Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Dehydrating Mushrooms by the Case

I received a call on Thursday from our local food bank. When they get an overage of food, they call me as I will take it to friends, neighbors and local agencies to donate it.

They got an entire pallet of mushrooms that were beautiful, not brown or slimy at all. But, what does one do with a pallet of mushrooms especially when there are lots of people who don't enjoy them.

I take them and distribute them if they have overages and try to help by not letting the food go to waste. If they go bad, they used to have a pig or goat guy that would come but they don't have anyone anymore so it really would go to waste.

Since they aren't open on Friday and the holiday is on Monday, they wouldn't be giving out any food for four days. Thy knew that they wouldn't last so that is when they call me. 

With most foods, I will just take down the town car as it has a huge trunk and will fill up the seats and trunk and just drive around giving them out. 

But, because I know mushrooms are not everyone's favorite and I am super busy right now, I just started making calls. In the end, I did fill up my trunk and back seat with them and drove around giving them out. 

Rinse the mushrooms, I used the sink sprayer and did it in a colander / strainer. I would then dump them into another strainer to dry some while I washed the next batch. 

I then put them into a food processor and used the plunger to push them through to make the slices you see in the drying tray on the dehydrator. There are many little pieces due to using the processor as it minces them some. Since I crush them into omelets and rice anyway, I don't care that they are perfect slices. 

You can hand slice them and they dry in nice little slices if you like. That is what you see on the tray that is on the counter and not stacked. I did some that way and like to use those in stir-fry. 

Dry them at 130 - 140 degrees for about 24 hours. Flip or move them around about half way to keep them from sticking. I like them dried to snack on as I like the meaty taste of them. You could try putting some garlic salt or try soy or teriyaki sauce on some before drying them but don't soak them or they will get salty when they dry. I like them with nothing on them but you may want to try different varieties. 

We sauteed some mushrooms up with onions in butter and it was SO good.

I am SO grateful for the food bank and their willingness to allow me to help them save food and at the same time bring attention to the food bank so that others will want to donate.  

Feel free to ask questions if you have them but watch the video first as it may have your answer.

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