To find peace, a good dream, and generally feel healthy, it is not at all necessary to go for medicines. A common healer can be a common vegetable crop – celery. In food, you can use not only leaves but also stems and roots. Celery has a very bright aroma and original taste. It has a very delicate and fragrant flesh.
It is best to consume fresh celery, as with heat treatment its beneficial properties disappear. According to its useful properties, it may well compete with ginseng root. It has a beneficial effect on the nervous system, heart, and blood vessels. Also, celery root is considered an excellent means of preventing atherosclerosis.
Celery helps with high blood pressure. With edema in the body, it removes excess fluid and cleans the kidneys well. It regulates the water-alkaline balance in the body and metabolism. It is an excellent diuretic and laxative. Celery contains B, C, BB vitamins, as well as minerals: magnesium, zinc, iron, phosphorus, potassium, and calcium.
Celery is good for obesity and diabetes. Modern medicine recommends including this valuable vegetable on the menu, as it contains a large amount of flavonoid and they have strong antioxidant properties. This plant is good for health due to its ability to strengthen and increase the elasticity of the walls of blood vessels. Its healing effect positively affects the cardiovascular system (especially celery root).
It is noticed that when it is used, memory improves. And men are recommended to eat it as much as possible to get rid of chronic prostatitis. Better to use both the stems and roots of the plant. Moreover, it is a powerful aphrodisiac. Even though celery has positive properties, there are restrictions in its use for people suffering from gastritis and ulcers. Also, it is not at all advisable to include in the diet of pregnant women and nursing mothers. There are contraindications for people with varicose veins and thrombophlebitis.
It is necessary to reduce weight with pleasure. Celery has a low-calorie content and is an excellent way to lose weight. During fasting days, include it in your diet. It contains only 16 kcal per 100 grams. In addition, celery relieves fatigue, invigorates, rejuvenates, and cheers up. No wonder women of Ancient Egypt considered celery to be a magical herb, capable of prolonging youth, attraction, and making a thin waist.
It is especially useful to add vegetables to salads and juices. And these are excellent tools that cleanse the body of toxins. When dieting celery must be added to the meat, as it contributes to the production of gastric juice. Also, this plant can protect against putrefactive processes in the gastrointestinal tract. It also helps in eliminating the accumulation of gases.
How to choose and store celery?
Ripe celery has a bright green color. If a brownish or yellowish color is present, then it is not fresh. A fresh product should have elastic leaves with a pleasant aroma and a light shine. If the leaves are soft to the touch, they may be unripe celery. It is wise to choose celery with a small tuber. The tupina must be firm. If you shake it lightly (carefully, without breaking it), the stem should shake very little. Otherwise, it means that it is already withered. Choose celery that has a thicker tubing. The thin stems tend to be stronger. The color should be green, but a regular green, not a dark one. When you have celery with a dark green tupina, then its root can be very strong.
Another sign that celery is fresh is the weight. Fresh celery has rich water content, so when you weigh it in your hand, it seems quite heavy for its size. Another way to test celery is to smell it. Push the stem a little with your fingernail and see how it smells. It should be a sweet, fresh, appetizing scent. But if it smells of something bitter, then give it up.
Fresh celery can be stored for 3 to 7 days at most, and if it is overripe, then much less. It should be stored in the refrigerator, wrapped in foil. Also, to preserve freshness, you can wrap it in a plastic bag and put it in a jar of water. Celery root can be stored for several days in a paper bag.
How to store celery in the refrigerator?
All of us know about the benefits and taste of celery. Many tried to grow it in their plots. Nevertheless, not everyone knows how to store celery to feast on it in the winter or for a long time. Most of the root crops and greens simply disappear. To avoid this, it is important to familiarize yourself with the proven methods of storing celery.
1. Right harvest time
The ideal celery is the large, juicy, and bleached celery stalks, sweet, with a pungent aroma, without bitterness. For it to be carried out, it is necessary to observe not only the technology of planting and care of the crop but also the time of the harvest of the celery petiole. This vegetable crop, in contrast to the root variety, is more tender, sensitive to a temperature drop below 0 ° C.
This refers mainly to automatic blanching varieties that are grown without burying the stems in the ground. or the covering material. They are cut at the latest in September before the first frosts begin. If the plant was grown in a trench form or there is a possibility of using cover material, the harvest time for petiole celery may be delayed by 3-4 weeks.
