Mushrooms are an amazing source of nutrition. They are chock full of Vitamin D. They also serve as a great meat substitute in many recipes due to their meaty texture. Unfortunately, they can be a bit pricey and they definitely do not stay fresh for long.
Can You Freeze Mushrooms?
With a little effort you can successfully freeze mushrooms for year round enjoyment. If you freeze some mushrooms when they are in season and a better price, you can use them in recipes year round! I love mushrooms in my crock pot spaghetti sauce and chili which I portion out into the freezer for rushed meals during the hectic winter season.
How To Freeze Mushrooms
1. When buying your mushrooms, choose small, firm mushrooms with no dark spots.
2. Wash the mushrooms in cold water and cut off the end of the stem. If you have larger mushrooms you will want to slice them or quarter them.
3. You need to cook mushrooms before you freeze them. You can either sauté them or steam them. To sauté them, put them in a frying pan with a small amount of butter and cook until the mushrooms are fully cooked and most of the liquid is evaporated.
4. If you are going to steam them you should soak them for about 5 minutes in a mix of water and lemon juice first so that they do not turn brown. Use about 1 tsp. of lemon juice per pint of water.
5. Steam them for 3-5 minutes depending on the size of your pieces.
6. Allow the mushrooms to cool completely before you package them for freezing. Once they have cooled, spread them on a cookie sheet to flash freeze them. Once they are frozen remove them with a spatula and pack them into freezer safe containers or bags. When you pack them leave about ½ inch of room for them to expand.
7. If you have a food saver it is a good idea to vacuum seal your bags as mushrooms are more prone to freezer burn due to the high water content.
For optimum quality and freshness you should use up your frozen mushrooms within a year. Freezing mushrooms makes them darker and softer so they are best used in cooked dishes. They will also last longer in the freezer if you choose to steam them over sautéing them.