Got less-than-crispy celery, carrots or potatoes? Learn how to revive them rather than throwing them out!

Reviving Carrots, Celery & Potatoes

Do you have droopy celery?  Rubbery carrots?  Squishy potatoes?  Think you need to throw them out?  Don’t!  You can revive them.

I’m embarrassed to let you see my celery in the photo above (but scroll down to see that same celery after it was revived).  That’s some celery I had before I learned to store it tightly wrapped in foil.

The good news is that I had learned how to rejuvenate soft celery, carrots and potatoes a while back, so I didn’t have to throw it out.

As a kid, my mom had taught me to put limp veggies in ice water — or in water in the refrigerator — and they’d revive.  And she was right.

The problem was that this doesn’t always work on a boat.  I never had ice on board.  And some boats don’t have a refrigerator.  Or they have a small refrigerator and no extra space to chill a container of water and veggies.

I never like to throw food out.  I particularly don’t like to when I’m on a boat, away from town and can’t immediately get more.  So I decided that I needed to figure out how to revive my carrots, celery and potatoes without ice . . . and preferably without needing space in my refrigerator.

With a little experimenting, I learned that you can revive limp celery, carrots and even soft potatoes in room temperature water.

  • Got less-than-crispy celery, carrots or potatoes? Learn how to revive them rather than throwing them out!Celery:  cut a bit off the bottom end before putting in the water.  Place bottom down in the water.
  • Carrots:  cut a bit off the top end before putting in the water.  Place top (fat end) down in the water.
  • Potatoes:  Peel and cover with water.

Left whole, it will take 2 to 3 hours to make these veggies crisp again. That celery in the photo at the right is the same celery as at the top of this article, after 2 hours in the glass of water.

Note that if you cut the veggies into strips or 1″ pieces and totally cover them with water, it will take as little as 30 minutes.

Drain the water and use the veggies as you regularly would.

Don’t throw the water out once the veggies have been revived — you can use it in other cooking.

SCIENCE PROJECT FOR BOATS WITH KIDS: If you have some wilted celery, put some food coloring (red works best — easiest to see) in the water, and make sure the celery stalks are partially out of the water (it’s even better if there are some leaves on the part out of the water).   Watch as the color moves up the stalk and into the leaves.  For more ideas on observations to make with this, see this science experiment.

Got less-than-crispy celery, carrots or potatoes?  Learn how to revive them rather than throwing them out!

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  • Shannon Scott
    Posted at 15 December 2010 Reply

    What a great idea. I’ve have also found that cutting the ends off of asparagus and placing them in water also extends the life of the asparagus substantially. I will cover my celery in foil right away. Thanks.

  • dawn
    Posted at 20 December 2010 Reply

    This also works with other root vegetables. I did this last night to some withered parsnips. I just them in half and peeled a little of the skin off and put them in a bowl of water in the fridge. They are revived and ready to eat! I am going to make some soup this afternoon with them.

  • MaryJo Boyle
    Posted at 15 October 2012 Reply

    I’ve put celery and asparagus in water, but I’ve never heard of carrots or other root vegetables being revived. Great information!

  • Ed Robinson
    Posted at 26 December 2013 Reply

    That’s a good one. You never know what cool tidbit you’ll learn from TBG.

  • Sharlyn Harley
    Posted at 27 December 2013 Reply

    Wow. I had no idea. I’ve been tossing mine. But no more!! Thanks!!

  • Jeanette
    Posted at 20 October 2014 Reply

    We have a wagon full of fresh carrots that have gone limp. Once revived, can I pressure cook them?

    • Carolyn Shearlock
      Posted at 20 October 2014 Reply

      You don’t even need to revive them first — just cook (or pressure cook) them ! See Got Old Veggies?

      • Jeanette
        Posted at 20 October 2014 Reply

        THANK YOU!!! I hated the idea of them going to waste. The ones that we already pressure cooked are so delicious. There’s still enough to give us enough jars to have carrots everyday for a year!

  • D and Don
    Posted at 13 July 2016 Reply

    I find parsley and other herbs can be kept for days in a similar way. Recut the ends on a slant, put into water and cover the top with a plastic bag. I use a rubber band around the bottom of a small glass. If you don’t have a place for a small glass, then you can wrap the cut ends with a wet paper towel and insert into a zip lock bag or Lock and Lock container. This method works well for transportation from boat to boat.

  • Judith Nelson Cruzan
    Posted at 20 May 2017 Reply

    I keep my celery in foil too but I put a wet cloth over the root end before I wrap it in foil.

  • Mike Gannon
    Posted at 20 May 2017 Reply

    “Dammit, he’s dead Jim!”

  • Amanda
    Posted at 20 May 2017 Reply

    I keep my chop the celery up and put it in foil and I also foil cucumber, carrots, zucchini and they last weeks. I foil citrus too and keep it out of the fridge

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