There really isn’t much that is easier than dehydrating celery. Of course that is if you have a dehydrator–I’m sure sun drying celery in Upstate New York would be challenging 🙂
All you do is take your celery, clean and destring it (if you want-some folks don’t care about the strings especially if you are chopping it anyway). You can compost the tops and ends, save them in your “Stone Soup” bag in the freezer, or you can chop & dehydrate the tops to use as a herb. Up to you.
Tada! A big bowl of sliced celery.
Then you just scatter it over your dehydrator trays, set the temperature to around 125 (if your dehydrator has a thermostat) and leave them in there until crispy.
Then just toss it in a jar and put it in your cabinet for use! I love tossing them straight into soups and stews. If you want to add them to a casserole or other dish you will want to rehydrate them for a while. Try soaking them in warm water for an hour or so.
While dehydrated celery can not be used in place of fresh (it won’t rehydrate all the way back to where you started!) it is great to have on hand for convenience in cooking. It frees up space in your fridge, doesn’t go bad, and reduces down greatly in both size and weight. This jar you see is after I had been using the celery for months–the intial huge bowl of slices just about filled up the small pint canning jar when it was done.
If you don’t think you will be using it up in a few months-or maybe someone gives you 37 bunches of free celery or something and you want to store some of it, you have a few options. The enemies of stored food are light, heat, air, moisture and pests. Obviously you want to place it in a strong container–either glass or a thick mylar bag–something that the sharp little dehydrated edges won’t poke holes through! Reducing heat & light are easy–just store it in a cool and dark cupboard. If you are concerned about moisture (say it’s humid in your home anyway) then you can throw in a food safe desiccant packet. If you are concerned about the air, you can either vacuum seal it (I love the canning jar lid attachment on my Foodsaver!) or you can toss an oxygen absorber in.