Keeping Mushroom Fresh

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Mushrooms can add some essential textures, tastes, and nutrients to any meal. Without a doubt, mushrooms are one of those staples that should be kept in the house at all times. You never know when you are going to need a handful or an entire carton to add to a meal. Canned mushrooms and oiled mushrooms marinating in jars have a much longer shelf life, and are good for specific recipes, but they lack the flair that a fresh mushroom can add to a regular meal. Keeping mushrooms fresh in the refrigerator is a challenging prospect no matter how much you love them. Straight home from the grocer to the fridge, most mushrooms last only a few days before they go bad.

When mushrooms get a slimy coating of what I call mushroom goo, they are no longer fresh, and are no longer useable. Regardless of whether you bring them home in a carton or a plastic bag, mushroom goo is likely to strike just when you need a good stash of mushrooms.

Mushrooms offer more than taste. They are loaded with nutrients essential to the human body. They are loaded with phosphorus and selenium, potassium and magnesium, and of course a few antioxidants in some varieties. The fresh mushroom should truly be a staple of any healthy diet. They are low in the ever present sodium but high in fiber. The average mushroom contains either no or trace amounts of cholesterol and fat. Vitamin A lingers in mushrooms with a gold or orange hue. The B vitamins in mushrooms are good for natural energies and fighting off infections. When the mushroom is consumed, it does not present a starch in the body and is easily digested without leaving much more than nutrients in its wake. The mushroom is comprised in weight by about 90% water.

Mushrooms are also capable of performing medicinal tasks, which have been well documented and experienced in Far Eastern cultures. The United States and Canada are now picking up on the value of medicinal mushrooms. While a mushroom can not heal all the world and what ails it, it can certainly lend a hand in preventing serious diseases while offering the human body a strong chance at healing.

The mushroom itself is not well understood. While most of us do realize it is a fungus (and it escapes a lot of us how a fungus can actually “go bad” considering that fungus and molds grow on foods that are spoiled) there is not nearly enough known about the mushroom. With such a wide variety, it is impossible, without lengthy studies, to understand exactly what each individual mushroom offers the human body, or why. However, there is no evidence to contradict what Far Eastern medical practices have already shown us, the mushroom holds tremendous potential.

The more you understand about the mushroom, the more important keeping its just picked freshness in the refrigerator will be to you. Besides preserving the taste, fresh mushrooms are at their peak of healthy offerings. While not currently available in the United States, there are some mushrooms that offer great nutritional value when fresh and become poisonous when they begin to rot. That slimy mushroom ook can be considered a dangerous poison in some countries.

Many mushrooms are sold at the grocery store in a plastic vegetable bag. While some stores have transitioned into a cheap version of the green, stay fresh veggie bags, many still use regular clear plastic. Leaving the mushrooms in the bag that they came in is usually a sure way to ruin them before you eat them. Two to three days is the most you can expect to get from mushrooms left in this type of bag. Stay fresh green bags that are sold for use with fresh fruits and vegetables may extend the life of a mushroom by two or three days if simply transferred form one bag to another.

Mushrooms should not be left on the counter tops or in a cabinet. They should be kept cool via refrigeration in order to maximize their freshness potential. Allowing mushrooms to warm even to room temperature shortens their life span considerably.

Mushrooms that are sold in a carton wrapped with a plastic wrap material are likely to last about four days when kept cool. This is becoming a more popular way to sell mushrooms because they are pre-measured. The grower is them assured of getting paid for all their mushrooms.

To keep mushrooms fresh in the refrigerator the mushrooms should be immediately removed from their packaging and separated from each other with a paper towel. You don’t want to wrap them completely, just keep the mushrooms from touching each other. Lay another paper towel in between each layer. When mushrooms are permitted to touch each other, the mushroom ooze is encouraged to form. Placing them, in this wrapped fashion, into a stay fresh green bag will provide them extra time. Kept this way, most mushrooms can last between a week and nine days.

By being able to keep mushrooms fresh in the refrigerator, these extensively healthy fungi are readily available for adding to meals, salads, and soups with a quick washing and slicing. By purchasing fresh mushrooms, everyone is assured of getting a higher level of precious nutrients from the mushrooms that aren’t readily received elsewhere in the average diet. Mushrooms offer the human body so much, you certainly don’t have to be a health nut to understand the value of using fresh, healthy mushrooms often.

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