If you have celery that’s going to go bad before you’re able to use it, fear not — one Instagrammer has a clever solution to preserve the entire plant, by making celery salt out of the leaves and freezing the stems.
First, she plucks the leaves, which she rinses and pats dry. She then bakes them on low — 70 degrees Celsius, or 158 degrees Fahrenheit, for three hours — until the leaves are crispy. Then, she grinds them with sea salt flakes using a mortar and pestle.
“[After that,] fold in a little more salt without grinding to add some texture,” she advises.
But that’s not all. “You can add flavors to it too!” she wrote.
The process is simple: Dry your herbs of choice — she uses lovage, sage, rosemary, thyme, and fennel — in the oven using the same method as the celery leaves and grind them all together.
Finally, dice the celery stems. “Simply pop them in a recycled container and put them in the freezer,” Jess wrote.
And voila! The entire plant is preserved and ready to be enjoyed for months to come.
“Our last batch lasted a year in the freezer, we just finished it before we harvested this year’s celery,” she wrote.
How it’s helping
Anything you can do to minimize food waste is worth your time. According to Feeding America, food waste costs the average American family $1,600 a year. And in this case, you not only avoid wasting money on uneaten celery, but you also save money on a delicious and healthy offering. With small jars of celery salt retailing for upwards of $10 each, those savings are nothing to sniff at.
An added benefit of minimizing food waste is that it’s much healthier for the planet. Food waste contributes approximately 11% of air-polluting gas emissions worldwide, and it comprises 24% of landfill waste in the U.S.
“Now I just need a celery plant,” one excited commenter wrote.
The benefits for gardeners — and aspiring gardeners — are multifold as well. Celery needs to be harvested fully each year, as the crop can’t survive winter frosts, so this method allows gardeners to make the most of every season.
Creating a thriving, healthy vegetable garden also comes with numerous benefits. Growing your own food (check out TCD’s guide) allows you to save money on produce, and it helps avoid buying fruit and vegetables that are mass-produced, industrially farmed, and globally shipped — all of which have an environmental cost.
What everyone’s saying
Many commenters tried Jess’s tips with great success.
“[What] a perfect garnishment for many recipes,” one wrote. “And the smell and taste is amazing.”
Others were eager to try. “Amazing! Thanks so much for sharing,” another wrote.
Some even had other ideas. “Celery marmalade is pretty good too!”
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