Mushrooms go with tons of recipes! Soups, casseroles, stir frys you name it. Mushrooms are a good source of fiber, and contain some vitamins. A great contributor to a low calorie diet.Unfortunately, we usually buy to many and are left with extra. Mushrooms tend to last in the fridge for about one week. After that they turn brown and soggy. Definitely not ideal for being the top Chef of your home. Freezing mushrooms is a possibility. They can be froze raw or cooked.
Freezing raw mushrooms:
Mushrooms are made up of 95 percent water. This can make Freezing raw mushrooms difficult. Because they are mostly water, freezing them raw can make them mushy after defrost. They will lose flavor, and it will effect the nutritional value. To properly freeze them raw you will want to follow these easy steps. First, slice the mushrooms to your desired size. Cutting the stems off help make your mushrooms more recipe ready. You can even purchase pre-sliced mushrooms. After they are sliced rinse them in cool water, and pat them dry. Place them flat on a paper towel. While those dry add parchment paper to a baking sheet. Next, place your mushrooms on the parchment paper. Make sure to not overlap. Place the baking sheet in your freezer for at least two hours. Lastly, pull the mushrooms out and place them in a freezer bag. When Freezing any fruit or vegetable you want to make sure most of the air is out of the freezer bag. Be sure to date and label your freezer bag. The mushrooms tend to last between 10 to 12 months in your freezer.
Cook them then freeze them:
Cooking mushrooms before freezing them is the best way to preserve nutrition, and texture. Prep and wash your mushrooms before cooking. There are many ways to cook your mushrooms. You can steam mushrooms by placing them over boiling water for about 8 to 10 minutes. Steaming mushrooms keeps the antioxidants in place. Let mushrooms cool to room temperature then place them in a freezer bag. Blanching mushrooms helps prevent the mushrooms from ripening to soon, and a great way to prep them for the freezer. To blanch, place the mushrooms in a steaming basket over boiling water for 3 to 5 minutes. Instantly place them in a bowl of ice water. Leave them in there for the same amount of time you boiled them. Remove them from the ice bath, and place mushrooms on parchment paper or paper towel. Once the mushrooms are cool place them in a freezer bag.
A great way to add flavor to your frozen mushrooms is to saute. In a hot skillet add butter or oil. Add your mushrooms and a pinch of salt. Saute till mushrooms are tender and golden brown on both sides. It should take roughly 5-7 minutes. Once the mushrooms are cooked remove pan from heat. Let the mushrooms cool to room temperature. Place them in a zip lock freezer bag. Your frozen mushrooms can last for up to a year. Just like your frozen raw mushrooms, be sure to label and date the bags. It is important to date anything you place in your freezer. It helps you keep track of how long your item has been in there.
Can I freeze mushrooms whole?
Absolutely! The preparation is the same for raw or cooked mushrooms. Just skip the slicing step. Whole mushrooms will take longer to dry. When washing whole mushrooms, you want to make sure you are getting the dirt between the grooves. If the stems are browning you might want to remove them. If you plan on using your mushrooms for multiple recipes, slicing them would be more beneficial. It not only saves space in your freezer, but you get more for your buck.
Are my frozen mushrooms bad?
It’s important to check your frozen mushrooms before each use. The recommended freezer time is between 10 and 12 months, however food can be unpredictable sometimes. If you notice dark spots or mold all over your mushrooms, it might be time to throw them out. Mold tends to grow when there is too much moisture. Shriveled pieces is another bad sign. The wrinkly texture means the mushrooms have lost most of their value. Once you pull them out of the bag give them a good feel. If they feel super slimy or sticky it’s time for new mushrooms. Give it a sniff. When you open the freezer bag and you get a wif of a foul oder, toss them.
What mushrooms are best for freezing?
Button mushrooms, cremini mushrooms and portobello mushrooms are the top three. Although, most all mushrooms can be frozen. Choosing your mushrooms wisely is the best tip for longer freezer time. When picking mushrooms make sure to give them a good look over. Choose mushrooms with no discoloration, or brown spots. If the package has a lot of moisture skip that one. Check the dates on the packaging. The fresher the better.
Can I freeze soups and casseroles with mushrooms in it?
Have left overs of mushroom soup? No problem! Soups and casseroles are easy to freeze for another time. Use a ladle and scoop your soup into a zip lock freezer bag. Lay it flat in your freezer. Takes up very little space when froze flat. You can also place your casseroles in a freezer bag. Also best stored flat. Make sure to label and date your extra meals. Most soups and casseroles last about 3 months in your freezer.
Freezing mushrooms not only helps you save money, but it also saves time. Pull it out of the freezer and let it thaw to room temperature. Then add it to your favorite dish. Frozen mushrooms are best added to soups, casseroles and stews. Sautéing or microwaving frozen mushrooms can decrease their nutritional value. Another helpful tip would be to freeze your mushrooms by portion size. If you’re planning on making four meals with mushrooms, use four separate smaller freezer bags. The next time you find yourself with too many mushrooms just freeze them.