Sometimes you spot mushrooms on sale and then later find that you bought too much of them. Well, they don't need to go into the garbage if you can't use them up before they rot; turn dark.
With today's economy, it is understandable why people want to stock up on vegetables while they are on sale. The downside is if one can't use them in time, the vegetables will rot... so are people really saving? No worries. Many vegetables can freeze for up to 1 to 2 years in the freezer, depending on the kind of vegetable.
Here are instructions for freezing fresh white button mushrooms after cooking. They can be stored up to one year, no matter which method you choose to prepare them.
If you bought yours pre-sliced, skip this Step. Slice or chop up whole mushrooms.
- The Stir Fry Method - -
(1)Use 1 tablespoon cooking oil per 8 ounces mushrooms.
(2) In a skillet over medium-heat with the proper amount of oil, saute mushrooms about 4 minutes or until light brown and tender.
(3) If you wish to flavor your mushrooms, add seasonings (i.e. salt, pepper), garlic, onions, shallots, or green onions to the pan.
(4) Allow white button mushrooms cool in the room to room temperature. Transfer to a freezer contain and place a piece of plastic wrap on top the mushrooms to help prevent freezer burn. Close with lid and be sure to label the with the date.
(5) When ready to use, just spoon or pop them out of the container. If you are using frozen mushrooms for soup, casserole, steaming, or baking, there is no need to thaw them. But thawing is needed if you are using oil to cook, like stir-fry. The reason is to prevent hot oil splashes cause by water.
- For Steaming - -
(1) For an 8-ounce batch. In a large stockpot, place a rack in the bottom. Put a vegetable steamer on top the rack, and fill the stockpot with water not higher than the bottom of the vegetable steamer.
(2) Bring water to a boil then turn down to "simmer". Put the mushrooms in the steamer. Cover and continue simmer for 1 to 2 minutes.
You may have to steam in batches if you are steaming more than 8 ounces a time.
(3) Remove from heat and allow mushrooms to cool. Store them in a freezer container, place with a plastic wrap on top to help prevent freezer burn. Close with lid, label date, and use when ready.
- For Blanching - -
(1) Prepare a container with ice and cold water. Set aside.
(2) Bring water to a boil in a pot, then plunge sliced white button mushrooms in the boiling water. Blanch 2 minutes or until mushrooms are heated through.
(3) Transfer mushrooms to the icy cold water to stop immediately the cooking process.
(4) Once mushrooms are cooled, place them in freezer container with a piece of plastic wrap placed on top, to help prevent frost damage. Close tight container with a lid and freeze. Use like regular mushrooms when needed.
Many people experience frozen white button mushrooms turn dark when thawing. Citric acid, orange/lime/lemon juice can be added during cooking to prevent darkening while you thaw them later for use. If using, add 1/4 teaspoon citric acid, or 1/2 citric juice per 8 ounce mushrooms.
You can freeze mushrooms, like those in frozen vegetables or frozen dinner you buy at the supermarket. But don't just throw uncooked mushrooms in your freezer, they will rot, making them mushy and inedible. Mushrooms must be cooked (e.g. blanched in steam or boiling water). The enzymes that cause color and texture changes will be deactivated during cooking.
Frozen mushrooms and other vegetables can be prepared and stored in large quantities. Many have start out their frozen vegetable business this way in their own kitchen. You can even sell frozen mushrooms (vegetables) to your neighbors.
It's fine to freeze mushrooms, just like those in frozen vegetables or frozen dinner you buy at the supermarket. But first they must be cooked to deactivate the enzymes that cause them to turn dark.