Celery is one of the most versatile vegetables to have in the kitchen. From adding crunch to salads to being a star ingredient in soups and stews, celery is a must in every kitchen. So, how to tell if celery is bad? Look for these signs of bad celery and throw them out as soon as they appear.
When celery sits around, it starts to lose its crispness and develop a dull, pale color.
If your celery is wilting, slimy, has a strong odor and the leaves are curling up or slimy, you need to throw it away. Celery can become limp as it sits in the fridge, but if those other signs are present than something has gone wrong!
How To Tell If Celery Has Gone Bad
Celery has a well-deserved reputation as a healthy vegetable. Because it isn’t prone to growing mold and rot, it’s versatile enough to be served raw in salads or cooked in soups and stews. While the crunchy stems can add texture to any dish, celery leaves are best used fresh in recipes made with celery root, or juiced for drinking.
If you do find celery growing mold on the leaves, remove and discard it immediately. Preventing this problem from developing in the first place is a lot easier than cleaning up after it’s happened. Treat celery the same way you’d treat cabbage, a vegetable notorious for its ability to grow mold on the leaves.
Celery stores better than most vegetables. At home, store celery wrapped in plastic wrap or in plastic bags in your vegetable crisper drawer along with your other vegetables. When kept at temperatures below 60 degrees Fahrenheit, it can last a week or more in the fridge. Kept at room temperature or in a cool greenhouse, celery can stay fresh for two to four weeks. To keep celery fresh in your fridge, wash it with a little water before you wrap it. You can wash the stalks right away or let them dry out and then pat them dry. To test for freshness, take the celery out of the wrapper and cut off a small piece. If it still tastes crisp and smells good, it’s good to eat. If not, throw it out and use a new stalk.
Celery is a member of the carrot family. It’s hardy and can be grown outdoors in U.S. Department of Agriculture plant hardiness zones 5 through 9, according to the University of California San Diego Extension center. Fresh celery is sold by the stalk in grocery stores and by mail order in supermarkets. Celery seedlings are often available at garden centers and nurseries that specialize in vegetable plants, or you can order seeds at online seed exchanges such as those found on Amazon.com or Seedquest.com.
If your preference is for cooked celery, your best choice is the variety that grows underground. More commonly known as celery root, these roots can be peeled and cooked like potatoes or eaten raw in salads or soups. The white vegetable has a striking resemblance to parsnips but the flavor is milder than that of their close relative and has none of the bitterness associated with parsnips.
Celery is a good source of vitamin C, vitamin K, folate and potassium. One cup of chopped celery contains only 16 calories! It’s also a good source of fiber. Celery’s nutritional benefits are attributed to the presence of phthalides in the plant. These phthalides inhibit the body’s ability to absorb fats in foods eaten with celery.