How To Dehydrate Celery, Make Celery Powder And Calculate Conversion Amounts

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I have to admit celery is not my favorite food. I mean it has it’s place in cooking because it adds flavor and texture to food, but as a stand alone vegetable, I’m really not a fan. It’s kind of, well, boring or maybe I’ve endured one too many diets of celery and carrots as the main course for every meal. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve made my kids celery with peanut butter and raisins (Ants On A Log) and they love it, so it’s not like I’m going around vegetable bashing. Although, if truth be told I think the celery is just a vehicle to deliver the yummy peanut butter and sweet raisins, but I keep my mouth shut and tell my kids celery is good for them.

However, I can’t fool you, so I’ll tell the truth! To keep this post active and hopping I wanted to talk about a little more than just celery. I want to show you how to calculate conversion amounts for cooking and thought I’d use good ol’ celery as the vehicle. Maybe that’s celery’s role in life, to be a vehicle to get other things, flavor in food, peanut butter and raisins, and then to demonstrate conversion amounts. It makes sense to me, but then again people think I’m a little crazy.

How To Dehydrate Celery, Make Celery Powder And Calculate Conversion Amounts For Cooking

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Wash your celery and don’t forget to use veggie wash.

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I decided I was a little to lazy to use a knife and cutting board although that would be the best option in an off-grid situation. Here I broke out one of the fancy blades for the food processor. However, this cut is a little big for me. Remember, I like my celery to add flavor and not really a whole lot more.

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So I did use the chopping blade. You really have to be careful to pulse the food processor or you’ll end up with celery mush.

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I can live with this size chop. It’s not perfect but better than spending an hour or more chopping with the knife.

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Load your chopped celery on your dehydrator trays. I have a nine tray Excalibur Dehydrator and I filled up seven trays with about 4 heads of celery but the other two trays were not empty. Let me show you what I did.

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I get a lot of questions about how dehydrated food converts to non-dehydrated food. Here is a way to find out the conversion rates for the foods you dehydrate the most. I’m going to demonstrate two ways to figure conversion rates. First, I took one average stalk of celery. I didn’t weigh it or measure it by volume (cups) because few recipes require that. They simply say two stalks of celery or four stalks or however many stalks.

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 Then I chopped the stalk. Yup, by hand. I wanted to be accurate in my measurements.

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 I placed only this stalk on the eighth tray.

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To start the second method I took one tablespoon of non-dehydrated celery and weighed it. So by volume it is one tablespoon.

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By weight it is 8 grams.

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 Then I placed it on the ninth tray.

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Then I loaded all my trays.

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I place the temperature between the fruit and vegetable setting, between 125 F° and 135 F°.  It took about 12 hours for the celery to dehydrate.

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Here is what the fancy cut celery looks like dehydrated.

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Then here is the chopped celery looked like.

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Here is the tray with the single celery stalk.

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I took just the contents of that tray and weighed it. One stalk of non-dehydrated celery is equal to 4 grams of dehydrated celery or about 1 heaping tablespoon by volume.

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Here  is the tray with one tablespoon of celery on it.

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Yikes, it doesn’t even weigh one gram. I recommend always weighing by volume and by mass, or with measuring spoons and with a scale.

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One tablespoon of non-dehydrated celery is equal to 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated celery.

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Now, to make the celery powder which you can easily add to soups or stews or any other recipe that requires celery powder or even celery salt, especially if your are trying to cut back on salt. But, just as I got my celery loaded in my favorite little coffee grinder.

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The darn thing broke. I can’t say it’s all the coffee grinder’s fault. I honestly grind everything but coffee in it. Some things are a little harder to grind than others. So I would still recommend that little grinder for spices and coffee and some dehydrated items, just be warned it won’t last forever. In my case it had a build up that I could not remove because I couldn’t take the blade out to clean it properly. That caused the blade to become stuck and unmovable. The motor was working fine until we forced it and then it started to burn out.

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Anyway, I had to break out the big guns. If you need a off grid solution you might consider a mortar and pestle or the Wonder Junior Deluxe.

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 My Blendtec to the rescue. It did a great job of making celery powder.

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To store dehydrated celery I vacuum seal it with my FoodSaver in Mason jars. I love these jar attachments. They come in regular and wide mouth versions.

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I can even seal the celery powder to keep it fresh in these little 4oz jars.

Dehydrating celery isn’t glamorous but it is super easy and relatively fast as far as dehydrating goes.

