Mushrooms are neither a fruit nor a vegetable. They are edible fungi that belong to the kingdom fungus.
They are highly nutritious and have a nutty, earthy flavor that makes them a perfect ingredient for some yummy recipes. They possess a soft sponge-like texture.
Due to their water-absorbent nature, umami flavor, and soft texture, mushrooms are a great substitute for meat for vegans. (vegetarians)
Multiple types of mushrooms are available in the grocery market and local stores. All of them vary in their texture and taste. Therefore, you can choose the one that you like the most.
Mushrooms are available in cans, tins, and jars too. So, you can buy them as well if you want. Though, they are more likely to spoil than fresh ones.
To avoid the spoilage of canned mushrooms, you can keep them in the refrigerator. They will easily last for almost 3-4 days.
In the freezer, canned mushrooms will last for 2 months whereas, at room temperature, they will last for a few hours only.
Mushrooms contain essential vitamins, proteins, fibers, antioxidants, etc that are highly beneficial for health. Intake of mushrooms improves heart health, makes the bones stronger, and reduces stress, anxiety, and depression.
However, once the mushrooms get spoiled, they become dangerous and their intake can cause severe food poisoning that can lead to death.
What do mushrooms taste like?
Mushrooms are fungi that have an earthy flavor in common. Some mushrooms have an umami flavor that makes them a good alternative to meat.
Raw mushrooms have a lighter taste however when you cook them, the taste becomes dramatically strong.
A few varieties of mushrooms have a rich umami flavor when they are dry. So, if you want to enhance the taste of your food, sprinkle the dry mushroom powder on it.
What is the texture of mushrooms?
Mushrooms have high amounts of water, fibers, proteins, and fats that give them a soft sponge-like texture.
When you cook mushrooms, they easily release and absorb water. This makes them chewy and softer in texture.
Some people don’t like the softness of mushrooms. If you are one of them, you can buy other types that are tougher and stingier.
Apart from texture and taste, mushrooms are rich in essential vitamins, proteins, minerals and antioxidants, etc which the body requires for healthy growth.
Types of mushrooms
Different types of mushrooms that you can find in grocery markets or local stores near your house are as follows;
Button mushrooms are known as white mushrooms. They have a mildly sweet and umami flavor that makes them an excellent choice for vegan recipes.
The unique taste and soft sponge-like texture of these mushrooms bring freshness to your salad if you use it raw.
Cooked button mushrooms are even tastier however you need correct cooking methods and seasoning for it. You can use cooked mushrooms in pizzas, soups, stews, etc for enhancing their flavor and delicacy.
Due to their mild flavor and high nutritional value, button mushrooms are very good for children.
Portobello mushrooms belong to the Agaricus Bisporus family and are closely related to button mushrooms. This type of mushroom is commonly available in the market.
These mushrooms have a stronger umami flavor than button mushrooms. If your guests don’t eat meat, portobellos are a great serving due to their meaty taste.
Cremini mushrooms are another member of the Agaricus Bisporus family. They are considered the most flavorful mushrooms of all types.
These mushrooms normally have a strong umami flavor, sweet smell, mild bitterness, and soft texture.
You can use them in soups, stews, salads, pancakes, omelets, etc. Some bakers prefer to use cremini in their desserts because of their different tastes and texture.
Oyster mushrooms have a seashell-like shape and a unique taste. They are available in different colors with different flavors. For instance, yellow oysters have mild citrus and cinnamon taste.
Pink oysters resemble ham and bacon in flavor and color whereas the blue oyster that represents the ocean tastes like creamy seafood.
These mushrooms are perfect for Asian cuisines such as soups, stews, salads, etc. due to their texture and remarkable taste.
Candy cap mushrooms
Candy cap mushrooms are not a very common type because of their unique appearance. They have multiple strong and appealing colors like pink, yellow, orange, purple, etc.
These mushrooms have a caramel taste with hints of fruits. If you are fond of sweetness, you will love this type.
Unlike other types, truffle mushrooms grow underground on the roots of trees. They are not easy to find and because of their rareness, they are the most expensive mushrooms in the whole world.
These mushrooms look like lumpy potatoes and have a musky, pungent aroma. They possess a unique meaty, earthy, juicy, and nutty flavor. Once you eat them, you will crave more.
Chicken of wood mushrooms
These mushrooms are called chicken of wood because of their thick chicken-like comb. They possess orange and yellow colors which makes them unique and attractive.
This type of mushroom exactly tastes like chicken, that’s why they are called Vegan chicken. If your guests are vegan, you can serve them a quick meal by sauteing these mushrooms with herbs, spices, and wine.
