Our grandparents, great-grandparents, and ancestors many generations before us had a special knack for frugality. They had a “no waste” mentality that has somehow been lost in today’s modern world, which offers more conveniences than ever before in the history of the man.
I recognized this simple yet profound realization while chopping veggies for Easter dinner. I had a pile of bell pepper pits, lettuce cores, carrot tops, and celery leaves. I could compost, but I don’t garden. (Instead of growing my own food, I choose to support my local CSA and farmers.) Ironically, maybe I should get a pet bunny to feed my food scraps too?
Sorry Easter bunny, but I don’t think you’re the pet for me. I did, however, consider dehydrating those celery leaves to grind into fresh herbs.
I let them dry overnight on my cutting board since they were quite wet from washing the celery. Then I simply spread them out on a baking dish and dehydrated them in the oven at a low temperature for 15-30 minutes. They smelled like fresh herbs already!
Once they were dried out, crispy yet not burned, I let them cool before tossing them into my Vitamix dry grains container. The end result was a finely ground herb of celery leaves!
You might be wondering, what on Earth can I do with celery leaves? Here are my favorite ways to incorporate this homemade herb:
- Toss a teaspoon into a soup for added flavor.
- Mix into Greek yogurt or sour cream for a dip. This is perfect to dip fresh vegetables or chips. Try combining this with seasoning salt, onion powder, or granulated garlic.
- Make a lemon, parsley, celery rub for your meat.
- Toss ½ teaspoon into the blender for a fresh juice, including an apple, a handful of kale, a slice of ginger, a pinch of dried celery, and apple juice.
- Celery leaves
- After washing the celery leaves, either towel dry or allow them to dry on the counter overnight.
- Preheat your oven to 250F. Evenly arrange the celery leaves on a baking sheet. It’s okay if they are slightly overlapping.
- Bake at 250, and check after 15 minutes to see if they are crispy. If not, check every 5 minutes until done. The leaves should crumble to touch but should not begin to brown or burn. Allow to cool on the baking sheet for a few minutes.
- Pour the dried celery leaves into your Vitamix dry grains container. Blend on high for 30 seconds, until finely ground. Store in a spice jar.
You can wash or soak your celery, or any fresh vegetable, in a large bowl of water with a few tablespoons of vinegar. The vinegar is a natural cleaner and there is no need to rinse afterwards! Roughly 1 bunch of dried celery leaves produces 2-3 tablespoons of freshly ground celery leaves.