  • Tricia says:

    Great information! Thank you. I need to correct you on one thing though…what you pulled off, chopped and weighed was one rib…the whole unit is a stalk of celery. Each piece is called a rib of celery. I see recipes that call for like.. “3 stalks” of celery, which I know they did not mean, that it was suppose to be 3 ribs.
    I will have to try making the powder. Great way to add flavor. ~Tricia

  • Nanc says:

    Thanks! Once upon a time, in a life long, long ago, I manages to keep celery from the garden, fresh, for 3 or 4 montys (roots in barely moist sand, etc.). Dehydrating looks simpler! Thanks for this tutorial. I especially like your conversion guide. I did use the Foodsaver link only to have a ‘this item is unavailable’ msg. 😐

  • Carolyn Lawver says:

    I have read celery is suppose to be really good as it heals cells. I have one celery plant in my garden with a lot of leaves. How do i dehydrate the leaves? Do i cut it up or lay it flat like all other greens? If i were to use it, i would just toss in a handful of leaves for a soup/stew.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Carolyn,
      I would just lay the leaves flat. You can break them up after they are dehydrated when you’re ready to use them.

  • George says:

    Thanks for posting the directions for dehydrating celery. I used the slicing disk on my Cuisinart food processor to chop up three celery hears. It was super fast.

  • Barbara says:

    I am making my own italian salad dressing and it calls for 1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaves or dried celery flakes. I do not have either in my cupboard but I do have celery seed. Can this be used instead of the dried celery leaves or the dried celery flakes? If so how much celery seed would be equal to the 1/2 teaspoon dried celery leaves or dried celery flakes?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Barbara

      Two tablespoons dried celery equals about 1/2 teaspoon celery seed. So I’m not sure that celery seed would work for your recipe. Maybe take about 1/8 to 1/4 of a teaspoon and chop the seeds up? However that will still be a strong celery taste.

  • Nicole says:

    I dried celery last year and then recently put it in some mock tuna salad I made. It was super chewy! We ended up picking it out. Do you think it’s because I didn’t cook it? Maybe I should have rehydrated it separately before adding it in. Any ideas?

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Nicole,
      Yes, I would definitely re-hydrate separately. You can lightly steam your celery before dehydrating it if you are going to use it in things like salad. If you’re going to use it in a casserole it should be fine to dehydrate raw. It should be fine if you re-hydrate it in warm water first too. But steaming it will make re-hydration go faster.

  • Kim says:

    Hi Jennifer, I used to have the problem of build up in my spice (coffee) grinder too.

    This little trick not only cleans your grinder, it also gets the oils from your spices out so that everything doesn’t start tasting like cloves!

    After you finish your grinding job,
    wipe out your grinder as usual and then grind up some bread. Voila!

    🙂 Kim

  • Barbara says:

    When concentrating celery, one must be careful with the resultant concentrated sodium in those individuals who have blood pressure issues (hypertension). In table salt, which is sodium plus chloride, the recommended limit is only 1500 milligrams for salt-sensitive patients with high blood pressure or heart disease. The dangerous ion is the sodium; dehydrated celery becomes extremely high in that element. Sodium sensitive individuals would be wise to seek the advice of a registered dietician and NOT unqualified internet blogs and so-called “natural food advisors”. Sodium is a particularly bad culprit in causing the body to retain fluid which is why cardiologists constantly tell people to cut salt and put them on powerful diuretics. Too much sodium, leading to fluid overload, becomes congestive heart failure. Rely on advice from professionals and NOT the internet. Facebook is full of crackpots and quacks. “Natural Medicine” is neither natural, nor medicine. The Medical Medium’s “advice” is outright quackery in my professional opinion. Use celery in small, half inch chunks, dehydrated, in the same amounts as you would use fresh; no more. That’s one vegetable I won’t powder because it is too easy to cross into the dangerous category for hypertensives. I am an R.N. and former nutrition instructor and I’ve seen the effects of sodium on thousands of patients over a 44 year long career, and worked at the hospital where the most famous and long running heart study in history was, and still is, being carried out. It’s called the Framingham Heart Study. I am now retired, living in an over 55 community and see that nearly every single person in this 1,000 home community is on a low-salt diet. Our independent living, home-owning population is, on occasion, served a holiday meal by the management, and a couple of years ago many had to ask them to stop serving us high sodium foods and sugar-loaded desserts. We have a strawberry festival every year, and they serve us strawberry shortcake. There are two lines; one for the diabetics and one for the non-diabetics. The diabetic line is longer by 1/3 at least. Every single one of my neighbors is a Type 2 diabetic, and that only proves that a life-long diet of bad food will catch up with people. You truly are what you eat. Celery is good food. Enjoy it in moderation, just as you do other things that are good for you, but remember that the key word is moderation, not concentration.

