Did you know you can use celery leaves?
Celery is a commonly eaten vegetables (& lesser known is celeriac, its funky looking cousin) but most people toss the celery leaves away wasting a highly nutritious (more than the stalk!) and flavorful part of celery.
What can you do with celery leaves?
Celery leaves are full of flavour & are fantastic for adding to soups and stocks. I always throw celery leaves in a roast pan to enhance the gravy flavor or to the crock pot when making stock. They can be eaten raw in salads, used fresh as any other fresh herb would be or preserved to use later on. You can also make celery leaf pesto by replacing the basil. Usually people will have a lot of them left over after using the celery stalks but the good news is that they are super easy to preserve and are great to use later on.
Often homegrown or farmers market celery will have a stronger flavor than store bought so less is more!
How to air dry celery leaves
- Cut off celery leaves from celery stem
- Wash the leaves & allow to properly dry. When air drying or dehydrating to preserve make sure everything is completely dry to avoid potential spoilage.
- Place on a clean drying rack or plate, allowing space between leaves.
- After 5 days or so the celery leaves should be dry. After 2 days rotate them if not using a drying rack (for adequate air circulation).
- Once dry place on a large plate or in a bowl to crumble into smaller pieces. Crumble the leaves and discard the stem. They should break easily and if they don’t they aren’t dry enough yet and allow to dry for a couple more days.
- Using a wide mouth funnel, place crushed leaves into a mason jar or other storage container and cover with a lid.
- Label your lovely celery leaves and use for soups and stock making!
- Store as you would most herbs, in a cool dry place. Shelf life tends to be about a year.
How to Freeze Celery Leaves
You can freeze celery leaves in oil the way you would with any other flavor enhancing herb. Read how to freeze basil and replace the basil with the celery leaves. You can also just wash and toss the leaves into a bag and grab as needed. Make sure they are dry first otherwise they’ll clump together easier. I often toss celery leaves in with other veggie scraps to make soup stock or broth later on.