The tubers are more resistant to cold, which allows you to take your time digging them. As long as the thermometer’s column does not fall below –3 ° С, celery can be safely kept on the beds. This weather usually lasts until mid-October. Roughly this month will be the best time to collect. It is advisable to remove tuberous celery after the first snow melts quickly. By this time, the leaves of the plant turn yellow and dry out, which can be considered another sign of the maturity of the root crop.
You cannot overexpose the plant in the garden more than anticipated by the recommendation on agricultural technology, generally, it is 11 to 16 weeks. Otherwise, the petioles become thick, stringy, worse in taste. The celery of the petiole is completely excavated from the ground, only the roots are cut during harvest and are therefore sent for storage. In plants intended for longer storage or growth, the roots are left and then dripped into wet sand in a basement or greenhouse.
2. In the refrigerator
After cutting, celery leaves wither quickly enough, losing an appetizing fresh look. To keep it longer, there are a few simple tricks:
freshly cut celery is washed with cool running water;
They are then slightly dried on napkins;
They should be then wrapped in aluminum foil;
Now they should be placed in the vegetable compartment of the refrigerator.
It is important to use the foil, as in it the greens will remain fresh for up to 10 days. If you replace it with polyethylene, the shelf life will be reduced to 3 days. This type of storage better protects the celery branches from ethylene gas, produced by fruits that could be in your refrigerator. It will also make you last two to three times longer than just putting it in a plastic bag.
The shelf life of celery in the refrigerator at a temperature of +1 to +3 ° C is 2 to 4 weeks. Keep the tubers on the bottom shelf. Be sure to wrap them well with clear plastic wrap. Rinse the varieties of leaves and petioles well, dry them, wrap them in aluminum foil and place them on the top shelf of the refrigerator. Try not to store the stems in a plastic bag. They will lose freshness in 3-4 days.
3. Wrapping of celery in aluminum foil to keep in the refrigerator
Before placing the celery in the refrigerator, the initial step that you have to do is to wrap celery properly so that you can lengthen the life span and freshness of the celery. For wrapping celery properly, follow the steps mentioned below:
You need to place the stems of celery on the aluminum foil. The foil is a common item that can be found in many kitchens, the foil helps to preserve food for weeks in the refrigerator.
You can either cut celery or put the whole celery in the foil. Just put the celery in the foil and wrap it tightly. If you use a little damp sheet of paper towel over the celery and then wrap the celery with the foil, it will protect the celery for a long time.
After making sure that the celery is tightly wrapped in the foil, place the celery in the refrigerator. What the foil does is that it allows ethylene to release thereby protecting celery and preventing its ripening.
The foil can be reused for the next batch of celery.
Make sure that you keep the celery in the vegetable drawer of the refrigerator. Do not use the plastic bag if you intend to store the celery for a long time because plastic bags don’t release ethylene but retain it which can cause the ripening of celery.
4. Wrapping in paper towel to keep in the refrigerator
If you can’t find aluminum foil, then you can use the paper towel to wrap the celery. It will also maintain the crunchiness and freshness of celery. For wrapping the celery in the paper towel, follow the steps mentioned below:
Cut the bottom of the celery and separate the stems.
Then wet the paper towel in clean water. It will help in maintaining the hydration of celery and preventing celery from drying out.
Wrap the celery in the paper towel tightly just like you have done as mentioned above.
Now place the wrapped celery inside the large zip-lock plastic bag and close the bag tightly.
Place int he vegetable compartment of the refrigerator or you can also keep them in the freezer.
The celery stored in this way can be used for making the tasty broth.
Do not let the celery touch the sides of the refrigerator, as this can freeze.
Some may doubt whether celery can be frozen. It is not only possible but necessary because this is one of the simplest ways to preserve greenery for the winter. Follow these simple steps to freeze the celery so that you can even use it in the winter.
For it you will need bags made of polyethylene, cling film, or containers.
First of all, the leaves are separated from the stems and washed well. For this, it is more convenient to put them in a colander. For the greens to dry, spread it on a towel or napkin and leave it for 35–40 minutes. It is very important that moisture does not remain on the leaves, otherwise they will freeze in a lump.
The dried herbs are finely chopped and poured into a food container or bag and well closed. This will help maintain a rich aroma.
You can freeze the stems along with the leaves (if it doesn’t matter if the petioles are removed to prepare your favorite dishes). To do this, celery branches are thoroughly washed and dried on a napkin. Then the bundles are tightly wrapped with cling film and in this form are stored in the freezer.
Petiole celery, intended for freezing, is also washed and left to dry. Then cut into pieces 10 cm long and laid out in plastic bags. They are wrapped and the resulting product is put into the freezer.
