Your Celery Will Last a Lot Longer (and Your Juice Will Taste Better) With This Storage Hack

It's too soon to call what the best health and wellness trend of 2019 is, but celery juice is definitely at the top of the list. If you've started adding celery juice to your morning routine, you've got to try this simple trick to keep your celery fresh longer.

How to Choose Your Celery

The first step is to select a quality bunch of celery. It may sound mundane, but this will make all the difference. Plus, it will help you save money and prevent you from wasting food. According to the University of Nebraska, you should "choose celery with straight, rigid stalks and fresh leaves." It also advises avoiding bunches with stalks that look "woody or limp." Another way to find the freshest celery is to use your nose. Yes, smell them! Look for a bunch with a fresh scent; you'll definitely know if it isn't.

How to Store Your Celery

After you've purchased fresh bunches, you'll need to make sure you store them properly. According to Washington State University, you should remove the stalks from the plastic packaging (if they have it), wrap them tightly in aluminum foil, and store them in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. "Celery stays crisp for weeks this way," the university explained. By wrapping the stalks in foil, ethylene, the ripening hormone, is able to escape.

Conversely, if you leave the celery in the plastic bag, the ethylene gas won't be released and it will speed up moisture loss and spoilage. If you do choose to store your celery in the original packaging or a plastic bag, be sure to use it quickly for optimal freshness.

How to Clean Your Celery

Before you make your fresh juice, you need to thoroughly clean the celery. In 2018, celery was No. 10 on the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) "Dirty Dozen" list. "More than 95 percent of conventional celery samples tested positive for pesticide," the EWG reported.

To make sure your celery is clean, The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) recommends separating the bunch and washing stalks individually. You should rinse each stalk with cold water, rubbing the stalk with your fingers or a vegetable brush to remove any grit or dirt. If you really want to ensure your celery is clean, you can also use a fruit and vegetable wash.

How to Prepare Your Celery

Prep your celery by cutting off both the root and the leafy part at the top of the bunch. You can dispose of both parts in your trash, compost them, or use them in salads and soups.