A few weeks ago, a caning friend mentioned he had canned up a bunch of celery. I never thought of canning celery so I did a little research and found that the “gurus” don’t recommend canning celery. They have no research to prove it’s safe but there also is no research to prove it’s unsafe.
After reading all the “Do Not Do It” web pages, I decided not to do it. When I got home from my grocery pickup today, I had not purchased celery but as I began putting groceries away, I found five packages of celery in the fridges and then found another one so, with six packages of celery in the house, I re-thought canning celery. I remembered that I had put chopped raw celery in quite a few jars – beef stew, chicken jambalaya, stuffed pepper soup, cabbage soup. Some of those recipes I’ve been canning or 30+ years.
NOTE: Just because I’m doing it and just because I’ve done it before doesn’t make it safe and I’m not recommending anyone do this . . just saying I did it.
I decided to go ahead and do it.
There are things that we should not can and I’ve always understood the reasoning behind it but celery .. I just don’t understand but . . what do I know. I can’t even figure out if I gained or lost an hour last night! 🙂
I cut it up small. It’s the flavor I want most of the time – not the crunch of the celery. When I use this in recipes, I’ll usually use the liquid also. If I want crunchy celery in tuna salad or chicken salad, this is NOT the thing to use. But, if I want celery flavor and don’t care about biting into crunchy celery (soups, dressings, casseroles), this will be great.
Each half pint jar has almost a cup and the two pint jars each have about 1-3/4 cup. Glad to have most of the celery out of the fridge before it goes bad and have a few jars of celery on the shelves for those times I want celery and don’t have it.
Nelle Coursey says
I have seen frozen celery, so why not?
I often freeze chopped celery to use in soups and stews. I also dehydrate it, and it works well for soups and such as well. One would think that because it has so much sodium in it, canning would be safe. I can see why you did, I can hardly use up one bunch in a week or two, six bunches is a stock pile ?
Becky Turner says
What about freeze drying it?
I have dehydrated it without any problems.
I keep my celery wrapped in foil. It will keep for a month. But 6 bunches? I would either freeze or can too!
Judy Laquidara says
You’re the second person to comment on wrapping it in foil. I had never heard that! Thanks!
I also wrap it in foil. It stays nice and crisp.
Linda Garcia says
I have never canned celery and probably won’t ever, but I do generally keep a stalk of celery in the fridge. When I get it home from the grocery store, I take off the plastic wrapper and then wrap the stalk in a very large piece of foil. Large enough that the celery is completely wrapped in foil. Sometimes a large/fat stalk needs 2 pieces of foil to make sure that it is completely covered. A stalk of celery in plastic will start going bad in a few days to a week. Celery wrapped in foil will keep in the fridge for up to 6 weeks without going totally bad. It might get brown on the cut ends or have a bad spot or 2, but there will be usable celery in the bunch.
That’s my celery tip!
Judy Laquidara says
I have a cloth, almost spongy like bag that I bought years ago and it keeps celery for weeks in the fridge. But, six bags of celery was a little much and I can only put two stalks in my bag.
I’ve been wrapping the base in wet paper towel (in original bag) It helps if using it every couple of days. I’ve heard of foil, never tried it. I think the next fresh bunch will get that treatment.
Is it some type of food poisoning that make some say not to can celery? Sort of like not keeping garlic in oil… but still you buy canned soups and such all the time with celery. I can see it if they say not to due to texture changes, but what doesn’t change texture in canning?
Judy Laquidara says
When looking at USDA approved canning recommendations, there are some things that say do not can because they have tried it, documented everything, and it wasn’t safe to can . . mostly because of the density of whatever is being canned. Other things say do not do it because it has never been tested. While I’m definitely not an approved USDA tester, I have tested plenty of things with celery and have not had a problem, which does NOT mean the next thing I eat with canned celery won’t kill me.
Another thing – what commercial canners can do safely and what home canners can do safely is vastly different. Because storebought canned soup may have celery and it’s safe, doesn’t mean my home canned soup with celery in it is safe, even though I may have followed every safety precaution available to home canners.
Because something hasn’t been proven to be safe does not mean to me that it’s unsafe and had I never canned anything with celery, I would be less likely to do it now but, for me, I feel ok about it until the USDA says they’ve done it and it is NOT safe to do or . . til you read about me in the obituaries. 🙂
This is definitely one of those times when I’m not recommending others do it.