Today we are covering a handful methods on how to preserve mushrooms, so growers and consumers alike can prevent their bounty from spoiling

Are you interested in how to preserve mushrooms? If so, then you have come to the right place!

There are more ways to preserve mushrooms than first meets the eye. Today we are sharing some popular methods for preserving mushrooms. This is valuable information for the mushroom growers and foragers out there who want to save their delicious mushrooms for future use.

The methods of preserving mushrooms discussed below include:

  • Drying mushrooms
  • Freezing mushrooms
  • Tincturing mushrooms
  • Pickling mushrooms
  • Powdering mushrooms
  • Making mushroom ketchup

How to preserve mushrooms: Drying

Drying mushrooms allows them to be stored and usable for a longer period of time than having to use them when fresh. For instance, if you grow mushrooms during the fall and end up with a big yield, or you find a big flush while foraging during the same time of year, you can dry these mushrooms to have delicious food to eat all winter long.

Drying mushrooms is a great option when you have an abundance of them. The drying process can be as simple as laying the mushrooms out in the sun to dry, or putting them in a dehydrator overnight at around 115 – 120°F. They will be properly dried once they become slightly crispy like a chip.

Take the black trumpet mushroom. This mushroom is very aromatic while drying, and it has a very complex scent, combining a rich smoky flavor with a pleasant fruity aroma. These mushrooms can be found abundantly in the Northeast U.S. and can be foraged in the summertime and dried to be enjoyed during the winter.

How to prepare mushrooms: Freezing mushrooms

The best way to freeze most mushrooms is to cook them before putting them in the freezer. This can be done by blanching, steaming, or frying.

Mushrooms need to be prepped to be frozen. Start by selecting the mushrooms you want to freeze. Cut off any spots of decay and gently clean the mushrooms by either washing gently or by dry brushing with a mushroom brush. If you are dealing with very large mushrooms, be sure to cut them into smaller pieces. Mushrooms of 1” across or smaller will be the best size for freezing your mushrooms.

Then you need to cook the mushrooms. Regardless of the cooking method you use, it should take between three and five minutes, depending on the size of the mushrooms. Once you have quickly heated the mushrooms, set them aside to cool and drain any excess liquid. Once drained and cooled you can package, seal, and place the mushrooms in the freezer. Check out this article to learn more about freezing mushrooms, including a way to better preserve the color of your mushrooms.

How to preserve mushrooms: Tinctures and extracts

Extracts and tinctures are another way to preserve the beneficial constituents in mushrooms. Many of the mushrooms that are tinctured contain a variety of compounds that people are interested in. These include but are not limited to:

  • Polysaccharides
  • Beta-glucans
  • Triterpenes
  • Phenols
  • Sterols
  • Statins,
  • Indole compounds
  • Enzymes

The tinctures we offer are triple extracted so it becomes highly concentrated. Our tinctures involve both alcohol and water extraction to adequately preserve the various constituents. For instance, take our reishi mushroom tincture. For this, we use a triple extraction process that includes alcohol, hot and cold water. Some medicinal constituents from reishi are extracted only in water, as others are only extracted in alcohol. Using this triple extraction method is our attempt to get the most amount of available constituencies in available liquid form for our customers.

How to preserve mushrooms: Pickling mushrooms

You will need a canning jar for this one, as well as some additional ingredients. A quart-sized mason jar with lid and band are recommended, and you will need to sterilize the jar before use. You can do so by boiling water and placing the jar in the boiling water for 10 minutes. Remove the jar from the boiling water with tongs and set the jar aside on a clean towel.

The other ingredients required include: four sprigs of thyme, 10 peppercorns, one clove of garlic, a dried hot red chili, and kosher salt. One cup of white wine vinegar, three tablespoons of olive oil, and one tablespoon of granulated sugar will also be used.

Prep and clean your mushrooms like described above. Use six cups of mushrooms and try a variety if you want a more flavorful experience. Boil the mushrooms for a bit longer than you would with the other methods, say 5-10 minutes.

Use a small sauce for all of the other ingredients and bring them to a boil with a half cup of water. Once the mixture is boiling, pour it over your already-cooked mushrooms. Fill the jar until all of the mushrooms are covered. Put the lid on the jar and allow the mixture to cool to room temperature. You should then refrigerate your pickled mushrooms.

How to preserve mushrooms: Make mushroom ketchup!

This is a sweet recipe for making mushroom ketchup, excerpt from Mad About Mushrooms:

“Chop 3 pounds of mushrooms, spread out in a large bowl, and sprinkle with 6 tablespoons salt. Leave, covered, for 2 days, stirring and squashing them occasionally. Place mushrooms in saucepan, and add 2/3 cup wine vinegar, 2 teaspoons chopped onions, 1 teaspoon peppercorns, 1 teaspoon allspice, ½ teaspoon mace, ½ teaspoon whole cloves, and ½ inch piece cinnamon. Simmer 2 hours with no lid on pan. Liquor will concentrate to a good strong flavor. Pour through a cloth into hot sterilized bottles and seal immediately.”

Mad About Mushrooms

We hope you have a better idea of how to preserve mushrooms now so you can experiment with your favorite method. Try using various mushroom strains with each method for preservation to discover which fits your life (and taste buds) the best!

There are other ways to preserve mushrooms, too. What is your favorite that we didn’t mention here? Please share your thoughts in the comments section below.

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