Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are one of the most unique evolutions of the plant kingdom. They have a phenomenal life cycle and functioning that is different from other members of this kingdom. So, what to do if you wish to freeze mushrooms?
Well, you are here reading this blog and that marks the end of your question. We are here to assist you in freezing your brown delicacies for future use. Before, freezing mushrooms you should be well- aware that they are power packed with nutrients.
Therefore, they can go best in your diet routine and will yield amazing results by providing you with abundant sources of fiber and protein.
How to Freeze Mushrooms?
You are looking for ways to freeze mushrooms? That means you have an extra batch of them that you don’t want to waste. Well, no problem we have got your back. The easiest trick to freezing mushrooms is to do so directly.
Take a clean airtight bag and add clean and dry mushrooms to these bags and freeze. You can use them for the next 5 days without losing their flavor or texture.
1. Blanching Method to Freeze Mushrooms
Blanching is a proven method to kill any bacterial contaminants and extend the shelf life of a substance by halting its enzymatic processes. Similarly, when you blanch mushrooms you are indirectly hindering their enzymatic degradation process.
Start by slicing or trimming the unwanted parts of the mushroom and soaking them in lemon water for a few minutes. Follow these time limits for soaking respective mushrooms- 5 minutes for whole, 3 min for sliced, and 3 ½ minutes for quarter or button ones.
Then, blanch them for a maximum of five minutes duration and lay them on a separate sheet to dry. Flash freeze these blanched mushrooms for three hours by lining them on a cookie tray lined with parchment paper.
Finally, shift them into freezer-safe bags or containers and freeze them for later use. This method primarily helps to get rid of bacteria like Salmonella that are a threat to the shelf life of mushrooms.
2. Cooking Method to Freeze Mushrooms
If you wish to store mushrooms for more than three months without worrying about their expiration, follow this trick. Unlike other foods, it is better to cook and freeze mushrooms. It helps to retain their flavors more persistently.
First things first, take a small brush that you would usually use to brush oil in cake tins. Clean mushrooms using this brush and remove any traces of soil and dust. Avoid washing mushrooms with water because they will turn extra mushy if you wash them with water.
This step is also regarded as sauteing because you have to cook your mushrooms on medium flame completely. Cooking allows you to save time in the future. Add 2 tbsp oil to a pan and heat the pan on a high flame. Add your mushrooms and cook them for several minutes till they are nicely cooked from all sides. Since you didn’t wash the mushrooms in the prior step, it will help you retain water-soluble vitamins like flavonoids. Turn off the flame once they turn golden brown.
Line these cooked mushrooms on a baking tray and freeze the tray for three hours, at least. Then take clean airtight bags or containers and place all the frozen chunks in these bags. Add labels to them specifying the date of freezing for future reference.
Lastly, place these bags in the freezer. Remember to remove any excess traces of air from these bags before freezing. Also, do not stack or stuff other things over the bags, or else the mushrooms will break apart. Do not skip the flash freezing step unless you want to lose the original flavor of the mushrooms.
How to Use Frozen Mushroom?
The best way to incorporate frozen mushrooms into your recipe is to directly drop them in the pan. Do not think of thawing them and wasting their original texture. Almost recipes will need mushrooms in the cooking stage.
Therefore, be it any soup, stew, or another recipe, cook your mushrooms by directly adding them to the recipe. It is best to add them in boiling or hot broth to get the most out of their authentic flavors. Freezing mushrooms will save you a lot of time cooking them for every recipe.
Directly pop the required number of pieces into the recipe and you have ready-to-eat food in no time.
Do you need to defrost frozen mushrooms?
Well, this depends on your personal preference. Mushrooms will turn slightly mushy and soft when you freeze them. Therefore, when you are preparing recipes like soups and casseroles, you shouldn’t thaw frozen mushrooms.
Instead, directly drop them in the hot simmering recipe to get a fresh convincing taste. Similarly, if you are using them as a pizza topping, then add them to the uncooked pizza and bake as usual. Most often you will not face the need to thaw frozen mushrooms as they don’t turn rock solid like other food items.
However, if your recipe demands mushy mushrooms then go ahead and thaw the required amount in the fridge for three to four hours.
What happens when you Freeze Mushrooms?
Mushrooms are a fantastic delicacy relished by many people across the globe. They have a unique texture, making them the perfect candidate for topping in different recipes. But, what do you think happens to the mushrooms when you freeze them?
One of the main drawbacks that you may encounter while freezing mushrooms is a deterioration of texture and taste. You can indeed store your mushrooms for almost a year but, they will start losing their original flavor within three to four months.
Thus, it is essential to use frozen mushrooms within a three-month window. If you observe that your mushrooms are losing their original texture and are turning extra soft, it is a sign that they are close to expiring.
Mushroom is a rich source of some exquisite vitamins like riboflavin and folate. These vitamins are water-soluble and they get degraded on freezing. Therefore, freezing mushrooms for longer periods destroys the vitamin contents of the mushrooms.
Untouched mushrooms will indeed go bad in a few days and lose their nutritional value and texture. Freezing mushrooms can extend their original shelf life to three months, after which the mushrooms will start to expire.
Mushrooms are used as toppings or staple ingredients in recipes like pasta, pizza, meat, stew, etc. Therefore, it is evident that if you freeze your mushrooms, you can use them in many recipes across the year. Also, the process of thawing frozen mushrooms isn’t cumbersome as well. Next time you find yourself with extra bags of mushrooms, you know how to freeze them for later use.