Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Frozen Mushroom Suppliers share with you how to freeze mushrooms for your benefit
Whether you pick wild mushrooms, try to grow your own, or just found a lot at your local supermarket, you can keep these delicacies. Fresh mushrooms keep in the refrigerator for about a week. If you won't be using your supply in that time frame, it pays to learn how to freeze mushrooms.
The way to successfully freeze mushrooms is to start with the freshest mushrooms you can find. Those suitable for freezing should look and smell fresh. Avoid any that have rot or black spots, or are dry or shriveled. The odor should be pleasant and musky, not rotten. Look for locally grown mushrooms at farmers' markets. Some supermarkets will sell local wild-picked mushrooms in season.
Mushrooms are primarily water, and if you freeze them raw, they tend to turn into a paste. This consistency is suitable for soups, casseroles and stews, but it is not the best you can achieve. You can use these mushrooms in more ways in your kitchen if you prepare them first, either by using a traditional steam blanch or by sautéing them.
Freezing vegetables from the garden
Whichever method you choose, you will need to wash the mushrooms first. Most cooks avoid washing them because it tends to make them mushy. Examine the mushrooms carefully and brush off any visible dirt. Trim the stem ends. To freeze raw mushrooms, freeze them individually and quickly on a parchment-lined tray. Once the mushrooms are frozen, place them in a freezer bag to remove as much air as possible.
If you plan to steam scald the mushrooms, start by sorting them by size. This step is necessary because scalding time varies depending on the size of the mushrooms. If individual mushrooms are larger than one inch in diameter, slice or quarter them. To prevent the mushrooms from darkening during blanching, soak them in a solution of 1 teaspoon lemon juice or 1.5 teaspoons citric acid in 1 pint of water for five minutes.
To blanch, add the mushrooms to the steamer and run them through boiling water. Steam whole mushrooms for 5 minutes, buttons or quarters for 3.5 minutes, and slices for 3 minutes. Cool the mushrooms quickly in ice water for the same amount of time as steaming them. Strain, then place mushrooms in a sealed freezer bag or container.
Frozen Mushrooms are great for any dish, from salsa to quiche to pizza. For dishes that do not go into a hot oven, such as soups or quinoa, add frozen mushrooms about 20 minutes before the end of the cooking time. If adding frozen mushrooms to a stir-fry, add only a few at a time to avoid cooling the pan. For best flavor, use frozen steamed mushrooms within a year.
Another option is to sauté mushrooms before freezing. Sauté mushrooms in a small amount of hot oil or butter. Feel free to add salt, pepper, onion or any other favorite seasoning. Sauté the mushrooms for about 4 minutes - until they are almost fully cooked. Let the mushrooms cool, then place them in freezer bags or containers, removing as much air as possible. You can also quickly freeze sautéed mushrooms individually on a parchment-lined tray before putting them into freezer containers.
Sautéing mushrooms before freezing will produce a firmer product after freezing. Use these mushrooms in a similar manner to steamed mushrooms - add to quiche, sautéed fries, pizza or pasta dishes. For best flavor, use sautéed frozen mushrooms within nine months.
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