Fresh mushrooms are delicious but because they’re full of moisture, they can go off quickly.
If you find it hard to keep up with mushrooms and use them in good time, you may want to choose dried mushrooms.
Dried mushrooms can be stored for a much longer time than fresh mushrooms.
Fresh mushrooms can be stored in the fridge for 7-10 days, whole.
When cut, they can be stored for 5-7 days.
Dried mushrooms can be stored for over a year, and during this time their flavor is enhanced.
Some mushroom varieties are not easy to harvest and can spoil easily, so drying them means that they are much readily available.
You can dry mushrooms at home, one of the easiest ways is to use a dehydrator. If you don’t have one on hand, you can use an oven.
Clean and slice the mushrooms to your preferred thickness and arrange them in one layer on a baking sheet.
Cook for an hour, then turn them over and pop them back in the oven for another hour.
If the mushrooms are still flexible after the two hours are up, place them back in until they have a stiff texture.
You want to store the dried mushrooms in an air-tight container.
You should keep them in a dry and dark place to maximize their shelf life.
When you want to use dried mushrooms again, you’ll need to rehydrate them.
Watch this video on how to rehydrate dried mushrooms
You can do this by soaking mushrooms in water overnight.
Once soaked, rinse the mushrooms well to get rid of any dirt.
Are dried mushrooms healthy?
Mushrooms are the only vegetable to naturally contain vitamin D.
Mushrooms contain ergosterol in their cell walls, when exposed to sunlight, this compound becomes vitamin D.
When consuming dried mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight, you’ll be getting tons of vitamin D. Vitamin D is vital for your overall health and wellbeing, boosting your immune and bone health.
If you buy dried mushrooms, you can place them in the sunlight for several hours before eating, so you can ensure the mushrooms are full of vitamin D.
Different mushroom varieties have different tastes, textures, and health benefits.
Shiitakes are sometimes known as “the medicine mushroom”, dried shiitakes are usually half the price of fresh shiitake mushrooms.
Mushrooms all have important nutrients including B vitamins, protein, and potassium. Potassium is important for heart, muscle, and nerve function.
Mushrooms are also good sources of antioxidants, which are important for fighting free radicals.
Free radicals can cause health problems such as heart disease.
Mushrooms are rich in an antioxidant called selenium.
Dried mushrooms have a much longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms.
Dried mushrooms need to be rehydrated before use to bring the moisture back into them.
This can be done by soaking them overnight.
Once soaked, the mushrooms should be washed to get rid of any dirt.
Is it bad to eat dried mushrooms?
Mushrooms contain chitin, which makes up tough cell walls.
The chitin is what gives mushrooms the strength to push through rocks and plants and gives it that meaty texture.
The body struggles to digest chitin however which means that if you have digestive issues you could experience some issues.
Even if you don’t have any digestive problems, the chitin will still be difficult to digest in many cases.
Cooking helps break down the chitin to make it easier for your body to digest.
Whilst you can eat dried mushrooms once rehydrated, cooking helps the digestive process.
Another way to prevent any issues is by ensuring that you chew well.
Chewing the mushrooms properly helps to break down the chitin.
If you don’t chew enough times or eat quickly, you might find that the mushrooms don’t digest well.
It’s best to cook reconstituted dried mushrooms and chew them well instead of eating them dried.
Many people warn against eating raw or uncooked mushrooms, due to a naturally-occurring toxin called agaritine.
In mice studies, it was shown that agaritine was carcinogenic but later studies appeared to debunk this.
Cooking destroys the agaritine as does storing the mushrooms.
By the time you’ve bought the mushrooms, the agaritine levels will have decreased.
What are the healthiest dried mushrooms?
Shiitake mushrooms are one of the healthiest mushrooms, often known as “the medicine mushrooms”.
Shiitakes are a great meat alternative due to their taste and texture.
Shiitakes also have many of the same amino acids as meat, making them one of the best alternatives for this reason.
Shiitakes contain beta-glucans, sterols, and Erika feline that can help reduce blood sugar levels and fight high cholesterol levels.
Button mushrooms are one of the most popular mushrooms and are usually the first mushrooms you come across in the store.
Button mushrooms that have been exposed to sunlight contain vitamin D, making them one of the only vegetables that have natural vitamin D.
Button mushrooms contain beta-glucan and ergothioneine which can help decrease factors linked to heart disease.
The polysaccharides contain prebiotics which is great for promoting good gut health.
They can also help decrease blood sugar levels.
The antioxidant levels contained in button mushrooms help fight the harmful effects of oxidative stress, which can cause cellular damage.
This cellular damage can increase the risk of developing diseases.
Portobello mushrooms are the mature version of button mushrooms.
These mushrooms have antioxidants and are a great source of B vitamins.
B vitamins aid with emergency, stress, metabolism, and heart health.
They also contain copper, which supports healthy metabolism, and selenium, which is important for reproductive health.
Oyster mushrooms have tons of fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
Oyster mushrooms may be able to improve heart health by decreasing factors such as high blood pressure and high cholesterol.
They may also be able to help improve blood sugar levels.
Studies carried out in people with and without diabetes have shown that oyster mushrooms can improve blood sugar levels and provide other health benefits when oyster mushrooms are taken in supplement form or eaten regularly.