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
Wash your celery and don't forget to use veggie wash.
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.
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.
I can live with this size chop. It's not perfect but better than spending an hour or more chopping with the knife.
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.
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.
Then I chopped the stalk. Yup, by hand. I wanted to be accurate in my measurements.
I placed only this stalk on the eighth tray.
To start the second method I took one tablespoon of non-dehydrated celery and weighed it. So by volume it is one tablespoon.
By weight it is 8 grams.
Then I placed it on the ninth tray.
Then I loaded all my trays.
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.
Here is what the fancy cut celery looks like dehydrated.
Then here is the chopped celery looked like.
Here is the tray with the single celery stalk.
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.
Here is the tray with one tablespoon of celery on it.
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.
One tablespoon of non-dehydrated celery is equal to 1/2 teaspoon dehydrated celery.
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.
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.
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.
My Blendtec to the rescue. It did a great job of making celery powder.
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.