  • sk says:

    Well, running a dehyd. for 10 to 12 hrs costs what?? Here in the SW it’s 8 cents per kilowatt hour… what is it where you live? All over the arid SW it’s so dry outside that i dry most everything for-free!! No need for electricity if you live there…

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi SK,

      Where I live it costs about 40 cents an hour to run our Excalibur. You can read more about how we figured that out here. Unfortunately, not all climates are dry enough to dry food before it rots. As a matter of fact, most are not so we must use a solar or an electric dehydrator. You have a great idea in that you are taking advantage of your environment. Great thinking!

      • Jodi says:

        Can you use an oven to dehydrate celery? I don’t have a dehydrator!

        • Jennifer Osuch says:

          Hi Jodi,

          Yes you can but your oven needs to have a thermostat that can be set to 125 degrees F or lower and most modern ovens won’t go that low.

  • Carol K. says:

    OK, the result of my experiment from yesterday shows that, out of the 4 trays of celery I dried, the celery on the one blanched tray looks just as green as the dried celery on the other 3 trays that I did not bother to blanch. As to flavor or keeping qualities, I have no data. 🙂

  • Marlene says:

    I’m not sure I got the conversions right. 1 stalk of celery = 1/2 tsp. dehydrated? And I didn’t see the equivalent amount for powder.

    I have read to blanch the celery before dehydrating, as it better preserves the flavor and color, so that is what I did. This is my first batch. I also used my oven, set on the lowest temp it will go to, which is lower than the 170 on the knob, but the 170 is just the lowest number written on the knob.

    • Carol K. says:

      To Marlene: I suggest you re-read Jennifer ‘s description above. She wrote that “One stalk of non-dehydrated celery is equal to 4 grams of dehydrated celery or about 1 heaping tablespoon by volume.” And “One tablespoon [NOT STALK!] of non-dehydrated celery is equal to 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated celery.”

      Jennifer: The directions in the book that came with my dehydrator (Nesco) says for celery: “Trim, wash, and cut into 1/2″ slices. Blanch in a solution of 1/2 tsp. baking soda to 1 C. water.”
      Another website says “unblanched celery dries to an unappetizing tan color. Blanched celery keeps its emerald green color when dried.” Jennifer — yours looks just fine, though!

      So today I am drying 3 trays of blanched, chopped celery and one of chopped raw celery. I’ll post results here tomorrow and indicate if there is any visual difference.

      I already have vacuum-sealed jars of dried carrots (blanched), onions, and peppers (unblanched) and a variety of herbs, and several types of mushrooms, as well as apples, pineapple (amazingly wonderful flavor!!), and zucchini. I also have about 1 1/2 gallons of dried soup beans from the garden and want to put together some jars of bean soup mix. (NOT using in the same mix ALL of the dried stuff mentioned! LOL)
      Now I am going to explore more of your helpful-looking website, Jennifer! Best wishes!

  • Elizabeth H says:

    Hi!

    The reason I’m here is I was trying to find out whether I need to pre-cook the celery, in order to dehydrate and use in no-cook backpacking recipes that use just a few minutes in cool water to rehydrate. I guess I just need to try it for myself, although I don’t have many dehydration days available between now and my trip.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Elizabeth,
      I did not pre-cook my celery. If you’re worried about ingredients re-hydrating at the same rate it might be better to make the entire dish (like chili) then dehydrate the entire meal at once. That way it will re-hydrate into the dish you cooked and not into a combination of ingredients you mixed together at different stages of cooking. Hope you have a great trip!

  • Alice says:

    Great job Jennifer…especially on the photographs and descriptions…documentation worthy of a scientist!

    I too use my coffee bean grinder to powder dehydrated celery, tomatoes, pumpkin, and eggs. When I’m using my Food Saver to vacuum seal…to prevent the fine powder from clogging up either the vacuum tube or the motor, I cut circles out of a paper towel, just a tiny bit (1/8″) larger than the size of the jar top. (Trace a circle on the towel around the outside of the lid…that gives you about the right size.)

    Before sealing, put a circle on top of your powder, lightly tuck the edges down inside the jar…doesn’t have to be perfect. Next, put the metal lid on the jar. Then put the lid attachment on and vacuum away.

