Category

Food & Drink

Food & Drink, Food Waste Tips

How To Dry Mushrooms In The Oven

how to waste less food

how to waste less food ideas

I don’t know about you but mushrooms are something that I have trouble using up.  I don’t enjoy eating raw mushrooms, only cooked ones, and more often than not quite a few go slimy in the fridge before I have a chance to use them.  I’ve been trying to think of an idea to stop so many going to waste, and came across the the idea of drying mushrooms in the oven.  this handy tip came via A Girl Called Jack, and what a revelation that has been!

It’s really easy to dry mushrooms in the oven, and then they last for absolutely ages until you’re ready to use them.  Dried mushrooms are brilliant for adding to pasta sauces, soups, stews, casseroles and chilis – they add texture to any vegetarian or vegan meals, and impart a wonderful flavour to any vegetarian or meaty dishes.

The other really great thing is you can dry mushrooms in the oven while you’re cooking something else in the oven to save energy.  Here’s what I did with a pack of near slimy mushrooms:

How to Dry Mushrooms in the Oven:

how to dry mushrooms in the oven

How to Dry Mushrooms

Learn how to oven dry mushrooms with this really useful tutorial - never throw an off mushroom away again!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes

Ingredients

  • Mushrooms

Instructions

  1. Clean your mushrooms (you can use any type of edible mushroom) - I just used a dry towel to clean them, but if yours are particularly dirty and need washing make sure you give them a good dry after washing.
  2. Chop into half an inch thick slices. If you slice them thicker then they'll take longer to dry out, so remember to adjust your cooking time. Some of the stalks of mine are missing in the photo above as mine had sat in the fridge for so long, and had gone a bit funny, but otherwise there's no need to remove the stalks.
  3. Place on a baking tray in preheated 180ºC (gas mark 4) oven for 20 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven, turn over, and place back in the oven for a further 20 minutes, or until dry and the mushroom snaps when you break it in half. They shouldn't feel spongy, but crispy.
  5. Store in a clean airtight jar in a dark place for years!

dried mushrooms

I generally just add dried mushrooms straight into soups, sauces, etc, as I’m cooking but you can soak them in boiling water or stock to reconstitute them first if you prefer.

I love this method of drying mushrooms in the oven so much that I now quite often buy cheap mushrooms from the reduced section of shops just to dry.  I made this vegetarian chili the other week and added some dried mushrooms to it.  What a great addition it made!

If you enjoyed this post I’ve got a few other food waste tips for other types of food in the archives, including bread, milk, eggs, berries and bananas!

Food & Drink, Kitchen Staples

How to Make Sunbutter

how to make sunbutter

how to make sunbutter

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Today let’s learn how to make sunbutter.  You might be wondering what the heck is sunbutter?  Well, sunbutter is a relatively new discovery for me too.  I don’t think it’s a common thing in the UK – it’s basically creamed sunflower seeds that you would use in place of other nut butters – but seems to be hard to come by, and crazy expensive.  I recently saw jarred sunbutter on sale for £17 for a jar.  Yes, £17!  The ingredients on the jar were really basic: just sunflower seeds, olive oil, sugar and salt, so I figured I could make my own for much much less than that, and so devised my own sunbutter recipe.

The great thing about sunbutter is it’s a great alternative to peanut butter.  Like many nursery schools, play schools and primary schools, my daughter’s nursery school is nut-free, meaning peanut butter sandwiches are a no-no.  So always on the look out for healthy peanut-free lunch ideas, sunbutter makes a great protein-packed, healthy lunch-box substitution for peanut butter sandwiches (or peanut butter and jam on toast!).  It’s vegetarian and vegan friendly (if you substitute or omit the honey) and gluten free too.

My daughter doesn’t have a nut allergy, however all sunflower seeds I’ve found do say that the seeds may have come in contact with nuts in the transport, packing or production stages, so if you have a severe nut allergy then it’s best to avoid this recipe to be on the safe side.

sunbutter recipe

Sunbutter is really easy to make.  This sunbutter recipe does however take at least 10 minutes of continuous pulsing on a standard food processor, so have a think first if your processor is up to the job.  My processor is quite new and has a 750W motor so I felt quite confident in it’s abilities, but I did keep checking to ensure the motor wasn’t over-heating!

I personally wouldn’t use a blender – I don’t think there would be enough power to cream the sunflower seeds.  If you don’t have a strong enough food processor, I would imagine you could use an electric grinder mill and work in smaller batches – combining it all to add the honey and oil.

How to Make Sunbutter

Homemade Sunbutter Recipe

This tasty sunbutter, made from sunflower seeds, is a great peanut butter alternative for nut allergy sufferers. Or a tasty sunflower spread for non allergy sufferers!
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • Food processor
  • 150 g of hulled sunflower seeds
  • 1/3 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 teaspoon honey or you could use sugar if you're vegan
  • 2 teaspoons oil I used olive oil as I like the taste it imparts, but you could use sunflower or vegetable oil

Instructions

  1. In an un-oiled frying pan, gently toast your sunflower seeds until a golden brown colour. Take care not to burn them otherwise you’ll get a very dry sunbutter.
  2. Add all of your toasted seeds to the food processor, and the salt, and pulse until you’ve got a mealy powder.
  3. Don’t stop there: once powdered you need to run your processor at high-speed continuously for about 10 minutes (you may have to keep stopping and scraping the sides down) until it becomes peanut-butter like. It may feel like you’re never going to get there but trust me on this. If you have a less powerful food processor it may take a bit longer than 10 minutes – just keep an eye on your processor so it doesn’t overheat. Whatever you do, don’t add the honey or olive oil until the seeds have creamed otherwise you’ll end up with a very dry and gritty sunbutter. You have been warned!
  4. Once it’s butter-like, add your honey, and pulse for a minute or two to combine. Next, while the machine is still running, drizzle in your oil until you’ve got a consistency you’re happy with. I like my sunbutter quite thick, so two teaspoons suited me fine.
  5. Spoon into a sterilised jar, seal, and store in the fridge for up to a month. Use as you would any nut butter! I especially enjoy mine spread on some sliced apple as a healthy snack.

peanut-free-packed-lunch-ideas

The bag of seeds cost me £1.50, and once you add in the tiny bit of salt, honey and oil, this sunbutter recipe cost me no more than £1.55 to make a small jar!  Take that £17 jar!

ps: if you add honey make sure you don’t let children under the age of one eat the sunbutter!

ps: more recipes this way.