Can I share with you a little meal planning secret?

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

I’ve been using the same meal plan for breakfast and lunch since school started back in August.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

And you know what? I love this! I love that I only have to sit down and plan dinner each week (from a list of favorite meals, and some “to try” meals that peak my interest). That, my friend, is how I’m simplifying life right now–consistency and routine (in the form of a rotating weekly menu) for breakfast and lunch, and variety and spontaneity for dinner.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

I do add variety to this set plan by incorporating different fruits and veggies as they go on sale and now with the changing seasons, but for the most part, these meals are consistent and unchanging. Does my family get bored with this predictability? Not yet. Will I change my plan in the future? Definitely. Maybe I’ll create a new plan for breakfast and lunch in January, which we can use for the remaining months of the school year.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

Without fail, carrots and celery are always served on the side of the lunch mains. Why? Because both are inexpensive (whether they’re from the local market or purchased from the grocery store) and both foods are staples in my fridge since they’re so versatile. Some weeks the lunchbox carrot and celery sticks are served with a dip (like a homemade ranch, hummus, or a roasted eggplant dip).

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

I personally don’t like to cut veggies every single morning, so I’ve added this task to my weekend prep time. It takes about 10 minutes for me to cut a bunch of carrot and celery sticks. I also cut some apple slices (soaking them in lemon juice and water before adding the slices to a storage container) and cucumbers. That, my friend, is time well spent. And doing this shaves off precious minutes from my morning routine. Those precious minutes, as all parents know, are incredibly valuable on a busy school morning. Every second counts.

If you’ve ever prepped carrot or celery sticks in advance, you’ve probably run into a major issue: limp, dry veggies. For a while, I continued to prep these veggies, despite this issue. I figured no one noticed how dry the carrots looked (and tasted) and how limp the celery was. My assumption was wrong.

After weeks of sending these veggies in the kids’ lunchboxes, Piper spoke up, “Mom, I don’t like the carrots in my lunch. They don’t taste good. And they’re so dry.” At the time, I didn’t know how to fix the issue, other than going back to slicing the carrots and celery each morning.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

A couple of months ago, right after Piper’s confession, I walked into a local health food store and immeadiately noticed the prepared veggie section in the front of the store. The store had a bunch of pre-cut options, ranging from fruit to spiralized veggies, but that’s not what caught my eye. What caught my eye was the carrot and celery sticks, which were cut into slices and stored in water. “Hmmmm, could this be the answer to my carrot and celery issue?”

I immeadiately tried out the “hack” in my own kitchen–slicing carrots and celery and then placing the “sticks” in mason jars filled with water. The cut carrots and celery remained fresh and crisp for the rest of the week (7 days).

I’ve been using this hack to keep carrots and celery fresh and crisp for months now, and it hasn’t failed me once. The veggies always taste and look amazing, even on day seven. I’ve already described how this hack works, but I’ll spell it out in a more step-by-step way, below. Plus, there’s a video.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

How to Keep Cut Carrots and Celery Fresh and Crisp: Prep Ahead Hack

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

Step One: Cut carrots and/or celery into sticks 

Cut the carrots and celery into the desired sizes: sticks, coins, etc.

Step Two: Add carrots and/or celery to jars

Add the carrots and celery to mason jars or storage jars. I’ve found that wide-mouth mason jars work well for “sticks” since the pieces can stand up in the jars.

How to keep cut carrot and celery crisp and fresh for over a week! So easy. And it works, without fail.

Step Three: Fill the jars with water and cover the carrots and celery in a water bath 

Fill the jars with filtered water. Secure the lids on the jars.

Step Four: Store the carrots and/or celery in the fridge 

Store the jars in the fridge for up to a week (I’ve gone a bit longer, too). Add fresh water to the jars every few days to keep things fresh.

More Produce Storage Tips

How to Keep Cut Carrot and Celery Crisp and Fresh
4.14 from 38 votes

How to Keep Carrots and Celery Fresh and Crisp

How to keep carrots and celery fresh and crisp for weeks! Prep carrots and celery in advance to use throughout the week to reduce meal prep time. This simple hack is the best way to store carrots and celery!
Kristin Marr
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time5 mins
Course How To
Cuisine American
Servings 1 jar of carrots or celery

Equipment

  • mason jar

Ingredients

Instructions

  • Cut the carrots and/or celery into the desired sizes: sticks, coins, etc. I recommend storing the carrots in one jar and celery in another jar.
  • Add the carrots and/or celery to mason jars or storage jars. I’ve found that wide-mouth mason jars work well for “sticks” since the pieces can stand up in the jars.
  • Fill the jars with water. Secure the lids on the jars.
  • Store the jars in the fridge for up to a week (or up to 2 weeks, maybe even longer!). Add fresh water to the jars every few days to keep things fresh.

Video

Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!

56 Comments

  1. Such a great solution! Do you know if this works well for other cut veggies as well (i.e. red pepper strips, cucumber sticks, etc.)? Love the blog, thanks for all the helpful tips 🙂

    1. Thank you, Cynthia! I’m so glad the post was helpful for you. For pepper sticks, I slice them up and place them in the same mason jars, but don’t add water. They stay moist without any extra assistance (water). For cucumber slices or sticks, I use a flat glass container, and place a paper towel at the base of the container and then add the cucumbers. This seems to help them stay moist, but not get slimy for a few days. Hope that helps!

