Wednesday, February 25, 2015

DEHYDRATING MUSHROOMS



Since it's cold and the added warmth in the house is OK, we broke out the dehydrator.  We decided to try mushrooms and bought two packages that were on sale.  They were white and baby bella varieties.



Buying them already sliced made it so much easier to start them.  We put them on two trays, one bag on each, and dried them at 125 degrees for about 12 hours.


Whoa, where did they go?  LOL!  They're all there, just much smaller than they were when they started.  Amazing how much moisture they hold.  Nevertheless, we bagged them, vacuum sealed them and stored them in the pantry, until the right recipe comes along!

29 comments:

  1. Do foods that you rehydrate and cook taste like fresh? I have been thinking about buying a dehydrator. I have little freezer space and I don't trust me to can anything!! I've never canned and with my mother gone, I have no one to give me guidance.

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    1. I think they are a bit different than fresh. We find the taste more vibrant, more concentrated in a way. As for cooking, the texture, even when dehydrated, is different. They are a bit chewier and denser, if that makes sense. We've really enjoyed it so far. We're still newbies though, ha. Sometimes I don't trust myself either, LOL!

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    2. Oh and the mushrooms are a first for us, so we'll see how well they rehydrate.

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  2. i love having these in my pantry. i use mine a lot. they rehydrate so well. they're like little sponges.

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    1. They do suck up the moisture don't they. :-)

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  3. Always handy to have on hand!

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    1. Definitely nice to have when you need them isn't it?

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  4. Great results! I recently bought a dehydrator, inspired by y'all.
    This reminds me that I need to dehydrate some of the last of my fall-winter garden.

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    1. Cool! We're still learning so I guess we'll all learn together, ha. Tomatoes are nice, and have a lovely concentrated flavor when dehydrated.

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  5. i don't do mushrooms, but i keep telling my sis to get a dehydrator. she loves mushrooms, zucchini, spinach, and on and on, and i think she'd get a lot of use from it.

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    1. Oooh, spinach is a good idea...I wonder how that would do? I'll need to try that sometime. Thanks for the info and yes, we're really enjoy learning about ours.

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  6. 1st Man - Can you please take a squizz and check out the power consumption on the dehydrator?

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    1. My Excalibur uses $0.06/hr in electricity. Our rate is $0.10 (per something) for electricity where I live. I called the utility board and they figured it up for me.

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    2. PP - Is there any marking of watts or amps on your Excalibur?

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    3. Thank you for that info Parsimony....Dani in answer to your question, I checked and it's 750 watts...is that helpful? They do say it only costs a few cents per hour but I know you need to know for solar purposes so I'm not sure if that equates. Let me know if there is something specific I can look up for you in the manual.

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    4. Thanks 1st Man. Wow!!! 750 watts = 18kWh / 24. Too much for our solar system... :( the max we've produced is 5.9kWh / 24 hours.

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    5. Dang!! See, I need to understand these things if we ever decide to go full solar at the farm. Thanks for the info too! You probably get some great dry heat there to do it outside in a solar type dehydrator huh? Our summer sun is just too humid.

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  7. If some of you are like me and don't have a dehydrator , it can be done in the oven.


    Most mushrooms dry beautifully, not only retaining but even gaining flavor in the process. When rehydrated in hot water, their texture is almost identical to fresh mushrooms. Dried mushrooms can be stored for at least a year.

    Preheat the oven to 150F/65C.

    First, clean the mushrooms. Contrary to culinary myth, fresh mushrooms do not actually soak up lots of water, and you don't have to skip washing them and get all of the dirt off with a brush.

    Go ahead and wash them in water, scrubbing gently with a vegetable or mushroom brush as necessary. This will make your prep much easier, especially with species that have lots of nooks and crannies, such as maitake.

    Depending on the shape of the mushroom species, it may be easiest to leave them whole when you clean them, or to slice first and then wash.

    Slice the mushrooms 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick. The thicker the slices, the longer they will take to dry.

    Spread the sliced mushrooms on a clean dishtowel. Loosely roll up the towel and squeeze gently to remove any surface moisture.

    Arrange the cleaned, sliced mushrooms on the baking sheet, making sure that none of the pieces touch or overlap.

    Place the baking sheet in the oven and leave for 1 hour.

    Turn the mushroom slices over and return to the oven for another hour. Take them out of the oven and let them cool before checking to see if they are crispy-dry. The cooling off period is essential because, like cookies coming out of the oven, they will crisp up considerably as they cool.

    If the mushrooms are not completely dry, turn them over again and return them to the oven for 30 more minutes. Keep turning them over and checking for dryness every 1/2 hour.

    Allow the dried mushrooms to cool completely before transferring them to glass jars. Cover tightly with lids and store away from direct light or heat.

    To use dehydrated mushrooms, pour boiling water over them in a heat-proof bowl. Let them soak for 20 to 30 minutes. Drain, reserving the richly flavored soaking liquid for soup stocks and sauces. Use the rehydrated mushrooms as you would fresh mushrooms.

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    1. I read these exact instructions on another site! My oven's lowest heat is 175 F.

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    2. Great instructions...thanks!!!

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  8. You've just put a dehydrator back on my "gotta get this....SOON!" list! :)

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    1. LOL! Glad to hear it. We're still learning too. Keep us posted!!

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  9. 1st Man,

    Dehydrated mushrooms!!!!! I love shrooms, and having them handy like this makes for a great item to have in the pantry.

    Where did you get your shrooms from? I've never seen them packed like this.

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    1. I got these at HEB grocery. And they were reasonably priced. I think maybe $3 for each bag. This is a first for us so we're looking forward to using them.

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  10. I love dehydrating mushrooms! They are so handy to throw into whatever you're cooking, and easily rehydrate. I also love dehydrating zucchini slices for chips, kale and other greens for tossing into soups and stews. I have an Excalibur and use it a lot!

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    1. I never thought about kale and greens (someone above mentioned spinach). I can imagine those almost 'disappear' too, ha. Oh, and if we fall in love with it and the whole dehydrating process, hoping an Excalibur will be in our future. :-)

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  11. Sometimes after dehydrating mushrooms I grind them in a coffee maker and use "mushroom" powder to flavor soups and gravies. Sprinkled on pasta works as good, maybe with some parsley and evoo.

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    1. Now THAT is an awesome suggestion too! I never ever thought about that and it sounds delicious!! Especially over pasta!!!

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  12. I, personally, am not big on mushrooms, more so due to texture than flavor. Couple of questions--What was the amount (cups or ounces) prior to and after dehydration? Did you package the dehydrated all in one package or separate? Could you do a mix of peppers, onions and mushrooms, dehydrate and package? I think the blend could be awesome for casseroles, philly cheese steak sammies or pizza recipes.

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