Mushrooms are a great healthy food to eat, but they don’t last long when you buy them fresh. They only stay fresh for about three days after purchase before they start to rot. If you want your mushrooms to be edible for longer than that, these tips will help extend the shelf life of mushrooms and keep them looking good!
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How to Determine if the Mushrooms Have Gone Bad
Mushrooms are very difficult to determine when they have gone bad. They can look fine on the outside but be already rotting in places that you cannot see, which is why it’s important to check them regularly rather than just looking at expiration dates. If your mushrooms start smelling like anything other than fresh air or dirt, do not eat them! Determine if they’ve gone bad by checking for the following signs:
- Slimy exterior
- Mushrooms with black spots
- A white fungus growing anywhere on the mushroom
If any of these things happen while using your mushrooms, toss them out immediately and make sure nobody eats them! Even if there are only a few small problems somewhere on one of the mushrooms, don’t take.
Properly Clean Mushrooms
It is important to use a soft cloth or scrub brush and soapy water for cleaning white button mushrooms. Mushrooms should not be rinsed, as this will cause them to absorb water which can result in a mushy texture when cooked. When it comes to brown-button mushrooms, the main thing you need to focus on is removing all dirt before cooking. For cremini or baby portabella, they are excellent used raw because of their meatiness but if you want them grilled then consider soaking the cap in lemon juice first.
How to Store Mushrooms Properly
Be sure not to place them near any moisture, as this will only cause the mushrooms to rot faster. If you are planning on using your mushrooms in recipes that require cooking or frying, they should be cooked before being stored so they don’t go bad by the time you get around to actually eating them!
If it is possible for your kitchen to have multiple levels of humidity, keep your fresh mushrooms away from vegetables like carrots and potatoes because these foods give off humidity which can affect how long mushrooms last. Properly storing ingredients together matters when trying to determine if food has gone bad or not. It’s also a good idea to use air-tight containers whenever possible because then nothing else but clean, fresh air will come into contact with your food.
Preserving Mushrooms for a Long Time
Mushrooms are easy to freeze at home. When you thaw them for later use, they will have the same great taste like fresh mushrooms. You can also chop or slice your mushrooms before freezing so that you don’t need to do it when preparing recipes in the future.
The best way to freeze your fungi is by placing it on a tray first and then transferring it into freezer bags once solid. This will prevent the clumping of frozen food together which makes wrapping difficult after defrosting process.
*Do not wash mushrooms before freezing because water could cause them to decay faster if left too long without refrigeration.*
Dry Bulk Mushrooms
Tubular mushrooms are especially suitable for drying. They are dried at about 104°F in the oven. Because of the high humidity, the oven door should remain slightly open. Dried mushrooms taste very intense.
Before using mushrooms for cooking, it is recommended to soak the dried mushrooms in water for about twelve hours first.
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The Risk Of Consuming Expired Mushrooms
When it comes to mushrooms, the older they are, the higher their water content is. This also means that there is more risk of mushroom poisoning if you consume them after a long time. If you eat expired mushrooms with high water content and spoiled by fungi or bacteria, then this can lead to vomiting and diarrhea for example.
Even though some people may not experience any symptoms at all even when consuming spoiled food items such as mushrooms – just like in case of eating meat past its expiration date – it cannot be said with certainty whether or not experiencing negative health effects due to possible presence of harmful microorganisms such as salmonella, listeria monocytogenes, clostridium perfringens, etc., which cause diseases such as diarrhea, vomiting, stomach cramps, and fever. For that reason, it is highly advisable not to eat mushrooms beyond their shelf life as a preventive measure.