Homemade celery salt can easily be made by dehydrating the leaves of your garden grown celery. It’s an extremely easy process and will enhance the flavor of anything you prepare! This recipe is perfect in establishing a zero waste product out of your garden fresh produce, while creating an excellent pantry item.
When you have been canning for a few years you develop this need to create a zero waste product. You embrace the waste-not-want-not concept and you begin preserving like your ancestors use to do. Our dehydrator has become an essential part of our homesteading journey and each year we become bolder as we figure out how to preserve things we never thought to keep in our pantry.
Celery salt, a favorite of my husband’s, was made this year along with celery powder by the leaves of our garden celery. When the fresh stalks are gone we will still be able to enjoy it in the deep months of winter. But as with anything homegrown, getting it to the point of being able to preserve it can be a challenge, especially celery!
Growing celery in the Pacific Northwest can be quite challenging. Ha! Growing anything in the north eastern part of Washington state can be proven difficult. Our homestead is just outside of the Emerald City, and if you know anything about the area you know it can rain up to 9 month out of the year around here.
Though celery likes the cool weather of our area it doesn’t like an instant increase in temperature above 70 degrees, which can happen at any given time around these parts. A steady watering in well drain soil will also to help to ensure that the stalks remain sweet and not stringy.
The one complaint about growing celery is that is can turn bitter, in order to help prevent this issue blanching the stalks (no, not the blanching technique used in cooking) can prevent this issue. Blanching in garden terms simply means to wrap the plant preventing the sun from touching the stalks. We like to wrap our celery with newspaper and twine, and for the life of me I don’t have a photo of this, but you can use just about anything. Some individuals like to use cardboard boxes, while others will use cardboard milk cartons or brown grocery bags.
The past few years we have been blessed with a beautiful harvest, and we love to eat it fresh straight out of the garden. Yeah, I’m gonna admit that a certain farm guy ate almost 2 entire plants by himself as he was building me a few raised beds. The man loves the stuff!
Any plant that remains after we have raided it is then preserved, and celery salt is an item we love put up yearly. The process is extremely simple and if you are a fan of celery salt this is a must for you to try.
Start by stripping the leaves from the stalk. The key is to remove as much of the stem and hard end from the leaves as possible; this will allow the leaves to dehydrate at an even rate.
Now, we all know that you should place the leaves onto the dehydrated with out stacking them on top of each other. The reason behind this rule is to allow everything to dry evenly. I have come to discover, through my own epiphany, that when it comes to dehydrating leafy items, tomato peels or other fruit peels it’s ok to slightly overlap the item on the tray. I found that those items still managed to dry evenly and I don’t have to run the dehydrator longer because of my stacking ‘issues’. At what temperature and how long it takes to actually dry will depend on your dehydrator, make sure to check your manual for the appropriate settings and estimated completion time.
Once the leaves have dried your next step will be to grind them to a powder. I love using my Bullet for this type of project and it really does a great job, but a blender will work just as well.
We use sea salt for our everyday cooking, canning, and fermenting projects. So for obvious reasons my first choice is to use a finely ground sea salt to make celery salt. How much sea salt to the celery powder is really up to you and your taste buds. We generally mix 1 tablespoon of sea salt to 6 tablespoons of celery powder, but again the measurements are yours to make.
Let me suggest that you reserve some of the celery powder, it can be used to boost the flavor of any dish, soups and stews, not to mention it brings amazing flavor to a Bloody Mary!
If you are planning on store your celery salt or powder for a long period of time make sure to add an oxygen pack to your jars and vacuum seal them for maximum freshness.
That’s it. That is how easy it is to make a fresh batch of celery salt and powder. The stalks can be preserved through freezing, canning, or dehydrating. Celery makes an excellent zero waste product, and it produces some amazing food items for the pantry!