by Tammy Taylor
*This post contains an affiliate link
I use celery from time to time when I’m cooking but it’s always just an ingredient and never the main event in my kitchen. RancherMan only tolerates a little celery taste. So it’s often an ingredient I buy, use a little and place the rest of the bunch back in the refrigerator hoping to use it all before it goes bad.
Let’s be honest here – sometimes I’m successful but oftentimes I’m not! One of the ways I use celery most often is that I like to add chopped celery in my chicken salad spread – but certainly not an entire bunch! So here’s what I did to make sure it was used or preserved before it went bad:
Photo by: Ashley Ashley
(because heaven knows *I* can’t make a photograph of a bunch of celery look like it belongs in an art studio!)
Chopping Leftover Celery
After I prepared my chicken salad I took the remaining celery and chopped it into the size I typically use in my chicken salad recipe and brought out my * trusty dehydrator. (I’ve used the dehydrator lots this year!)
It only took a little while in the dehydrator before the celery was dried, but I left it on the trays an extra day to air dry just to make sure there was no moisture remaining. (I also dried the celery leaves, although they are to be ground and added to my seasoning mix jar.)
Storing Dehydrated Celery
Then I gathered up the dehydrated chopped celery and placed it in a clean glass jar. I can’t believe that entire bunch of celery fits inside this small spice jar when it’s dehydrated!
I’m always sure to label my ingredients so with a quick label on top as well as another label on the side it’s ready to be added to my herbs & spices drawer to be used. To me, aside from the fact that I’ve kept this celery from being wasted & kept myself from having to purchase yet more when I’m ready to make chicken salad again, I love the fact that dehydrated produce takes up just a fraction of the space as before it was dehydrated. And no additional energy as to store as would be the case with freezing.
Rehydrating & Using Celery
When I’m ready to make chicken salad again I’ll measure out as much dehydrated celery as I want to add and put it in a bowl, topping it (just barely) with boiling water and let it sit for about 15 minutes. After that time it’s fully re-hydrated so I can drain off any remaining water and stir it right into my recipe for that distinctive celery taste I love.
I’ll surely be on the lookout for similar ways to use my dehydrator when I have bits & pieces of fresh produce left over. No more healthy yet expensive produce languishing in the depths of the refrigerator until it becomes science experiment fodder!
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