Dehydrated Mushrooms are SO easy to store in your pantry and can be used in multiple recipes to add nutrients and depth of flavor. I usually pick them up when they are on sale and dehydrate them overnight in my dehydrator. Read on to find out why this superfood is always in my pantry and the many ways you can use them!
I have a couple of great fruit and vegetable markets near me where I can take advantage of rock bottom prices to get mushrooms. I’ve dehydrated regular white mushrooms, crimini mushrooms, and oyster mushrooms. I’ve yet to try the larger portobello mushrooms, but I want to try those next. (Note: Some experts suggest NOT to dehydrate large mushrooms unless you slice them first. Because of their thickness, there is a chance that moisture would remain in the resulting product and therefore could become a host for bacteria and mold to thrive. Others claim they have successfully dried large mushrooms for years. Do your research and always err on the side of caution!)
Why should you dehydrate mushrooms?
As with all dehydrated foods, you can greatly increase the shelf life of food by dehydration. It also frees up space in your fridge. Dehydration helps to keep nutrients intact until you are ready to use them. One of the top reasons to include more dehydrated mushrooms in your diet is their higher levels of vitamin D. This makes them a perfect addition to your recipes during the long winter months. They are also a valuable source of protein, trace minerals, and fiber.
For those who don’t like the texture of mushrooms but still want their nutritional benefits, dried mushrooms can be powdered and then added to recipes as well.
Mushrooms are also a perfect emergency food to keep on hand to add to soups, various kinds of pasta dishes, and more. They add that wonderful umami flavor to dishes that are comforting and they help to bulk meals up to feed hungry tummies.
How to dehydrate them
Making dehydrated mushrooms is as simple as wiping them off with a damp paper towel, slicing, and placing them on the dehydrating trays. DO NOT rinse them under water to clean, the paper towel method is sufficient and preserves the texture of the mushroom for drying. Set and turn on your dehydrator between 110 and 120 degrees.
Once your mushrooms are on the trays, cover and let them dry for anywhere from 6-10 hours. You will know they are done when they easily break in half once they cool. I usually take one slice off of a tray and let it sit for a few minutes to cool and then test it. If it snaps in half, we’re good!
How to store dehydrated mushrooms
Once your mushrooms are properly dried, shut off your dehydrator and allow them to cool down completely.
For pantry storage that you will use within the next few months, storing the mushrooms in mason jars with a moisture packet is best. I’ve successfully stored dried mushrooms for up to a year using this method. Just make sure they are in a cool, dark cupboard or pantry.
For long-term storage, you will want to invest in some mylar bags, a vacuum sealer, moisture packets, and oxygen absorbers. It is very important that you store things properly if you want to enjoy your food long-term. Vacuum sealing with oxygen absorbers protects the food from oxidization and storing those packets within mylar bags protects them from light. When stored this way, many foods will last 20+ years or more.
The benefits of investing in supplies to store food long-term are numerous, but my favorite reason is that this allows me to buy food on sale and store it for later use. This saves my family a lot of money over time!
Using Dehydrated Mushrooms
There are a few ways to use dehydrated mushrooms. Re-hydrate and use in recipes as you normally would, add dried mushrooms to recipes such as one-pot meals, soups, and stews in which the mushrooms will reconstitute as the dish cooks or process the dried mushrooms into a powder and use as an additive to add flavor, nutrients and to thicken a dish. All are fabulous options!
Re-hydrating dried mushrooms
Re-hydrating mushrooms is easy. Place the number of mushrooms you want in a heat-proof bowl and pour boiling water on them. The mushrooms will reabsorb the water and become pliable again. You then use them in your recipe just as you would fresh mushrooms.
Using Dried Mushrooms Directly in Recipes
If you want to just toss some dried mushrooms into a recipe, like in a soup, you can! The only thing you need to consider is the amount of liquid the mushrooms will absorb. Typically, it isn’t that big of a deal when using them in soups or stews, but one-pot dishes like kinds of pasta in sauces could be less forgiving and you may need to increase the amount of liquid in your recipe in order to accommodate them. I will usually add 1/4 cup more of liquid to start and then I adjust accordingly as needed.
Using Mushroom Powder as an additive in recipes
Two of my children can’t stand the texture of mushrooms, so mushroom powder is my secret ingredient! I add it to stews and soups and sauces. They get the benefits without the texture and I am a happy mama- and a little goes a long way! 1 tablespoon of powdered mushrooms is the equivalent of 4 ounces of fresh mushrooms. The powder also helps to thicken dishes and sauces as needed, just remember that you will be adding flavor when using this method.
Hopefully, you now have some great ideas for using mushrooms in your kitchen on a regular basis. The next time you see a sale for mushrooms, pick up a few extra packages and dehydrate them for your pantry. Enjoy!