When frozen, the celery stalks and leaves retain all their beneficial properties.
When you need to take only the amount you will use in the food and throw it straight, without waiting to thaw.
Another way for freezing the celery in the freezer, you have to clean the celery properly under running water. Use the brush to clean the stems and roots if there is a larger amount of dirt.
Put a large saucepan on the stove and pour enough water in it to immerse all the celery you are going to freeze. Heat the water over high heat and bring it to a boil.
If you don’t know how much amount of water to use for boiling, then put 4 liters of water for 500 g of celery.
If you don’t have the intention to keep the celery in the freezer for more than two months, you do not have to blanch it beforehand. However, the process will help the vegetable to keep its flavor, so you may want to do this even if you are not going to keep the celery for more than eight weeks.
When the water boils, immerse the celery you cut in it. Mix well to make sure the celery is fully submerged.
Let it cook in boiling water for three minutes. If you put the celery in a metal basket before immersing it in boiling water, it will be much easier to put it down and take it out of the water. When you put the celery in the water, start a timer to avoid overcooking it.
Cool down the water quickly to prevent the further cooking of the celery for which you have to dip the bowl quickly in ice water. This process is called the bleaching method of preservation of celery. Leave it in cold water for about three minutes.
If you do not want to prepare an ice bath, you can simply put the celery in a colander and pass it under running cold water to cool it as quickly as possible.
Now drain the water, shake the colander well to remove as much water as possible, then finish drying the celery with a clean cloth or absorbent paper.
Dry the celery well. If there is water left on the pieces, it can spoil the celery when you freeze it.
Once the celery is well-drained and dried, make portions of 250 g. Put the portions in suitable freezer containers, such as plastic boxes or plastic freezer bags, so that you can freeze them.
If you are using plastic boxes, leave some room for the celery to expand inside. If you are using freezer bags, expel all air before closing them. Place them inside the freezer.
This way stored celery can be used for the recipe that uses the cooked celery as the celery has already lost its crunchiness after boiling and it will lose more as you keep it for thawing.
Another way to store the stems is in ice cans. Grind the stems and place them in molds. Fill with water and place it on the freezer shelves.
Cut (petioles) into large pieces, bleached, bagged into portions, and sent to the freezer. Such celery is convenient to use as an additive for soups and main dishes;
Chop the leaves or chop them with a blender, pour them into ice molds. Cover with water and gently put it in the freezer. After complete freezing, the celery cubes are placed in a plastic bag or container and placed in the same freezer. Frozen vegetables are ideal for making sauces.
Celery root crops can be stored for several days or more. To keep the plant fresh for a week, the root crop should be wrapped tightly in an adhesive film and placed in the refrigerator. The spicy flavor and special sour aroma of plant culture will stay with it.
Revive flaccid celery
You bought celery and stored it in the fridge properly, but forgot you were going out to dinner tonight. And of course, you have completely forgotten your celery which is waiting at the bottom of the vegetable drawer. A few days later, you discover celery with slightly wilted stems. What to do? Cut the stump and place the celery stalks in a large glass of water. An hour later, your celery will have returned to its good old fashion. Cut them into sticks, dip them in the sauce and bite into them to the teeth for ideal appetizer bites.
To freeze celery, it is important to choose the celery carefully. Look for the celery that is both tender and crunchy, as they will have a better chance of freezing well.
Avoid freezing very stringy celery branches in the freezer as they will tend to damage faster.
Though it has been mentioned that celery can be frozen whole but it is better that you cut the celery before freezing. As it will be problematic to cut celery branches once they are frozen, so it is worth doing before even if you are not sure what size the pieces should be.
In the freezer, the celery will last 12 to 18 months without losing flavor, but it can last longer than that. Remembering that there can be no temperature change.
Celery frozen at -15 ºC remains good for use for a longer time, but, in general, it is better to respect this general rule of 12 to 18 months for the quality to be optimal.
After the celery thaws at room temperature, it becomes a little soft. On the other hand, the vegetable-only lasts a few weeks in the refrigerator but in the freezer, it can last long.
Weeks before treatment, the stems are better to be bleached – the stems are gathered, the bottom is wrapped with a breathable material. This will make the celery soften and remove the bitter taste.
It is important to take into account the type of celery: green bleach is recommended, yellow requires delicate care and does not require this procedure, the pink and red varieties can be processed later, they are more resistant to cold.
The shavings can be used when cooking small diet snacks. Celery is cooked and frozen without cutting.