Feature Friday: Freezing Fresh Mushrooms

One of the most common questions I receive on a daily basis here at Mushrooms Canada is “how do I freeze fresh mushrooms?”

I say, great question! People who prefer to buy fresh mushrooms in bulk, or when they are on sale, often need a way to preserve the mushrooms, as their self life in the refrigerator is only about 5-6 days (if kept in a brown paper bag).

Freezing fresh mushrooms is a great way to keep large quantities and a way to have Canadian mushrooms readily available in your home.

Fresh mushrooms cannot be frozen without being cooked first as they are made up of over 90% water. Here are some tips, pros and cons to freezing fresh mushrooms.

Sautéing and Freezing Fresh Mushrooms
This is one of the quickest and easiest ways to freeze fresh mushrooms. To start, simply rinse the mushrooms in a colander under cool running water to remove any particles of peat moss. Do not soak the mushrooms as they will absorb water and increase the risk of getting freezer burnt. Pat them dry immediately with paper towels.
Slice or chop the fresh mushrooms, or if using pre-sliced mushrooms – you are one step ahead. Heat 1 tbsp olive oil (per 8oz of mushrooms) in a fry pan over medium high heat. Add mushroom to hot pan and sauté for 3-4 minutes, until mushrooms are brown and tender. If you wish to have flavoured mushrooms you may also sauté with garlic, onions, and/or spices.
Allow mushrooms to cool, then transfer to a small freezer container. Pushing the mushrooms to the bottom of the container and sticking a small piece of plastic wrap directly on top of the mushrooms will help prevent freezer burn, making sure the lid is on tight will also help to prevent freezer burn. Be sure to label the containers with the date. They can be kept for approximately 2-3 months.

Uses
When ready to use your frozen mushrooms simply pop them out of the container and drop the frozen block into the frying pan. Add ½ tbsp of oil and sauté until mushrooms are warm. There is no need to pre-thaw the mushrooms. If using in a recipe, sauté mushrooms until warm, then add other ingredients.

Pros
– The is the best method to use when you want to maintain the taste and texture of a fresh sauté.

Cons
– If the mushrooms are not packed tight into the container, air will start to cause freezer burn.
– Freezer burn can slightly alter the taste and texture of the mushrooms.

Recipes you could use frozen fresh mushrooms in:
Creamy Mushroom Lasagna with Three Cheeses
Provencal Poached Salmon Dinner
Rustic Salmon Quiche

For more information on the many ways to prepare fresh mushrooms visit the Serve & Enjoy page on the Mushrooms Canada website.

– Brittany

Celebrate Earth Day by eating Environmentally Friendly

What better way to honour our Earth than to serve a meal that is environmentally friendly!

Celebrate this Earth Day with recipes that include seasonal fruits and vegetables from your local farmer’s markets. They are less likely to contain harmful pesticides and preservatives, and have not travelled thousands of miles to reach your local grocery store.

Mushrooms are grown locally year-round without the use of harsh pesticides, and are delivered fresh to your local grocery store and farmer’s markets daily. They make the perfect ingredient in any Earth Day recipe. So why not try one of these environmentally friendly (and delicious) recipes, hand picked from the Mushrooms Canada Recipe Library. Enjoy!

Marinated Mushroom, Tomato and Basil Salad
Uses fresh mushrooms, greenhouse tomatoes, and greenhouse peppers.

Asian Mushroom Lettuce Wraps
Uses fresh mushrooms, greenhouse cucumber, greenhouse lettuce, and carrots.

Grilled Mushrooms with Tomato, Avocado, and Feta Salad
Uses fresh mushrooms, and greenhouse tomatoes.

– Brittany

Check Us Out: Mushroom News Online

Check Us Out: Mushroom News Online brings together all the interesting and delicious mushrooms stories from the web to one place.

News Finds:

8 Mushrooms to get to know better
Homemaker’s magazine showcases 8 varieties of fresh mushrooms. Includes great tips on flavour, and serving suggestions.

Mushroom Helps Combat Prostate Cancer Cells
A new study in the journal Nutrition and Cancer finds that the white button mushroom is particularly effective against prostate cancer.

Laura Calder’s Mushroom Ravioli
Laura Calder cooks up a delicious Mushroom Ravoili for the April Cooking Club Challenge over on Food TV.

Quick Fiesta Pork and Vegetables
Foodland Ontario offers up a stew that can be enjoyed by kids of all ages after an afternoon of outdoor fun. Try with a variety of fresh mushrooms, including crimini, portabella and shiitake.

Blog Finds:

A simple supper salad made with fridge finds
Wendi Hiebert cooks up a fabulous mushroom and egg meal with items she had on hand in her fridge. It looks delicious Wendi!

– Brittany

Please note that links provided will redirect to another website. Mushrooms Canada takes no responsibility for content provided on such websites.