You can also use these mushrooms in side dishes such as soups, omelets, rice dishes, salads, curry, etc because of their good texture and taste.
Besides that, make sure you try these mushrooms once before buying a bulk because they can cause allergic reactions that can be irritating.
How long do canned mushrooms last at room temperature?
Keeping the mushrooms at room temperature for hours is not a good idea because any food that you leave at room temperature encourages the bacteria to grow.
Like cooked mushrooms, canned mushrooms can stay in good condition for only 3-4 hours at room temperature. After this time, bacteria begin to grow and spoil the texture, smell, and taste of mushrooms.
The only way for canned mushrooms to last at room temperature is if they are dry. Store the dry mushrooms in airtight sealed containers as it will minimize the risks of spoilage.
How long do canned mushrooms last in the fridge?
Canned mushrooms have a good texture, smell, and taste. They have a longer shelf life than fresh mushrooms.
Though once the can is opened, the life of the mushrooms dramatically reduces and they can last only for 3-4 days in the fridge.
After this certain period, it is better to discard them as soon as possible otherwise you may have severe food poisoning and stomach cramps.
How long do canned mushrooms last in the freezer?
Freezing the food is the best way to increase its shelf life. Instead of refrigeration, freeze the mushrooms after slicing. They will last for approximately 10 months without going rancid.
If you have new canned mushrooms, they will last for 9-12 months and if the can is opened, the mushrooms will last for 2 months only. However, freezing will deteriorate the flavor, texture, and smell of mushrooms a bit.
The cooking experts recommend freezing mushrooms after slicing and cooking them lightly in butter. It will keep them in good texture and taste for longer.
How long do cooked mushrooms last?
Unlike raw and canned mushrooms, cooked mushrooms have different spices, sauces, and herbs in them. Therefore, they are more likely to spoil if you don’t store them properly.
Cooked mushrooms generally last for at least 3-4 days in the refrigerator and 5-6 months in the freezer without any change in their flavor, smell, and texture.
After this certain time, these mushrooms are not healthy to eat because bacteria grow in them and cause stomach problems, food poisoning, abdominal cramps, etc.
Besides that, after cooking do not leave the cooked mushrooms at room temperature. Bacteria will grow rapidly inside them and cause spoilage.
How to store mushrooms?
Proper storage of mushrooms is very essential because it affects their shelf life. Several methods such as paper bags and plastic bags are best for storing the mushrooms because they lower the risks of spoilage and allow the mushrooms to breathe.
- Take a paper bag and put the mushrooms in the bag.
- Roll the bag from the top to seal it.
- Put the paper bag in the airtight container.
The paper bag will soak the excess moisture inside the container and maintain the texture of the mushrooms.
These bags don’t allow the mushrooms to absorb the smell of different foods inside the refrigerator. Besides that, it prevents the mushrooms from drying out in a cold environment.
- Take a plastic bag and clean it to remove dust or dirt.
- Line it with a paper towel.
- Put the mushrooms in the bag and seal it.
Paper towels inside the bags absorb the moisture of mushrooms and become wet so make sure you change them frequently.
Moreover, when you buy the mushrooms, they come in perforated bags and containers that maintain their moisture level and preserve the quality. You can place those containers in the refrigerator without unpacking them.
For cooked mushrooms
- Take a plastic bag or container.
- Clean the bag to eliminate germs and dirt.
- Put the cooked mushrooms in the bag.
- Seal the bag and place it in the refrigerator.
Cooking professionals recommend cooking multiple dishes with small batches of mushrooms instead of using them all in one dish.
For raw mushrooms
- Cut the mushrooms into slices.
- Arrange the slices on a baking sheet.
- Place the mushrooms in the freezer for flash freezing.
- Remove the sheet after 2-3 hours.
- Put the frozen mushrooms in airtight bags.
- Squeeze the bag to eliminate excess air.
- Seal the bag and freeze.
Except for these storage methods, you can store the mushrooms by drying them or using them in pickles.
How to dry mushrooms?
Different varieties of dried mushrooms are available in the grocery markets. You can dry your favorite variety at home too if you buy them in bulk.
First of all, cut the mushroom in your desired shape. Arrange the slices on the oven tray and put the tray in the oven. Heat the slices at 150-180 Fahrenheit for 2 hours.
Flip the sides of mushrooms after an hour to heat the sides evenly. Once you are done, allow the mushrooms to cool down at room temperature. Lastly, put them in airtight containers.
Do not forget to leave the mushrooms for a while before putting them in the container otherwise the moisture will develop in the jar due to high heat and bacteria will grow inside.
If you don’t want to oven your mushrooms, you can dehydrate them in direct sunlight. Although it is a slow method and will take time to dry the mushrooms completely.