    For daily use of herbs and seasonings, I store my powders in the Ball Herb Shakers with the plastic lids. However, most herbs will lose a lot of their flavor in about a year, so for longer term storage, I vacuum seal with a metal lid. After opening the jar for use, I switch to the handy shaker lid.

    I never re-use a metal lid that has been used for canning…but, those lids are still great for using to vacuum seal and can be re-used for that purpose until they no longer hold the seal.

  • Paula says:

    Some info I have come across on Facebook about Celery:

    From The Eden Prescription
    Celery Compound Kills 86% of Lung Cancer Cells in Vitro and Sharply Reduces Risk in Humans: Celery is rich in the flavonoid apigenin, which in this study was shown to kill up to 86% of human lung cancer cells (NCI-H460) in vitro, by inducing programmed cell death (apoptosis). Apigenin is well known as a powerful anti-cancer compound and has been shown in previous studies to kill many other types of cancer including breast, pancreatic, prostate, and ovarian cancers. But does apigenin offer real health benefits in humans? Two recent studies have shown that women eating diets high in apigenin reduced their risk of ovarian cancer by 20%, and reduced their risk of breast cancer risk by 19%. More specifically for lung cancer, a study out of China showed that people eating two to three servings of celery per week reduced their risk of lung cancer by an astounding 60% (1 serving = 80 grams or two medium stalks). In the case of lung cancer, we don’t know if it was just the apigenin alone or working together with celery’s many other beneficial compounds. So if your goal is to reduce lung cancer risk, it’s best to actually eat the celery (which has also been linked to lower colon cancer risk in other studies). Celery goes great as a snack all on its own, or mixed into salads, salsa, vegetable smoothies, stir fries, stews, and soups (see below for more recipes).
    #Celery #LungCancer #Apigenin
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23996752

    from the Medical Medium:

    Celery is a strongly alkaline food that helps to counteract acidosis, purify the bloodstream, aid in digestion, prevent migraines, relax the nerves, reduce blood pressure, and clear up skin problems. Celery contains compounds called coumarins which are known to enhance the activity of certain white blood cells and support the vascular system. Celery’s rich organic sodium content has the ability to dislodge calcium deposits from the joints and holds them in solution until they can be eliminated safely from the kidneys. Celery is a well known natural diuretic and has ample ability to flush toxins out of the body. Celery also has significant anti-inflammatory properties making it an essential food for those who suffer from auto-immune illnesses. It also contains significant amounts of calcium and silicon which can aid in the repair of damaged ligaments and bones. Celery is rich in vitamin A, magnesium, and iron which all help to nourish the blood and aid those suffering from rheumatism, high blood pressure, arthritis, and anemia. Fresh celery juice is one of the most powerful and healing juices one can drink. Just 16 oz of fresh celery juice a day can transform your health and digestion in as little as one week.

    Hope you enjoyed it & have a great day! ツ

    • patti says:

      I’m going to go out and buy a Case of Celery !!!! :} Who Kew ???
      I do Love Celery and dry it….Making powder is a great idea…
      I do powder pumpkin, tomatoes, onions, garlic, green beans, greens and a few others.
      So good to make a soup with or to make your own seasoning blend….

  • Gloria says:

    I find the Vidalia Chop Wizard perfect for getting celery into nice sized pieces for dehydrating, and fast too. A head of celery doesn’t even take 2 minutes to chop.

    • Jennifer Osuch says:

      Hi Gloria,
      I’ve seen those. I’ll have to be on the look out for a good deal on one…..:)

      • Kathy T. says:

        I had one of those Vidalia choppers and used it for carrots (dicing to can) and then tried to dice sweet potatoes. Was going along at a pretty good clip and then realized I had actually broken one of the cutter “wire/blade” things. I now use one called “Genius” that I purchased from QVC…it has so many blade attachments and so many cutting/slicing options. And have used it for canning and dehydrating needs. No problem yet.
        Just wanted to add some info, and the cost of the “Genius” was between 35 & 45 dollars. But when you compare all the extra chopping blades and extras, it’s a bargain.

  • Mike the Gardener says:

    Nice! I am always looking for new ways to use veggies I grow in my garden, and celery is one of those things that I find just a few uses for. Drying it down to a powder is a wonderful idea. I never thought of that. Jennifer, once again, great post! 🙂

    • Eric Hathaway says:

      Keep in mind that celery powder is used in place of prague powder #1 when curing meat. This allows a person to use less sodium nitrate to cure meat

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