Canned vs. Fresh Mushrooms

Welcome to the 2009 Mushroom Showdown! In the left corner we have “Canned Mushrooms” weighing in at 132 grams, and in the right we have “Fresh Mushrooms” also weighing in at 132 grams. Today’s battle will determine which mushroom will win over the taste buds of Canadians.

This is “Canned vs. Fresh!”

A little dramatic, I know, but this just happens to be one of the most common questions I receive on a daily basis: which is better, canned or fresh?

Nutrition
Let’s compare one can (132g) of white mushrooms to 132g of fresh white mushrooms:

Canned mushrooms have 33 calories, 0g of Fat, 561mg of Sodium, 7g of carbohydrates, 3g of dietary fiber, 3g of sugar, and 2g of protein.

Fresh white Canadian mushrooms have 29 calories, 0g of Fat, 7mg of Sodium, 4g of carbohydrates, 1g of Dietary Fiber, 2g of sugar and 4g of protein.

When compared, fresh mushrooms come out as the obvious winner. The fresh mushrooms contain less calories, sodium, carbohydrates and sugar, and are higher in protein.

100g of fresh white mushrooms are also a good source of riboflavin, niacin, copper, pantothenic acid and selenium. They are also the only vegetable that has Vitamin D.

Location
Next time you are out buying canned mushrooms, take a glance at the label. Where does it say they are from? Most often canned mushrooms are from China.

Fresh mushrooms that are sold here in Canada, are grown here in Canada. So you are buying a locally grown product and supporting your local farming communities. Just check the package for the “Product of Canada” sticker.

Once again, the obvious winner is Fresh!

Taste
For the taste test portion of the competition, we are going to let you Canadians decide. Do you prefer the taste of canned mushrooms or fresh? Feel free to leave your comments below.

– Brittany

Harvey’s Angus Mushroom Melt

mailer_mushroom_melt_apr_2_09Better grab ahold of this one with two hands!

Have you tried the New Harvey’s Angus Mushroom Melt?

With melty swiss cheese, a freshly grilled angus beef patty, and fresh sautéed Canadian Mushrooms, you’re going to need two hands to eat this burger, and we want to see it!

Send Mushrooms Canada pictures of you enjoying the new Angus Mushrooms Melt, and your photo could be featured on the Mushrooms Canada Blog on May 1st, 2009! You’ll be an instant Mushroom Celebrity!

Simply snap your photos and post a link to them in the comments section, it’s that easy! We’ll pick the best ones, and showcase them on May 1st.

What are you waiting for? Grab a camera and a burger today!

And don’t forget to grab your Buy One, Get One Free Coupon Here!

DSC00570– Brittany

Feature Friday: Creamy French Mushroom Soup Video

Mushrooms Canada has another delicious new cooking video up on our YouTube Channel called French Mushroom Soup. This easy to make, creamy soup is rich in mushroom flavour, and makes the perfect starter for a dinner party. A splash of white wine adds a nice contrast that will leave your guests wondering how long you slaved away in the kitchen on this one.

French Mushroom Soup
Preparation Time: 10 mins. Cooking Time: 30 mins.

Subtle herbs compliment the rich mushroom flavour in this decadent soup. It makes a perfect starter to a luncheon or dinner party.

Ingredients
1/4 cup butter 50 mL
1 lb. fresh Mushrooms, thinly sliced 500 g
1/3 cup flour 75 mL
6 cups chicken broth 1.5 L
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves 2 mL
1 bay leaf 1
1/4 cup chopped green onions 50 mL
2 large egg yolks 2
1/2 cup whipping cream 125 mL
White pepper to taste
2 tbsp minced parsley 25 mL

Method
In large heavy soup pot, melt butter over medium heat; sauté mushrooms for 5-6 minutes or until mixture from mushrooms has evaporated; sprinkle flour over mushrooms and cook 1 minute. Gradually stir in broth; bring to boil, stirring constantly. Add thyme, bay leaf and green onions; reduce heat and cover. Simmer 15- 20 minutes. Remove bay leaf. In small bowl whisk egg yolks with cream; stir 1cup (250 mL) hot broth into cream mixture and then return all to saucepan. Heat over low heat until hot about 5 minutes; add pepper to taste. Serve sprinkled with parsley.

Makes 8 servings

NOTE: If table cream is substituted and allowed to boil it will curdle.

Variation: Add ¼ cup(50 mL) medium sherry.

Nutritional Information (Per Serving) Calories: 162, Sodium: 739 mg, Protein: 3.8 g, Fat: 12.6 g, Carbohydrates: 7.4 g, Dietary Fibre: 1.1 g

If this sounds right, you might also like:
Fresh Mushroom and Squash Bisque
Mushroom Soup Au Gratin
Cream of Mushroom Soup

– Brittany