I’ve noticed that a lot of people these days are finding their own food in the wild, like herbs and wild mushrooms. There is a growing interest in trying to source natural foods as much as possible, which is why places like Whole Foods and greengrocers markets have done so well in recent years.
This also means that people are learning about foods that grow in the wild like mushrooms and which ones to avoid as well as which ones are safe to eat.
If you’re trying to stock up on healthy food like natural mushrooms, you may end up with too much of it in your kitchen. You might not be able to use all of it before it starts to go bad.
So, what do you do with the leftover mushrooms that you’re not using? You may be all excited to slice the mushrooms onto your pizza or create some mushroom soup, but then the excitement may go away and you may not feel like using them.
You may be left with some mushrooms that you’re not ready to use just yet. Can you freeze fresh mushrooms?
You don’t want the mushrooms to go bad before you can use them, so if you’re looking for storage solutions for your mushrooms keep them fresh for longer, I’ll discuss all of that here. Hopefully, I can answer all your mushroom storage questions and detail the process you can use for freezing mushrooms.
If you’re tired of wasting food and want to reduce your environmental impact, long term storage of any food is vital. You’ll save yourself trips to the store, which means less money spent on gas. You’re saving money over the long run and you’re making better use of your resources.
That’s having a beneficial impact on the environment, and I love that more and more people are interested in trying to reduce their carbon footprint and reuse their currently available resources. With that in mind, let’s talk about can you freeze fresh mushrooms for later use.
Can You Freeze Fresh Mushrooms?
A quick and simple answer to this question is yes, you can freeze your leftover mushrooms. Whether they’re canned or fresh, mushrooms can be stored in the freezer for as long as 12 months before you have to use them.
That’s good news for anyone who finds mushrooms on sale or who buys mushrooms and doesn’t want them to go to waste. There are so many ways to use mushrooms that it would be a shame too just toss out the ones you don’t have use for immediately. So, knowing how to freeze those mushrooms and save them for later is very important. You will cut your costs and save yourself some time.
How to Prepare Mushrooms for Freezing
A lot of vegetables and fruits need to be specially prepared in order to be frozen in such a way that their flavour and freshness is preserved. Do you have to do anything special with mushrooms before freezing them? You do want them to taste just as good and fresh when they come out of the freezer as they did when you put them in there.
Once again, I have good news about freezing mushrooms. You can freeze them just about anyway you want, and it won’t make a difference as to how fresh they are holding back out of the freezer.
You can blench them if you like, which a lot of people do to fruits and veggies to keep them from degrading in the freezer and to help them retain their freshness. This simply means putting them in boiling hot water for a few seconds and then plunging them into an ice bath before drying them off and freezing them.
Can you freeze fresh sliced mushrooms? Yes, you can freeze them sliced or whole, and you can freeze them with their stems cut off or not. It is up to you whether you want to put raw, uncooked mushrooms in the freezer for storage or cook them and sauté them first.
So, if you’re wondering can you freeze mushrooms, fresh mushrooms or cooked mushrooms, the answer is that it doesn’t really matter how they’re prepared before you put them into the freezer for storage.
Proper Storage for Freezing Mushrooms
Preparing the mushrooms isn’t as important as the way you store them. It is very important that you store your mushrooms in a freezer safe resealable bag or freezer safe plastic container. Using the right container will prevent the mushrooms from going bad in the freezer and will keep them from being freezer burned.
Proper storage ensures that the temperature of the mushrooms remains constant and keeps them from degrading in the freezer.
How to Use Frozen Mushrooms
Now that you know the answer to the question of can you freeze mushrooms fresh, let’s talk about what to do with the mushrooms when you are ready to take them out of the freezer. Can you use them right away or do you need to thaw them out?
It’s always best to thaw out your mushrooms first. They will be a lot easier to work with and you will be able to tell easier if they have gone bad in the freezer. If they weren’t stored properly or the container, or the container became damaged, it’s possible they experienced freezer burn and went bad while in storage.
You definitely want to check your mushrooms once they come out of the freezer for signs of rotting or freezer burn.
You should thaw the mushrooms out completely before using them. There are a few ways that you can do that.
First of all, you can leave them in the fridge overnight. By morning they should be completely thought out. The ice surrounding the mushrooms will have melted and you will need a way to catch that excess water. They can be placed into the fridge in the crisper drawer and put into a bowl that will catch the water from the ice.
Another way to thaw frozen mushrooms is to leave them on the counter for a few hours. Once again, they will leave behind a puddle of water, and you’ll want a way to catch that.
You can also place them into a bowl of room temperature water or cold water. Do not use hot water to thaw out frozen mushrooms, as that can make them cook ahead of time. It’s also not ideal to put them into the microwave to thaw out, as this can affect their quality and texture.
There are instances where you can use mushrooms in their frozen form without having to thaw them first. If you’re cooking food that you will be adding mushrooms too, you can probably add the frozen mushrooms into that dish as it cooks.
This is true of rice, pasta, and quinoa. You can also add frozen mushrooms into soup or on pizza, and as the food cooks it will dry up the excess water for you. Even if the mushrooms are raw, they should cook with the rest of the food. They will be good to eat by the time the rest of the food is finished.
However, it is not a good idea to add frozen mushrooms to food that is simply being warmed up. That is especially true of frozen raw mushrooms. The mushrooms need to thaw out properly and cook all the way, and that probably won’t happen in food that is simply being warmed on the stove or in the microwave.