7 Ways to Store Mushrooms So They Stay Fresh for Longer
Sick of slimy, discolored mushrooms? Here's exactly how to store mushrooms so they'll stay fresh for longer.
Supposedly mushrooms can last for up to two weeks in the fridge with proper storage. Well, I'm definitely not doing things right, because it seems like mine go from delicious-looking to inedible in just a few days. So what's the secret to keeping 'shrooms fresh for longer?
If you're like me and are looking to minimize food waste in your home, taking steps to extend the life of your produce is a great place to start.
Why Do Mushrooms Go Bad So Quickly?
There tend to be two prime factors that contribute to mushrooms becoming discolored or slimy in record time.
First, mushrooms have a high water content, ranging from 80 to 90%, which makes them more prone to microbial growth. With improper storage, even just a few days in the fridge can cause them to spoil. Mushrooms are also highly sensitive to ethylene gas, which is produced by some fruits and veggies. If your mushrooms are sitting next to ethylene-producing produce (like apples, avocados, peppers, and tomatoes), they'll go bad more quickly.
Luckily, with some easy tricks up your sleeve, you can keep your mushrooms fresher for longer (and keep more food out of landfills). Here's how to store mushrooms like a pro.
How to Store Mushrooms: 7 Tricks That Work
1. Avoid Washing Them
Don't wash your mushrooms before storing them. Mushrooms act like sponges, absorbing any water they come into contact with. The more moisture there is, the quicker your mushrooms will spoil. Keep mushrooms unwashed and dry until you're ready to cook with them.
2. Use a Paper Bag or Cloth Bag
Have a small paper bag or cloth bag on hand? It can be a useful tool for keeping mushrooms fresh. Placing dry, unwashed mushrooms inside the bag helps absorb excess moisture, which can otherwise accelerate spoilage.
3. Avoid the Crisper Drawer
The crisper drawer in your fridge isn't going to keep your mushrooms crisp. Because it's a moist environment, it will only cause them to spoil more quickly.
4. Wrap Them in a Towel
One of the best ways to store mushrooms in the fridge is by wrapping them (dry and unwashed) in a kitchen towel or paper towel and setting them in an open container. The towel effectively absorbs excess moisture, keeping the mushrooms dry. This, in turn, helps maintain their freshness and extend their shelf life.
5. Avoid Plastic Bags
Plastic produce bags or Ziplocs are a no-go for storing mushrooms in the fridge. The plastic traps moisture, leaving your mushrooms damp and more likely to become moldy, slimy, or discolored.
6. Store Away From Ethylene Producers
As previously mentioned, some fruits and vegetables produce ethylene gas. Storing your mushrooms in close proximity to these items in the fridge can speed up their spoilage.
Prime ethylene producers include apples, avocados, bananas, cantaloupe, kiwi, peaches, pears, peppers, and tomatoes. If you avoid storing mushrooms near these items in the fridge, they'll stay fresh for longer.
7. Freeze Them
Not convinced you'll finish your mushrooms before they go bad? Freeze them to ensure they don't wind up in the trash.
Prior to freezing, clean the mushrooms to eliminate any dirt. Then choose to either slice them or keep them whole. Next, spread the mushrooms out on a cookie sheet and allow them to freeze completely—typically 1-2 hours. Once frozen, transfer them to a reusable silicone bag, where they can be stored until you're ready to use them.
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