If you're like me you often discover a partial container of fresh mushrooms in the bottom of the vegetable drawer that are way past their prime--into the trash they go. Well, NO MORE, now that I've figured out how to prep and freeze them for future use.
Not only am I reducing waste and saving money, but I've also found it very handy to have frozen mushrooms on hand for use in a variety of recipes. In fact, part of my shopping plan now is to buy extra mushrooms when they are on sale or available in large containers from a big box store. I prep and freeze them all at once.
Some vegetables can be frozen in their raw state, but I haven't had any luck freezing raw mushrooms. Their texture and appearance become funky when frozen raw. However, I've found that if you saute' them first, they freeze well. Here's how I do it.
Step 1. Assemble the ingredients
Step 2. SAUTE' MUSHROOMS. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium-high heat. Add mushrooms. (Cook in batches if your skillet is smaller.) Saute', stirring frequently, until just cooked through and any released liquid cooks off. Season with salt and pepper, if desired.
Step 3. COOL. Spread them out on a plate or baking sheet to cool completely.
NOTE ABOUT VOLUME from raw to cooked:
Step 4. PORTION AND FREEZE. Use a measuring cup to mound 1/2-cup portions of sauteed, cooled mushrooms in the center of a piece of plastic wrap. Flatten the mushrooms into an even layer and wrap tightly. (A thin, even layer will facilitate thawing later.) Repeat with remaining mushrooms. Insert wrapped mushrooms inside a Ziploc-type freezer bag. (4 portions will fit in a quart-size bag.) Press out as much air as possible as you seal the bag. Or, insert the wrapped mushroom portions into plastic or glass freezer container. Label and date the bag or container with portion amounts. Freeze for up to 6 months.
TO THAW: Place frozen packet(s) of mushrooms in the refrigerator overnight or thaw on counter at room temperature for 1-2 hours. It is normal for frozen mushrooms to release liquid as they thaw.
TO USE: Thawed mushrooms may be added to any recipe that calls for cooked mushrooms, for example:
It is so convenient to have these pre-measured, pre-cooked packets of mushrooms on hand in my freezer. And, NO MORE WASTED MUSHROOMS!
Here's are more ways to reduce waste and save money:
Make it a Yummy day!