Drying Celery and Pepper Flakes (DIY)

 

I am getting ready to make Christmas gifts from my kitchen and this past year I needed celery flakes for a recipe I wanted to make. I have not bought celery flakes in a long time and this was a heirloom recipe. I had to look in several stores to finely find them. They were very expensive at least for me. Later I ran across a recipe for drying celery leaves and I thought why didn’t I think of that. I usually chop up the leaves from the celery and freeze them in a baggy for soup. Also the light bulb in my head came on and I realized I could also dry sweet red and green pepper flakes too. I had needed them for a cracker recipe I wanted to do this fall. Years ago I used to buy them but I cannot find them locally any more. So I set out on my adventure of dry celery leaves and sweet peppers.

 

For the celery leaves I just removed them from the stalk of celery and laid them out on a glass pie plate. I preheated the oven to 200 degrees F. The when the oven was hot I put them in the center rack. It only took about 20 minutes until they were dry. You don’t want them to turn brown so keep an eye on them. Every time I make them the time changes because of the moister in the leaves. I just left them on the stove to cool and put them in a small container.

 

The red and green sweet pepper it was a little more time consuming but I was willing to do it because the dried peppers would add color and flavor for the salad dressing mixes I planned to make for gifts and the vegetable crackers. I chopped the peppers up in tiny little pieces. I did that while I was watching TV. I just cleaned the peppers and put slices in a bowel and sat down and cut them up real small using kitchen scissors. I laid the finely chopped peppers on a glass baking pan that had been sprayed with vegetable spray in a single layer. You can use parchment paper or non stick foil if you like but I chose to spray. You don’t want to have to scrap bits of peppers off the bottom of the pan. I preheated the oven to 250 degrees F. and put the pan in the middle of the oven rack. It took about 40 minutes to dry them out. It will go faster with a convection oven. Just keep an eye on them so they don’t turn brown. I stirred them a couple of times after they started to look like they were drying. This keeps them from sticking. You will be able to tell when they are completely dehydrated. They just look like dry vegetable soup pieces. I left them in the pan to completely cool and them put them in a small container.

You will be amazed at how little the dehydrated vegetables look after drying. I plan to do this with grated carrots and chopped celery. I have convection oven setting on my stove so it is quick to dry vegetables. With convection remember to keep the temperature low around 200 degrees F. The time it takes will vary so just keep an eye on them.

So when you are low on money remember you can dry your own herbs and vegetables.  Don’t throw those celery leaves away, dry them for future use in cooking.

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27 Comments Add yours

  1. emmycooks says:

    I freeze peppers but have never thought to dehydrate them–I love the idea of using them in crackers! I’ll be watching for that recipe. 🙂

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I will try to do them before Thanksgiving. They make a nice gift for someone who is diabetic at Christmas.

      Like

  2. trkingmomoe says:

    Reblogged this on Once Upon a Paradigm and commented:

    Make your own celery flakes.

    Like

  3. Dorena says:

    Very informative! The grocery store I shop at doesn’t have the leaves on celery. I wonder if they remove it? I am going to be on the search now though. I also have a convection oven setting, now I know what to do with it. 🙂

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      The stores around here offer both the heart of celery with the tops cut off and the full stocks. You can shop at a produce store and find it easily there. This works well with other fresh herbs too, so look around to see what is in your markets for sale that you can utilize.

      I love my convection setting on my oven. It can really cut down the time with roasts and casseroles. You just have to keep in mind that you turn the temperature down 25 degrees from what is suggested in the recipes. Also keep in mind that it take less time so if the recipe is older and don’t have convection times on it, cut the time down 30%. Then add the time to your recipe after you are done so you will know the next timehow long it actually it takes. I don’t have any good luck with baking cakes and cookies with convection. They don’t seem to rise in the center no matter what suggestion I follow.

      Thank you for you comments and I hope you have success with this if you try it.

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  4. What a great idea! I wonder if the dried celery flakes would work in homemade stocks.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Yes they do well used in stock. Historically herbs were preserved in low heat ovens. Cooks prided themselves on their kitchen herb gardens. You can crush the celery flakes and mix with salt to make celery salt. You can make your own seasoning blends. I will be posting some of my favorite blends that I mix and keep on hand.

      Please come back. I enjoy your visits.

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      1. I’m looking forward to seeing more about the blends you make.

