What Is the Shelf Life of Celery?

how long does celery last

Celery is a relatively cheap vegetable that is low in calories and high in health benefits and nutrition, which makes it an excellent snack for someone who is health-conscious.

But it’s important to know how long you can keep the celery stalk fresh without it going bad or how long it will last after pulling it from the refrigerator.

So, here is everything you need to know about celery.

How Long Does Celery Last?

Like most other fresh vegetables, the shelf life of celery isn’t typically listed on it. They don’t always have a 

  • sell-by-date
  • use-by-date or 
  • best before date

you need to go with the purchase date. The only exceptions are the tiny, pre-packaged packages for lunch boxes, as they come with an expiration date.

Handling celery can be tricky because it doesn’t always show clear signs that it is nearing the end of its shelf life. However, depending on how properly you store it, you can consider the following timeline for the expiration date of celery.

In Refrigerator
Fresh whole celery lasts for3-4 weeks
Packaged celery last for2-3 Days
Cooked celery’s shelf life1 Week
Cut celery last for 2 Weeks

You can freeze celery for up to 6 to 8 months. But this will work best if the stalks are blanched first and stored in a freezer-safe container.

So, based on the storage methods, though all of them are cold, you will have the answer to how long celery lasts.

The Best Ways to Store Celery

To keep celery fresh and maximize its shelf life, 

  • properly storing it in the refrigerator is a must.

Because celery shouldn’t be left on the kitchen counter in a warm place, it will quickly lose its crispness and crunch.

Now, let’s dive into the answer to the question, “How to store celery?” You can apply any of the following methods:

1. Refrigerating Whole Celery

  • You can store the whole celery in a damp paper towel and then wrap it with aluminum foil 

so that the celery doesn’t spoil quickly due to the ethylene gas because aluminum foil paper allows ethylene gas to escape and keeps celery moisturized.

If you want to keep celery for a few weeks, 

  • first cut off the base and leaves, then wrap it in aluminum foil.

So, wrap it with aluminum foil and place it in the vegetable bin in the refrigerator. It would be wise to put it away from any other vegetable or fruit that produces ethylene to prevent spoilage.

Whatever method you use to store celery, always store it in the vegetable bin. Another option is to 

  • place celery in a sealed plastic bag. 

Celery is also kept fresh in plastic containers designed especially for it.

However, celery will be fresh this way and last in the fridge for 3-4 weeks if stored well.

2. Freezing Celery

  • You can freeze either raw or blanched (cooked) celery.

Based on how you freeze it, frozen celery stays fresh for months. Though freezing raw celery is simple as all you need to do is cut and place it in the freezer, it loses its quality in terms of color, taste, and overall flavor once raw celery is frozen. It can only be kept fresh for two months before becoming limp.

You may also like: How to Reheat Naan?

But if you freeze blanched celery, it will be fresh for almost a year, retaining its quality. Blanched celery loses its crunchiness; it only works well in cooked dishes.

Process of freezing blanched celery:

  1. Rinse celery properly. Make sure to wash the stalks thoroughly to rinse off all the dirt.
  2. Cut it according to your preferred size.
  3. Boil the chopped celery pieces for three minutes in boiling water. Then, quickly put the celery in ice-cold water for 3 minutes to stop the cooking process. It is known as blanching.
  4. Dry them.
  5. Please put them in a freezer bag or an airtight container and place them immediately in the freezer.

3.     Keeping Celery Slices in the Refrigerator

sliced celery on a wooden chopboard
Image Credit: Shutterstock
  • To keep celery fresh after cutting it, you need to store it in the freezer.

Although whole celery retains more moisture, chopped celery can be kept for longer by submerging it in water and storing it in the fridge. Cut and blanched celery can also be stored in the freezer. The flavor remains consistent throughout the year, although it does not retain its crunchiness.

  • However, cut celery will not be fresh for longer if not stored properly. 

So, to store it properly, refrigerate the cut stalks in water in an airtight container. Then, set the fridge at a mid-low temperature to protect the celery from freezing and becoming limp when you want to use it.

How to Tell If Celery is Bad or Rotten?

Fresh celery has bright green leaves and green perky and crispy leaves. However, you can quickly tell when celery has gone bad by looking at it or feeling it. Some common traits of celery that are going bad are the following:

  • Stalks soften and become bendable. Limp celery will no longer be crunchy, but you can still eat celery at this point. Just slice the stalks into pieces and place them in the ice water for two hours to re-crisp. That’s it! Your celery will be crispy again and ready to use in dishes.
  • It begins to turn whitish.
  • It becomes hollow in the middle.
  • It smells bad. It is a sign of rotting. So, get rid of the celery.
  • It becomes slimy and mushy. At this stage, it is unfit for consumption.

So, be careful not to use rotten celery in your dish unless you want to put your health at risk. Also, try to eat your foods before their shelf life has expired to minimize food wastage.

 How Long Does Celery Juice Last in the Fridge?

Celery juice is becoming very popular as it is rich in vitamins and minerals. Though you may or may not like its taste, if you are seeking nutrition and health benefits, celery juice can be an excellent option for you.

However, if you want to make some celery juice and store it in the freezer but don’t know how long it will last in the fridge, we have the answer for you.

Also, if you wonder if you can freeze celery juice, the answer is yes. Celery juice can be stored in the freezer for up to 6 months. In the fridge, it will last about 48 to 72 hours. But the juice should be kept in a tightly sealed container.

If you keep celery juice at room temperature, it will last for a day. However, if you want to get the most health benefits, try to drink it as soon as possible.

In a Nutshell

Unlike some other vegetables, celery stays fresh longer if stored correctly. If you want to know how long it will last, it entirely depends on which storage method you follow. 

  • If you want to extend its shelf life, then wrap it in aluminum foil and place it in the vegetable bin in the fridge.

Celery is a great veggie and snack in terms of nutrition. So, storing celery in your refrigerator or freezer will always be a good idea. Just remember to store it properly.

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