenly spread in dehydrator.
Dehydrating celery doesn’t take very long. It is a good way to keep celery that you know won’t get used before it goes bad, also a good way to store celery for soups and stews to be used in the winter. Celery is typically pretty inexpensive but adds tremendous flavor to a wide variety of dishes. Buy celery when it is on sale and dehydrate it for future use. You can dry just the celery hearts or leaves and all. The celery leaves are just as tasty as the hearts.
When dehydrating celery you will need: fresh celery, knife, medium size bowl, dehydrator and air tight storage containers like jars or zip bags.
Wash And Chop The Celery
Cut the off the ends of the celery stalks including any discolored celery. The leaves are just as tasty as the stalks and can be dehydrated also. Wash the celery thoroughly and set aside.
Once all the celery stalks are washed, chop the stalks in even small slices against the grain of the stalk. The smaller the slices, the faster the celery dehydrates; however, the pieces shouldn’t be small enough to fall through the grates on the dehydrator once they are finished. I use a Vidalia onion chopper and a Excalibur dehydrator now and it makes light work of everything.
Use sheets on top of the dehydrator grates if the pieces are too small. I also use the onion chopper to make my pieces more uniform. If using celery leaves, they can be left in longer pieces for the dehydrator.
Dehydrating The Celery
Dehydrate the chopped celery. Once the celery stalks are chopped, then place them evenly spaced in the dehydrator. Dehydrating times will vary depending on humidity, temperature and elevation. Always follow the instructions that came with the dehydrator for dehydrating times.
Dehydrate the celery until there is no moisture in it and it snaps clean when you break it in your fingers. Return all your dehydrated chopped celery into the medium sized bowl.
Storing The Dehydrated Celery
Store the dehydrated celery in zip bags in the freezer or jars with tight sealing lids. Store your dehydrated celery away from heat and light; such as a cool cabinet or root cellar.
The dehydrated celery can be used in soup, stew, chili, casseroles, in pasta and everything else you can imagine. You can also rehydrate it if needed before use. Click here to purchase a dehydrator and have it shipped right to your door!
Dehydrating celery, just as home canning, is a great way to be more self sustaining by using up left over celery or preserving great fresh food for later use when produce is not readily available.