Things happen, plans change and suddenly you’ve forgotten about those fancy mushrooms you’d bought three days ago.
When you finally find your mushrooms squished to the back of the fridge and peer inside the bag . . .
Some mushrooms are droopy,
some are shrivelled,
and some are looking just fine.
Except, now there’s not enough mushrooms for the recipe and you don’t want to waste the rest.
Who knew you could dehydrate mushrooms!?
This is a fantastic kitchen tip! Don’t toss out your mushrooms – dehydrate them! And it’s easy and fun.
Then, when you’ve got a casserole on the menu or a slow-cooked vegetable dish, simply toss in some dehydrated mushrooms.
Here’s what you do!
- Check the mushrooms for slime, mould, or rot and discard and compost those.
If some mushrooms look only a little shrivelled, KEEP THEM!
They’re already on their way to being dehydrated.
- Slice each mushroom (except Enoki) as thin as possible without the slices falling apart.
- Arrange mushroom slices on dehydrator shelves so they don’t overlap.
Now, depending on 3 things:
~ your dehydrator’s age and brand,
~ how thick your mushroom slices are, and
~ how much moisture the mushrooms already have
this could take between 4-8 hours.
- Check mushrooms every hour or so and rotate the shelves by moving the bottom shelves to the top, for even dehydrating.
When every mushroom looks super-shrivelled and feels fairy-light and brittle, remove them for the test.
What if you don't own a dehydrator?
In your oven:
Lay mushroom slices on a rack, over a tray, in your oven at the lowest possible temperature. 120 – 140 degrees F (50-60 degrees C) is ideal.
Make sure to give each slice a little space for airflow.
Check often as the only downside to this is, moisture can’t escape so dehydrating this way might cook them as well.
At least when you open the door, the moisture escapes.
And, if your temperature is too high, they may burn.
An easier way is with a MycoDRYER.
If you tend to use a lot of mushrooms then this idea is worth considering.
Forget it and leave it, the MycoDRYER container is designed just for mushrooms.
With a re-usable liner that changes from blue to bright pink colour, you’ll know when all moisture is absorbed
When are your mushrooms dehydrated enough to store?
You should do this test to know 100% that your mushrooms are ready.
- Place mushrooms in a ziplock bag or sealed container for 24 hours.
- If mushrooms are still brittle, they are ready to vacuum pack.
- If mushrooms soften, they are NOT ready.
- Dehydrate them again before repeating the overnight seal test.
How to store your dehydrated mushrooms
There are several ways to store your dehydrated mushrooms, depending on when you’d like to use them and how.
If you are using your mushrooms sooner
Store your mushrooms in a re-sealable container or bag and keep in a cool place.
If you are using your mushrooms later
When you know each mushroom is dehydrated, divide mushrooms into meal portions and vacuum seal them.
Label and date the bag, and again, store in a cool, dry place.
How to use your dehydrated mushrooms
There are 2 ways to use them: whole and rehydrated, or ground as a powder.
Whole and rehydrated
Soak for 30-45 minutes in warm water, or even better, vegetable stock!
Strain mushrooms and when dry, use according to your recipe.
If you’d like to try making a spicy vegetarian antipasto for 2 using dehydrated mushrooms, this recipe walks you through the steps.
Don’t forget to keep the mushroom-water for a stock!
If you’re not using it immediately, boil the water down to a concentrate, cool, then freeze in a labelled bag or container.
You can also grind your mushrooms into a fine powder (seen below with dehydrated and ground garlic powder).
Add mushroom powder to your cooking, or mix it with a little salt for sprinkling over omelettes and other dishes.
Label a jar and store powder in a cool, dry cupboard.
Looking for a dehydrator or spice grinder?
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I love my NESCO dehydrator for 2 BIG reasons!
- The thermostat has a wide range of temperatures. This means I can lower the temperature for overnight dehydrating and not worry.
- I’ve never had to replace the trays like my other brand.
I own two grinders, one for coffee and the other for spices and this is recommended. I’d also suggest you have them in different colours.