When we list our favorite ingredients for delicious and healthy meals, mushrooms are right near the top. Mushrooms are better than any other ingredient around. They work well in salads, stir fry, or as mushroom soup, and they add complexity and depth to any dish.
It’s no wonder we stock up on them whenever we can. We want to be able to have the wonderful flavor of mushrooms all year long, which is why knowing how to freeze mushrooms is so essential. But can you freeze mushrooms?
In this article, you’ll learn about the best ways of freezing mushrooms. We show you how to prepare and preserve your mushrooms, and you’ll discover the best tried-and-true method of thawing them for meals.
We even share our favorite mushrooms recipe. After reading our guide, your freezer will groan with mushrooms, and your meals will sparkle.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Getting your mushrooms packed away and safely stored for long-term use requires you to spend some time and effort, so make sure that your work doesn’t go to waste. Having a time-tested preparation, preservation, and thawing process ensures consistent and reliable results and ensures that you aren’t stuck with spoiled food.
Preparing, Preserving, and Thawing Mushrooms
The way to freeze mushrooms is quite similar to freezing green beans or other fruits and vegetables. The best way to freeze bananas is by slicing them first, and you may want to do this with larger mushrooms or even small mushrooms, as well.
This type of preservation method also applies to cabbage. Can you freeze cabbage? Of course, having slices of the different vegetables like mushrooms and cabbage allows you to pack them and layer them in the freezer a little better than when they are whole and take up more room.
This section looks at the preparation and preservation process for mushrooms and also shows you how to safely thaw your mushrooms when you’re ready to use them. We look at the best way to get your mushrooms prepared for preservation, and you’ll learn about a couple of tasty mushroom recipes for freezing, as well.
The section closes by giving you a reliable thawing method. If you’re still unsure and asking, “Can you freeze mushrooms?” this section provides the answer.
Preparing Your Mushrooms for Canning
You want to be sure that your mushrooms stay fresh and delicious the first time you freeze them and every time after that. To give the mushrooms their best chance at making it through the preservation process unharmed, start with the best ingredients. Select only the best fresh, whole mushrooms for canning, and make sure that they don’t have bruises or other damage.
Your prep method hinges on the types of mushrooms you use. Cut larger raw mushrooms and some wild mushrooms into one-inch pieces before cleaning, but button mushrooms and other small mushrooms can stay in one piece. Snap off the mushroom stems, and wash the caps in cold water to remove dirt or other contaminants.
So, can you freeze mushrooms? You bet, and you have a few options. You’ll need to cook your mushrooms before you freeze them, and how you prepare them dictates how they taste when you thaw them. We’ve included a basic recipe for steaming mushrooms to keep them close to fresh in appearance and flavor, and you’ll also get a sauteed mushrooms recipe for when you want to pump up your mushrooms’ flavor before their big sleep.
Add two inches of hot water to the pot. Combine the pint of water and one teaspoon lemon juice or one and a half teaspoons citric acid, and dip the mushroom pieces in the liquid to keep them from turning brown in the freezer. Place the mushrooms in the steamer basket, and put the basket in the saucepan.
Put the saucepan over medium heat for three to five minutes, remove the mushrooms from the boiling water, drain them, and allow them to cool. Line a baking sheet with paper towels. Arrange your mushrooms on the baking sheet in a single layer, and put the sheet in the freezer to flash freeze the mushrooms.
When they are frozen, remove the mushrooms from the freezer, and pack them into the containers, leaving about ½ inch headspace. Remove as much air as practicable before sealing the container, as too much air can cause freezer burn.
Label containers and place them in the freezer. Steamed mushrooms have a longer shelf life than sautéed mushrooms, making this method the best way to freeze mushrooms.
Bring the frying pan to medium-high heat and add the butter. When the butter stops bubbling, add the mushrooms and any desired seasonings. Cook, constantly stirring, for three to five minutes.
Let the mushrooms cool and place them on a baking sheet in a single layer. Put the cookie sheet in your freezer until the mushrooms are frozen, and transfer them to the freezer containers, leaving about ½ inch headspace. Label the containers and put them in the freezer.
How to Thaw Frozen Mushrooms
Mushrooms are sensitive to temperature and will not tolerate a rapid return to room temperature after they’ve been in the freezer for months. Be careful when you thaw your mushrooms to make sure that they maintain their texture and flavor. Edible mushrooms are a treat, and it would be a shame to ruin them so close to the finish line.
Never move your mushrooms from the freezer to the countertop. Instead, place mushrooms you intend to use in your refrigerator at least 24 hours before you work with them. Your fridge is the perfect halfway spot and is warm enough to let the mushrooms thaw while still being cold enough to prevent an overly quick thaw.
Why Preserve Mushrooms?
Why is knowing how to freeze mushrooms so important? Mushrooms are delicious, but so are a lot of other foods. Why give mushrooms special treatment? If we’re going to spend our precious time preserving mushrooms, it’s essential to appreciate why they deserve the attention.
This section looks at mushroom health benefits and gives you the lowdown on why regular mushroom intake can significantly benefit your health. You’ll get to know the unique flavors and textures that only mushrooms can bring to the table to make every dish more delicious. And, we close out with our favorite mushrooms recipe, so you’ll always have the perfect meal when you’re ready to pull a package out of the freezer.
Health and Flavor
You’ll get dynamite taste and astounding health advantages when you consume mushrooms regularly. Mushrooms are a superfood, which means that they contain a ton of health benefits.
They’re low in calories, but they have lots of nutrients and provide much of your recommended daily allowance of vitamins B and D and potassium, selenium, and copper. Mushrooms also boost your immune system, and they help prevent respiratory infection.
That’s not all that mushrooms have to offer, though. The mushroom flavor profile is umami, which means that they have a rich, meaty sort of flavor that complements lots of dishes. Mushrooms have a unique texture, as well, and add complexity to your meals.
Use mushrooms as a garnish or main course ingredient, but for our money, nothing beats mushrooms sautéed in wine, garlic, and olive oil. Use either steamed or previously sautéed and frozen mushrooms to make this dish and it will taste incredible.
Put a large sauté pan over medium heat, and add the butter and olive oil. Let the mixture heat for about a minute, and add the rest of the ingredients.
Cook your mushroom mixture for about five minutes, stirring constantly. Reduce heat. Let the mixture simmer for about five more minutes or until the mushrooms soften.
We hope that you enjoyed our mushroom freezing guide. Mushrooms are a gift to our palates and deserve year-long appreciation, and that’s why we developed this guide on how to store mushrooms. Our tips on how to freeze mushrooms give you the best methods to preserve your mushrooms, ensure that you never run out of them again, and answers the question, “Can I freeze mushrooms?” with a resounding yes.
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