Today I want to talk about one of my all-time favorite things to dehydrate – MUSHROOMS! They’re SO easy to do, easy to cook with, store wonderfully, re-hydrate very well and they’re super yum. No big prep, no peeling, no blanching – just wash them, slice them up and pop them in your dehydrator. Plus they already have a low water content so they don’t take long to dry.
– Fill up the sink with water, add some cider vinegar. Soak the mushrooms for a few minutes, give them a good wash, then let them air dry on a clean towel. One good tip I learned early on and now always want to stress to people when they ask about food preservation – ALWAYS wash your produce well. Whatever is on it, will be stored along with it. Best to keep it as clean as possible.
– Once they’re dry, slice them up however you like. The thicker you slice them they longer they’ll take to dry – about 1/4 inch thick usually works well. I usually use Cremini mushrooms and I like to leave the stems on. They’re a perfectly good and very edible part of the mushroom that you pay money for so you might as well eat them.
– Once you’ve sliced them, place them on your dehydrator trays. Make sure you don’t over crowd them or else they’ll take much longer to dry. Set your dehydrator to 130F for 4 hours. At that point I’ll check them, rotate the trays if needed and restart the timer for another 2 – 6 hours. This is a bit of a guessing game at first but after you use your dehydrator a few times, you’ll have a better idea of any adjustments you need to make. I’ve been using this dehydrator for almost 4 years and I’ve been very happy with it. I really love how the trays are rectangular and unless I overfill it, everything always dries evenly. These mushrooms were sliced closer to a 1/2″ thick and they took about 9 hours to dry.
– Once they’re fully dry and have cooled, store them in an airtight container (preferably glass). I like to use quart sized mason jars to store most of my dehydrated foods. An extra thing I do is pop a couple moisture absorbing silica packs in the bottom of the jars before I fill them.
– To maximize their shelf life, store your containers in a dry, dark place away from heat. Add them directly to soups and sauces or re-hydrate them and use as you would fresh mushrooms. To re-hydrate them just pour boiling water over them in a heat-safe container and soak them for 20 mins (you can keep the liquid for cooking. Its full of great flavour!)
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