“Let food be thy medicine and medicine be thy food.” Hippocrates was definitely on to something when he came up with this philosophy sometime around 400 BC. He was referring to being mindful about nutrition since a significant part of our health and wellbeing is a direct result of what we consume.
He could also have been referring to using food as medicine for the soul. You know, that warm fuzzy feeling we get every time we taste something truly spectacular? That’s just as important.
Anyone who loves mushrooms understands this all too well. Now, there’s an even better, simpler, and more convenient way to add pizzazz to virtually every meal that you cook—two words: Mushroom powder.
This post explores everything you need to know about how to make and use mushroom powder to transform every eating experience into a healthy extravaganza!
Why Use Mushroom Powder
While you can’t categorize dried mushrooms as a spice or condiment per se, there’s something about the instant burst of umami flavor that they add to a meal that transforms even the blandest foods into something exceptional.
But rehydrating your dried mushrooms takes time, which you might not have after a long day of work. A handy short-cut is to create mushroom powder out of your dried mushrooms. Keeping a jar of powdered dried mushrooms around, as opposed to rehydrating and cooking them like you would fresh mushrooms, is an excellent way to enjoy their rich meaty flavor and health benefits with less hassle.
Several studies show that dried mushrooms like shiitakes, for instance, have a higher percentage of nutrients like vitamin D and essential amino acids than most foods. They are also excellent for lowering the bad LDL cholesterol in the blood.
With these attributes, it’s no wonder that many people are making mushrooms a staple in their diet. Having mushrooms in powdered form makes them more convenient to consume. These healthy properties are less concentrated than they would be in mushroom extract powder. But dried mushroom powder is cheaper, and is a convenient way to get your mushroom nutrition.
How to Make Mushroom Powder
While the robust flavor and texture of fresh mushrooms are hard to beat, their benefits in their dried form are hard to ignore. Dried mushrooms have an extended shelf life and, in powdered form, are super convenient for when you don’t have too much time to spend in the kitchen prepping and cooking them.
Here’s how to make mushroom powder.
1. Dehydrate Your Mushrooms
You can buy dried mushrooms from various stores and online, but you’ll get more bang for your buck if you buy fresh mushrooms in bulk and then dry them yourself. And the process of dehydrating mushrooms is easy. Check out our step-by-step guide on how to dry mushrooms properly if you haven’t already.
2. Bring Out the Food Processor
Whether you purchase dried mushrooms or dry them yourself, the next step is to place them in a food processor. You can also use a blender if you don’t have one. It works just as well. Begin by pulsing on and off for roughly 15 seconds just to break up the larger chunks. Then maintain a continuous pulse for about a minute.
You might need to pulse for longer when using a blender and use a large spoon between pulses to mix up all the unground bits. Doing so ensures that your result will be a fine, chunk-free powder.
If you have a large amount of mushrooms, then grind them in batches, only filling up the blender or food processor half-way each time.
If you use a blender, then wait a few minutes before opening it, since this method of grinding can cause a cloud of mushroom dust to form inside the container. So give a bit of time for the dust to settle.
3. Strain the Powder
Regardless of how thoroughly you grind your mushrooms, the powder will inevitably have some small chunks left behind. To get these chunks out of your mushroom powder, place a fine-mesh strainer over a large bowl and pour the ground contents of the food processor or blender onto it.
Use a wooden spoon to help push the powder through the strainer until the only things left behind are the solid mushroom clumps that couldn’t fit through.
4. Re-Grind the Solid Chunks Left Behind
Return the unground solid mushroom clumps to the food processor or blender for one final round of grinding. Once they achieve the right consistency, pour the powder into the large bowl containing the earlier sieved powder and voila! You have homemade mushroom powder.
5. Store Your Homemade Mushroom Powder
To extend its shelf-life, transfer your mushroom powder into a plastic zip-lock bag. If you want it to last even longer, place it in an airtight glass jar instead. Keep it away from direct heat and sunlight in a cool, dry place such as your kitchen cabinet. When dried properly, it can last for several months or more.
How to Use Mushroom Powder
Mushroom powder is one of the most versatile ingredients that you can use. It goes with almost any meal. It is perfect for people who find it difficult to enjoy the sometimes “chewy” texture of mushrooms. As they say, one man’s meat…
Here are some delicious and sometimes unexpected ways that you can incorporate mushroom powder into your meals to give them an elusive, mysterious richness and depth of flavor that will delight your guests.
- Use it as an ingredient in your omelets and frittatas
- Sprinkle it on your favorite salad recipe
- Mix it into your burger patties or meatloaf to get a deeper flavor profile without bulking it up or changing the texture
- Add it to pizza and pasta sauces for that je ne sais quoi
- Use it to spruce up vegetable dishes that might be a bit bland otherwise
- Mix it in with salt and some of your favorite spices to create a delicious blend
- Add it to stews, chilies, and soups
The possibilities are endless. The bottom line: Mushroom powder makes everything taste better. The fact that they have health benefits too is the cherry on top.
Delicious, Versatile, Convenient
Dried mushrooms are a flavorful, convenient, and healthy alternative to giving your meals that “meaty” flavor you love without the, well… meat! In powdered form, they become a versatile, long-lasting ingredient that you can incorporate into any meal.
So, if you’re looking to boost your immunity, minimize your recovery time after strenuous activities, promote good cardiovascular health, and up your intake of antioxidants as well, consider making mushroom powder part of your everyday dietary routine.
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