Cooking with our dried and powdered mushrooms.

Cooking with our dried and powdered mushrooms.
I get a lot of questions at our market stands about how customers should prepare dried mushrooms and just to be clear upfront: they are not meant to be eaten straight out of the bag. I suppose it’s possible, but not recommended. The most common way to use dried mushrooms is to rehydrate them while cooking; meaning you cook them into a dish that has a lot of hot liquid and they become tender and add flavor as they swell back up with moisture.

One of my favorite uses is to add dried mushrooms when making bone broth. If you have a leftover chicken carcass after eating a roast chicken, throw it in a big pot with some veggies, dried mushrooms, salt, pepper, and a splash of apple cider vinegar, then fill it with water and let it simmer for 6-8 hours until it’s reduced by about two thirds. Strain it through a fine mesh and what you’re left with is a fragrant, nutritionally dense broth that’ll warm your soul.

Our dried mushroom powders are a great way to add umami flavor to a tomato sauce, risotto, soup, or curry without adding actual chunks of mushrooms. And we carry a Lion’s Mane powder for those specifically looking for brain-boosting effects. Our Lion’s Mane powder is just dehydrated mushrooms, ground up. It’s different from an extract powder that comes in capsule form: an extract powder has been pre-boiled and then dried back out in order to break down the fibrous bonds in the cell walls of the fungi and make the medicinal compounds bio-available. Just like our other dried mushroom products, our Lion’s Mane powder should be cooked in a hot dish (or prepared with coffee or tea) before consumption.

Another way to prepare dried mushrooms is to rehydrate them with hot water and then drain the water, leaving you with the next best thing to fresh mushrooms: reconstituted mushrooms. In order to reconstitute mushrooms, place them in a heat-proof container, boil water, then pour the boiling water over the mushrooms. Allow them to soak for 15 minutes, then remove the mushrooms from the water and you can sauté them or otherwise cook them as you would fresh mushrooms. My favorite mushrooms to do this with are Oysters and Shiitakes. The Chestnuts and Black Poplar stems come back a little chewy when rehydrated in this manor and Lion's Mane come back a bit mushy. All three are better suited for cooking directly into soups and sauces, in my humble opinion. Make sure to save the broth you created by soaking the mushrooms and use it to add flavor to another dish.

Till next time.

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