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Homemade Celery Powder {Recipe}

celery powder recipeSwainway Urban Farm grew beautiful, strong celery this year. The stalks were dense in flavor and texture and sold with the abundant tops. This variety isn't well suited to eating as a veggie stick but perfect for cooking. I roasted it, added it to stock, and made a cream of  celery soup that even satisfied picky Lil. One bunch of celery yielded almost eight cups of leaves. Thanks to my friend and fellow farmers' market junkie Jenn, I knew just what to do with them so that I could savor the local organic celery flavor for months to come.

I made a spice!*

puree celery leavespureed celery tops

After a simple wash, zip in the hated food processor, and 12 hours in the dehydrator, the kelly green leaves reduced to mere ounces of dried celery powder.

Celery powder, like celery itself, is a natural source of sodium nitrate. Sodium nitrate is what turns into sodium nitrite in our digestive system. And sodium nitrite is the reason bacon tastes like bacon and corned beef tastes like corned beef - it's antimicrobial and piquant and completely delicious.

Anything you cook with a sprinkle of celery powder becomes more tasty. Add some to a rub for meat or a stew for another layer of flavor. Keep it on hand for soups when you run out of celery. Make it a part of dressings, sauces, and dips. I aim for my pantry to never be without celery powder again.

dehydrated celery tops

Celery Powder Makes: 2 ounces Time: 12.5 hours total, 20 minutes active

8 cups celery leaves (very fresh, organic celery is best because it has the best flavor) 1/2 cup water

1. Wash celery leaves and place in food processor while damp. 2. Pulse in the food processor, adding up to 1/2 cup water, until leaves are finely chopped into a thick puree. 3. Spread in a thin layer on fruit leather tray in a dehydrator. (It may be possible to dry the puree in a very low oven on a parchment- or silicone- lined cookie sheet.) 4. Dehydrate for 8-12 hours at the dehydrator's lowest setting, stirring to ensure that all leaves are dehydrated completely. 5. Crumble in your fingers as you fill a spice jar with the powder. For a finer powder, mill in a mortar and pestle.


*Semantics among you might argue that celery powder is a dried herb. But I put it in a spice jar in the spice drawer, so I'm calling it a spice.