    1. Do the vegetables have to be stored in jars because I don’t have any! Would they work in any other containers? Or is just jars only

  2. Thanks for posting these tips. I’m trying to pre-prep a weeks worth of ‘mini vegetable tray’ snacks. I’ve cut everything up (carrots, celery, orange bell peppers and broccoli) and attractively placed them all together (touching) with grape tomatoes in small tupperware. I am now realizing they might not preserve well in the same container for more than a day or two. Any tips on how this could be done better? I’d like to be able to just grab a ‘mini tray’ or two with a lite ranch dip cup to snack on without having to fenangle with multiple containers or additional prep, if possible.

    1. Oh, and snap peas are also in the mix, in case it makes any difference. Based on your comment to Gary, I might opt to put carrots and celery in one container with water (which I’ll dump right as I pull it out), and put the other veggies in another. Two containers wouldn’t be the end of the world, but 5 or 6 starts to feel like it. 🙂 Any insights are appreciated.

    2. Hey James, I think you’ll be okay for a day or two. You could add a moist paper towel to the base of the container to keep everything moist (avoid the dried out look).

  3. I just did that this weekend! I didn’t fill up the jars though, so I will go back and do that. Thanks for the tips!

  4. Works great with chopped green onions that usually wilts pretty quick. Lasts in the fridge for about a week

  5. Has anyone tried storing the celery sticks in water and in a mason jar mason for about 3 weeks? Mine stayed fresh–flavorful and crispy.

      1. If you dump the water, you dump all the water soluble vitamins and the minerals. Drink the water or use it in a soupor sauce.

  6. My sister does that sliced carrots and put in a jar of water. I just opened a jar and was startled that it spewed up and sizzling bubbles like opening a carbonated bottle!!! I asked her how long ago did she put together the carrots. It was about two weeks. I just googled and should be 7 days. We tried the carrots and they tasted all right but I told her when under suspicion, throw them away. I was thinking carrots are sweet and could have fermented????

    1. Hey Barbara, Sounds like they started to ferment, as you mentioned. I recommend changing the water every couple of days to prevent this and opening the jar often (hopefully you’re using the carrots often).

  7. This process also worked well for shredded lettuce & cabbage. I prefer shredded lettuce for tacos & burgers instead of leaf lettuce. I kept in the fridge at least a week & it didn’t wilt this way.

    1. Hey Matty, Can you share this source? If you don’t feel comfortable, use what you feel most comfortable with. I personally find air-tight containers work best.

  8. What a great idea; thank you! I think I will use the veggie water in soups and for steaming other veggies, instead of discarding it when changing the water every few days.

    1. Cut cucumbers only last 2-3 days in the fridge. I store them in an air-tight container in the fridge. If you want them to last longer, you can spoon out the mushy center, which will extend their life for a couple more days.

  9. Such a great tip for holiday dinner prep:) Very time-saving exercise in cutting up the carrots and celery a few days before the meal and storing in the fridge, not to mention a huge stress reducer!

  10. Thank you so much kristen.
    If I’m to seal in a plastic bag with water in it, considering what you said about changing the water every few days, how long do you think it can stay fresh?

  11. been doing it for years! works well.
    i also discovered how to keep asparagus longer… break spears when you get home from the market, place in a jar, add about an inch or two of water and place in the fridge (change water every couple of days or so)) cover with a plastic bag (or not) the spears will keep fresh about 2 weeks.
    uncut avocados will keep about 2 weeks if you wrap them individually with plastic wrap & place in fridge.

  12. Hi! Thank you so much for your tips. I have found them so helpful! You said you cut peppers and put them in a mason jar without water. How long do you find they last this way? Thanks!

  13. Lettuce will keep its crispness for about a week if you first break off & wash the leaves; allow to drain to almost dry. Wrap leaves in paper towel and place in air tight container. Will last a week or more.

    1. Hey Naina, Beets store best either in their whole form a cold place like the crisper drawer or you could roast or steam them and store in an air-tight container for about 5 days.

      1. Hi. I just found your site 2021. Love your info & tips.

        One question. Do you peel the pre washed cut carrots? I did & left uncovered in Tupperware flat containers especially the thicker thicker ones started getting getting soft after a few days.

        1. Hey, welcome! So glad you’re enjoying the blog. So the trick is keeping them covered. I will put them in water uncovered and uncut for just a couple of days. After that, if I cut them, I cut, then store in water in a covered container. I don’t peel my carrots, but you definitely can.

          LS Team

  14. I like to buy the small English cucumbers. They are usually about 4-5 inches long and you don’t need to peel them. What is the best was to store them?

  15. Thank you for sharing this. Can you tell me how you store the apples and cucumbers that you mentioned? I would love to know about those so I can prep those ahead of time too. I want to know how long they stay fresh and how you store them:)

    1. Hey Mariam, I squeeze lemon juice over cut apples, then place in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. And for cucumber, I cut and put in an air-tight container in the fridge, but if they’re extra “wet” (depending on variety), you can place a papertowel or napkin at the bottom of the container first, then add the cucumbers over top.

  16. Would this also work with a plastic jar, like a clean peanut butter jar? My concern is a glass jar getting dropped on the floor. Thanks.

      1. Thank you! I’ve already tried this in glass jars and it’s amazing how well the carrots and celery keep. I’m glad to know I can use plastic jars, since we have a ceramic tile floor in the kitchen.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

Recipe Rating




This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.