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!