- Cut the mushrooms into slices.
- Arrange the slices in lines on a tray or drying rack.
- Place the rack on the balcony, window, or roof where it receives direct sunlight.
- Cover the mushrooms to keep the dust or insects away.
- Repeat this activity for at least 2 days to dehydrate the mushroom completely.
Make sure you dehydrate the mushrooms on sunny days because the moisture will encourage bacterial growth.
How do identify that mushrooms have gone bad?
If you keep the mushrooms in the refrigerator for so long, they get rotten and show some signs that are easy to detect.
Here are some signs that indicated the mushrooms have gone bad;
When the mushrooms get spoiled, their texture changes drastically and they become sticky and slimy, which indicates they are not suitable for eating anymore.
Wrinkles appearing on the skin of mushrooms are another sign of their spoilage. The mushrooms dehydrate and shrink which makes them bad for consumption.
When the mushrooms begin to rot, dark spots appear on their surface which is a clear indication that they are not fresh and good to eat.
Normally the rotten mushrooms do not emit any perceptible smell. Though, if you feel any unpleasant strong smell, discard them.
What happens if you eat spoiled mushrooms?
When you see any change in texture, smell, and taste of mushrooms, discard them as soon as possible because if you mistakenly eat the mushrooms, you can fall ill.
Spoiled mushrooms will upset the stomach quickly and cause severe food poisoning, abdominal cramps, and vomiting that can be fatal.
What are the health benefits of mushrooms?
Mushrooms are highly nutritious edible fungi that contain essential vitamins, fibers, proteins, antioxidants, etc.
Consumption of mushrooms every day or once a week can boost your immunity and improve your heart health. It can make your bones stronger and tougher.
Potassium present in mushrooms lowers blood pressure whereas the antioxidants like ergothioneine reduce depression, anxiety, and stress.
Moreover, mushrooms are a great way to cure Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s, cancer, and diabetes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do canned mushrooms make you sick?
Yes, sometimes the bacteria present in the cans make you sick. When you eat canned mushrooms, the bacteria cause severe food poisoning, vomiting, or nausea.
That’s why the experts recommend cooking mushrooms at high temperatures before eating because high temperatures kill bacteria and other microorganisms.
What dishes can you make with mushrooms?
Mushroom is a versatile ingredient with an umami flavor. It has a smooth soft texture that makes it a good substitute for meat for vegans.
This amazing ingredient is an excellent way to add nutrition to your diet. You can use it for making some delicious recipes to satiate your cravings or for serving at gatherings.
The recipes that you can make with canned mushrooms are as follows;
- Creamy Rigatoni with chicken and mushrooms
- Wild mushroom galette
- Lentil soup with mushrooms and quinoa
- Mushroom and chile tacos
- Sauteed mushrooms
- Creamy mushroom sauce
- Mushroom rolled lasagna
- Stuffed mushrooms
- Morel mushroom toasts
- Mushroom omelet
How to make a mushroom salad?
Mushroom salad is an easy and simple recipe that you can make with canned mushrooms to serve your guests at lunch or dinner.
The ingredients that you need to make salad are written below;
- Olive oil
- Fresh parsley
- Black pepper
- Dry white wine
- Garlic cloves
- Slice mushrooms
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet.
- Add sliced mushrooms and stir for 10 minutes.
- Add salt and pepper.
- Put garlic cloves in the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes.
- Add parsley and dry white wine.
- Take a bowl and mix all the ingredients very well.
- Serve the salad for lunch.
Can you eat mushrooms raw?
No, you cannot eat raw mushrooms. As you know mushrooms belong to the kingdom of fungi. They have chitin in their cell walls which makes them tough.
This tough cell wall is indigestible and can be broken down by high temperatures only. So, it is not a good idea to eat mushrooms without cooking.
What mushroom type should you add to your pizza?
Almost all types of mushrooms can be used in making delicious pizzas. Though, the most popular among all are the button, crimini, and portobello. You can use porcini and morels in the pizza too for a spectacular flavor.
Mushrooms are edible fungi that belong to the Agaricus Bisporus family. They have an earthy, nutty, and umami flavor. They are soft and spongy in texture.
Multiple varieties of mushrooms are available in the market that differs greatly in flavors, shapes, and colors.
Mushrooms are an incredible addition to your diet because they are packed with thousands of health benefits.
You can buy fresh or canned mushrooms from any local market or grocery store near your house.
Canned mushrooms usually last for 3-4 days in the refrigerator and 5-6 months in the freezer. They are versatile ingredients that will give a spectacular flavor to your favorite foods.
To enhance the life of mushrooms, you can dry or freeze them. However, it will alter their natural texture and taste a bit.