So yes, you can freeze lion’s mane mushrooms but there are caveats you need to know first.
What you can’t do is freeze them raw. The mushrooms are too delicate and are likely to end up a mushy mess. You don’t need to worry, there is a way around this issue. You can blanch the mushrooms before freezing and this gives them a much greater chance of surviving the freezing process.
Blanching is a method of par-cooking the mushrooms without cooking them too much and it really helps when trying to freeze some veggies and fungi like mushrooms.
How To Freeze Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
The process for freezing lion’s mane mushrooms isn’t complicated but it does require a little bit of time. You’ll need to spend time blanching, flash freezing and refreezing to have success when it comes to freezing them:
Wash your mushrooms to get rid of any dirt and debris. Allow them to drain while you prepare everything you need for blanching.
To blanch the mushrooms you need a large cooking pot filled with boiling water, a colander and some prepared ice water. The ice water can either be a bowl of water that has been in the fridge to cool or you can pop some ice cubes into a bowl of water. Pop your mushrooms into the boiling water for 90 seconds, drain and then submerge in the ice water then drain again.
Allow the lion’s mane mushrooms to dry. Once the mushrooms have drained and dried then you can move onto the freezing part!
- Flash Freeze
For best results, you need to do a couple of extra steps to ensure that the mushrooms don’t stick together too much in the freezer bag. Pop some parchment paper onto a baking sheet and lay out the lion’s mane mushrooms onto the sheet so that they are not touching. Put the tray into the freezer for about an hour until the mushrooms are frozen.
Once you are confident the mushrooms have frozen then you can take them out of the freezer and transfer from the baking sheet into a freezer bag.
Squeeze out any excess air to avoid getting that freezer burn taste and seal the bag tightly.
- Final Freeze
Label the bag with the date and the contents and pop it back into the freezer.
3 Tips for Freezing Lion’s Mane Mushrooms
Now you know how to freeze them, we’ve got our 3 top tips which we strongly recommend following when freezing lion’s mane mushrooms to have the best results:
- Blanch Them – You will have issues with the texture of lion’s mane mushrooms in the freezer if you fail to blanch them. You just need to boil them for 60 to 90 seconds before freezing them.
- Flash Freeze – To avoid them sticking to one another, make sure you freeze them spread them on a tray before bagging them up.
- Mix With Other Mushrooms – Don’t be afraid of mixing the lion’s mane with other mushroom types, such as chanterelles, in a mixed bag of mushrooms.
How Long Can You Freeze Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
The answer to how long lion’s mane mushrooms can be frozen is also a little tricky. Technically you can keep mushrooms safely in the freezer for up to twelve months but you should be trying to use them sooner than this if you can.
This is to ensure you get the best tasting mushrooms possible.
You Can Freeze Lion’s Mane Mushrooms for Around 12 Months
How Do You Defrost Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
For best results, when using your frozen lion’s mane mushrooms you may not want to defrost them at all! If you are sauteeing or adding the mushrooms to a recipe you can pop them in while they are still frozen.
If you do need to thaw out the mushrooms instead then you can by popping them into a bowl and defrosting in the fridge for a few hours.
Can You Refreeze Lion’s Mane Mushrooms?
We wouldn’t recommend that you refreeze lion’s mane mushrooms. Once you have thawed them out you are likely to find that they are a little changed in texture and are softer than they would have been fresh.
If you attempted to freeze again then it is unlikely the mushrooms would survive the process and still be edible. On top of this, you are allowing bacteria to grow which could make you sick.
Do Lion’s Mane Mushrooms Freeze Well?
As we mentioned earlier in this article, mushrooms can be a bit difficult when it comes to freezing. They are delicate structures and have high water content. This makes the mushrooms softer in texture and can even be mushy at times once they have been frozen.
All of this adds up to a food that doesn’t freeze well and you are unlikely to find your frozen mushrooms are the same as they would have been if they were fresh.
They still retain their flavour so once you have added them to a recipe you shouldn’t notice a difference.
If you’ve still got questions about freezing lion’s mane mushrooms or mushrooms in general, then these may help:
Can You Freeze Foraged Mushrooms?
Whether they’re shop-bought or foraged from the wood, the same rules apply when freezing any mushrooms. Just be wary that you need to know what you’re doing when foraging for mushrooms.
You will also need to give them a good clean when using foraged mushrooms as the shop won’t have don’t the majority of the cleaning for you.
Can You Freeze Truffles?
Truffles can, surprisingly, be frozen. However, you will lose some of the flavour and aroma the longer they are stored in the freezer. Where possible, wrap the truffle in foil and then store in a freezer bag to try and reduce this flavour loss as much as possible.
Can You Freeze All Mushrooms?
If you have a good mix of mushrooms to store then there is some awesome news. You can freeze all kinds of mushrooms!
Some mushrooms are a little hardier than others but as a general rule of thumb, you should assume that all mushrooms will freeze better if you blanch them first. So, you can use the same method outlined above to freeze your mushrooms.
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