Tutorial: How to Dehydrate Celery

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 :)

Start with your clean celery.  Remember-dehydration does not magically make inferior food better-so start with a good product :)

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.

Next you slice your celery.  Of course you can do it by hand, but this is exactly the kind of job that they created food processors for.

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.

I usually just slice it up in the afternoon or evening and then leave it in there overnight.  I don’t want ANY chance of moisture being left in that could later mold.

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.

Happy dehydrating!

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Comments

  1. says

    Love this! I started with bags of mixed veggies this week, and I wasn’t sure about how long to dry them. They are teeny tiny when done, right? Can you dry them too much? I put a few in water afterwards to test how well they come back, and they looked great. So, as long as there is no moisture left, you’re OK?

    • says

      Linsey-I’ll probably pull your question out and answer it as a “reader’s question” for the folks who don’t bother reading the comments :) Since I’m drying much of my produce to be rehydrated before being eaten as well as for longer term storage I usually figure the drier the better. One tip I had read on how to tell if the moisture is all gone is to take a few pieces out of the dehydrator, put them in a zippered baggie while hot and then seal it. Give it a few minutes and see if any condensation forms on the inside. If it does-there is still moisture. If it doesn’t then you are probably pretty good! If I want to store it for very long term I’d probably toss in the desiccant pack (you can buy them pretty cheap PLUS they are reusuable–just toss them in the dehydrator and dehydrate the moisture out of them and presto-good to go again!) and then pack them in something with the air removed-either a vacuum sealed canning jar or a jar/mylar bag/clean soda bottle with an O2 absorber thrown in for good measure.

  2. Avlor says

    Oh! I’ve been wanting to learn to do more dehydrating! This would be a great way to use up celery (when you only need a little and you have to buy a whole bunch)!

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