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  5. petit4chocolatier says:

    Everyone must love receiving a homemade gift from you! Especially the crackers, and then this = delicious! What a creative idea and lovely sentiment, not to mention tasty! I think I am going to try the carrots and celery dehydrated too 🙂

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      I use my food processor to grate carrots and slice my celery very thin. I watched Martha Steward years ago fill the shute of a processor with thin celery sticks standing them up until the whole shute was packed and pushed them through the blade with the pusher to make nice little thinly chopped celery. That was in her early days when she was doing practical cooking. That is how I prep my celery and then lay a thin layer of them on a tray to dehydrate. You get these little tiny pieces when they are dehydrated and fit nice in a small container. I save my empty spice shakers to use. It is a nice way to use carrots and celery that is getting soft in the bottom of the refrig. You will think of kinds of way to use the dryed vegetables and herbs.

      Creativety sometimes comes out of necessity and my gift giving is a little of both. Thanks for the visit.

      Like

  6. Oh Momoe, you’ve done it again. The peppers for Christmas are a wonderful idea, I’m copying it. Just the right colors and useful too.

    I always dry out my left over fresh basil, just like you did the celery, I use a lot of fresh basil but not enough to keep it fresh forever. Basil will sort of grow for a while after you buy it if you keep it in water but not forever..

    Also I’ve done cilantro but I wasn’t as satisfied. It may have been I left it in too long as it did get very brown. Parsley works well too and added to plain old tomato soup makes it “special”.

    I just let my rosemary sit out, never tried to oven dry it and I’ve not been as happy with that either, so I’ll try that next time. Usually don’t have a lot of rosemary because I only buy a small bunch for rosemary new potatoes but still, it beats buying this stuff and the store bought “stuff” seems to get stale quickly because you have to buy so much.. This way I just have a little at a time. dru

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thanks Dru…Rosemary always smells good all over the house when you dry it in the oven. Maybe that is why it is named Rosemary.

      Like

  7. sandysupersavings says:

    Reblogged this on Sandy's Cooking Corner.

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      You are always welcome to anything I publish. I enjoy sharing.

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      1. sandysupersavings says:

        Thanks. I just thought this picture looked so pretty and something I’d love to try. Your welcome to reblog anything I have too.

        Like

  8. Oh, I love this! I like to eat my celery leaves. And now I have an excuse to pull out my dehydrator!!!

    Thanks for sharing this.

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  9. EmmaZahn says:

    Great blog and some neat tips for oven drying, trkingmomoe.

    Next time you find yourself and your store out and do not feel like making your own, try this link I found on an LDS website — maybe LDS Living — not sure:

    http://www.harmonyhousefoods.com/Celery_c_14.html

    They have celery, peppers and lots of other dehydrate vegetables in multiple sizes. Great for cooking.

    Like

  10. Sheryl says:

    My mother-in-law used to always dry celery leaves, but I’ve never done it. I always feel slightly guilty when I trim celery and throw the leaves away–this post motivates me to try drying them .

    Like

  11. Nancy says:

    Thanks so very much for the information on drying these wonderful ingredients. I’m going to try some of these vegetables. You are so generous with the great info you share on your blog. I sure appreciate your wonderful blog.

    Like

  12. Kimber says:

    You are so smart. I bought the neatest spice book by Tony Hill and some of the spice blends call for celery flakes. I didn’t even know what those were. But I buy celery, and have a food dehydrator and now thanks to your wisdom I have celery flakes.

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  13. Reblogged this on Patriotic Traditionalist and commented:
    I can do this!!! 😉

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      Thank you for reblogging this.

      Like

  14. I dried the leaves and I was surprised at how fragrant they were. I thought most of it would be lost during the drying process but they smell wonderful. Thanks for the idea.

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  15. Justine Smith says:

    I began dryng celery and parsley leaves a long time ago just by putting them on paper towels in a plate, unccovered, ’til dried out. I’ve never used an oven. They are dried in a few days and then I put them in jars..preferably glass jars from the Dollar Store. I do the green stems of green onions, too. I have a recipe for easy Bouquet Garni that I love to give for gifts. If you want this recipe, request it on my email.. enfpjs@gmail.com. Justine

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  16. quilt32 says:

    Love this idea – especially for the green and red peppers. I’ll definitely be trying this.
    Lillian

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    1. trkingmomoe says:

      It keeps for about 6 months. I copied some of your recipes today to try.

      Thanks for stopping by.

      Like

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