Making Celery Salt

in cooking •  2 years ago 

Celery salt 1-2 gal crop Oct. 2016.jpg
A ½ gallon jar of celery salt

We use a lot of celery salt in our cooking for several reasons. The first is that neither my son nor my husband likes celery as a vegetable. I love it and the only way I can get the flavor into foods is by using celery salt. They don’t mind that.

The second reason is it brings the taste umami to whatever we cook, enhancing the flavors.

The third reason is I am supposed to eat a lot of salt and this is a nice way to encourage that. Altogether we use about a ½ gallon jar of it a year.

I discovered that making my own celery salt with the whole plant, instead of just the seeds as store bought does, brought the flavor to a whole new level. Plus it gave it this gorgeous green color vs the dead brown of store bought.

Big Garden - potatoes, celery, herbs, leeks, cabbage crop Aug. 2011.jpg
Celery August 2011 (the last year I used row cover…)

This area used to be a huge celery growing area decades ago so it does well here. I grow a lot of it to make sure I have enough for eating and for processing into salt.

Celery - last harvest crop Oct. 2017.jpg
Last harvest of celery October 2017

I typically leave the harvesting and making of dehydrated celery until later in the fall. Celery will survive mild frosts.

Celery Workshop3 crop Aug. 2013.jpg

I wash it thoroughly and cut away any bad bits.

Celery Workshop4A Aug. 2013.jpg

With the dehydrating tray ready with a non-stick sheet, I start blending up the celery, using just enough water to make a very thick slurry. The blender is about ⅔ full, just enough for 1 tray.

Celery slurry crop Sept. 2017.jpg

I immediately pour it onto the sheet and slide the tray into the dehydrator. The water starts to separate out instantly and will leak all over if the tray is tilted. (Your dehydrator needs to be level also….)

Dehydrating celery crop Oct. 2016.jpg

I set the temperature for 145F for 1 hour then lower it to 95F until the slurry is bone dry all the way through.

Ground celery crop Oct. 2016.jpg

I blend the dried slurry into a fine powder the instant it comes out of the dehydrator. If left sitting, it will begin absorbing moisture from the air and you risk mold. Then I vacuum seal the jar with a FoodSaver.

Tomato soup and celery salt2 crop Oct. 2017.jpg

I use sea salt and blend up the salt with the powder, tasting as I go. It takes a lot of powder to a much smaller amount of salt. I don’t have a recipe, just go by taste.

Making celery salt crop Oct. 2015.jpg

Once the salt has been added, at least here in New England, I no longer need to seal the jars. I use non-reactive covers for storing the salt.

Celery salt finished crop Oct. 2015.jpg

The finished product.

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I love this!! If I don't have a hydrator, can I use my oven?

Gonna re-steem and also post a blog hi-lighting you. I love your tips and stories and practical posts! Youve got potential for a bigger following :-)

You can use the oven, but the temps are too high and you will lose the nutritional benefits.

And thank you for the re-steem and support!!

you're welcome!

Though I've never worked with celery salt before, I'd love to get the benefits without having to endure the taste (typically slathered in less-healthy peanut butter). I don't grow my own celery (yet) but I'm always interested in ways to maximize in-season organic produce, especially when it's on sale in bulk!

volume11

You've been featured in the latest #LadiesofSteemit curated collection: A Humble Homestead. Keep up the great work! 🌱

Thank you for featuring me! I hope you do try making the salt. It's really good in a lot of things: kefir cheese, savory breakfast oatmeal, soups, casseroles, any place you use salt.

OMGOSH!!! How cool is this! We don't care for celery so much in my house but I do use celery seed or salt when making stews and soups.

This tastes soooo much better than celery seed or store bought salt.

Cool! I've been looking at new dehydrators since mine is so old I can't buy replacement pieces for it anymore. I think I'll aim for the ones with trays like yours. Your celery salt looks great!

The Excalibur is the best there is. I'd strongly recommend the 9 tray, if you can afford it. Also watch their site as they sometimes have re-condtioned ones for much less but still with the 10 year warantee.

That's really cool. Another reason to get a dehydrator. To try and gauge amount, how many bunches of celery needed for about a cup of salt? Does it work with coarse sea salt?

It really depends on the quality of the celery. My bunches of celery are huge, as you can see, easily 3 - 4 lbs at least. I have no idea how many bunches for a cup of salt. My guess would be that the best part of a quart of powder would be mixed with something like 1/2 cup of salt, but as I said, it's all done by taste.

I have used coarse sea salt. it's best with finer stuff, or if you blend it a lot until the salt becomes finer.

Ok, thanks. Sounds like experimentation is part of the process. I'm very intrigued though!