Tuesday Tip with The Kitchen Whisperer – How to Store Celery

So I have this love/hate relationship with celery.  I love it in foods but I hate how it gets in the fridge drawer after a week or so.  It gets mushy and looses its crispness.  Well have I got the best kept secret (til now) on how to properly store your celery AND a bonus… how you can grow your own celery!

I’ve been doing this for years as it just made sense and honestly I think I was at my wit’s end trying any way possible to save celery from dying in my fridge.  It was until I found that if you trimmed it up and then wrapped it in foil that you could easily extend the fridge life of it for weeks! No more tossing it when you only use a stalk or two at a time! Well thanks to  an old issue of Cook’s Illustrated they explain this theory on why it works. You see aluminum foil allows the ripening hormone ethylene to escape. In contrast, a plastic bag traps ethylene gas, accelerating moisture loss and spoilage.

Tuesday Tip
So how do you store it?

→ When you get it home, cut off the top. Save those ends in a baggie for the freezer for stock.
→ For the base, cut it 2″ from the bottom leaving the entire base in tact – save for planting indoors!
→ Take a clean paper towel and wrap around the trimmed stalks.
→ Place the wrapped stalks in a large enough piece of foil to wrap around completely (including the ends).
→ Store in the fridge and use when needed.

How to grow your own – I’ll do a real post later on this but the easiest way is as follows:

 → Rinse off the base and place it in a small saucer or bowl of warm water on or near a sunny windowsill. You want the base side down and cut stalks facing upright.
→ Change the water in the base every 2 days.  Don’t be alarmed if the surrounding stalks began to dry out significantly.  This is normal.  After a week or 10 days you should notice tiny little yellow leaves from the center of the base begin to thicken and start to turn dark green. This is the start of your new celery!
→ Once the leaves start to grow out from the center about a 1/2″, transplant the base stalk to a planter and completely cover the base with dirt leaving only the new leaves/growth exposed.  Also be sure to allow for adequate drainage.
→ At this point water generously but don’t soak it.  You want to ensure that your celery stalks do not dry out.
→ Just let it grow and water it.  It’ll take a while to grow indoors but what you will have is a gorgeous, edible plant!
→ If you only need a bit, just chop off some growth and use in your recipe.  The celery will regenerate new growth.

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